The Barossa’s new On-Demand bus service, Keoride has already exceeded passenger numbers of the existing Dial-A-Ride service in its first week of operation.
Five days into the six month trial, which began on January 13, more than 50 passengers had used the service, compared with Dial-A-Ride’s normal weekly average of 20 to 25 passengers.
Twenty-six passengers booked a Keoride last Thursday alone.
Project Lead, Mr Shane Fedele said the new booking system and extra vehicles make the service much more accessible.
“The booking system is through an app or the phone, whereas before with one vehicle it was only through the phone, so you can only do so many bookings,” he said.
At any one time there are four Keoride buses on the road, servicing an area that includes Angaston, Penrice, Nuriootpa, Light Pass and Tanunda.
So far passengers have averaged a wait time of ten minutes after booking, with a varied demographic taking it up.
“We’ve got a lot of regulars from the old service, which is the elderly getting around to the doctors or to the shops, or we’ve had tourists from the caravan park at Nuri,” said Shane.
“We’ve covered a broad area so far.”
The $6 adult and $3 child or concession per ride fare is almost half the price of the existing Dial-A-Ride service.
The system works similar to other ridesharing apps, enabling passengers to order a bus to a point nearby to take them anywhere within the service area.
Keoride currently operates 7 days per week, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
If demand proved adequate, service hours could be extended.
“It’s early days,” said Operations Supervisor Barossa, Mr John Hancock.
“We’re taking baby steps. It’s great for the Barossa, but at the moment the word is trial.”
The point to point service has provided 12 new local jobs.