Transport for London (TfL) believes demand-responsive bus services may have the potential to complement the established bus network to contribute to sustainable travel and reduce car dependency in the future.

Able to operate flexibly in response to local demand, demand-responsive services can change routing and scheduling depending on when and where customers want to travel.

The exploration of such services is a commitment in the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy so TfL has decided to examine whether they can support sustainable growth and improve public transport while improving accessibility and air quality.

It will run two small-scale 12-month research trials in outer London where car dependency is high and other forms of public transport have limited availability. These will operate in addition to the existing local services.

The first research trial was recently launched in Sutton.

The second research trial is the focus of a recently launched consultation and will be delivered in the London Borough of Ealing with a potential expansion into the London Borough of Brent.

The consultation is open for comments until 18 August 2019 with full details available at consultations.tfl.gov.uk.

After the consultation concludes, TfL will report on the outcome ahead of the launch of the 12-month trial.

Under a contract agreed with bus operator RATP, this second trial service will not have a fixed route or schedule but will respond to request to be picked up by the customer.

It can be booked at the desired time of travel, primarily through an app, and will provide real time updates to customers of vehicle arrival time as well as the guarantee of a seat for confirmed bookings.

The key target markets for the service are those who usually use their car and who are not, for various reasons, using conventional public transport, walking or cycling.

Last reviewed 7 August 2019