Moray’s dial-a-bus service looks set for expansion after encouraging figures were revealed to councillors at a meeting on Tuesday.
Improved ticketing systems has enabled staff in the council’s public transport unit to track numbers of passengers more accurately – and that allowed them to report that 2500 passengers used the service in September, up from 1000 in February.
Launched in the Forres area as a pilot project in 2007 the service has now been extended to five zones covering all of Moray – but the largest uptake has been in the Forres and Speyside services.
Forres councillor George Alexander said that he believed even larger figures would be reported in Forres for October as the uptake since the opening of the new health centre in the town had added further to the passenger numbers.
The ‘Dial M For Moray’ service covers areas where there are no regular scheduled bus services – although users have to be registered and journeys pre-booked by 1pm the day before travel.
The council’s economic development and infrastructure services committee heard today that the number of registered users rose from 1249 to 1646 in the five months to September.
Committee chairman Councillor John Cowe said: “The dial-a-bus service has been a great boon to many people, particularly those living in more rural areas of Moray where public transport options are limited, and it is encouraging to see this very significant increase in user numbers.
“The public transport unit will continue to monitor the performance of the service and take every opportunity to develop the service even further.”