A business model of a Flexbus has been developed and piloted. In the area where we did the pilot, a similar service had been available, but this did not work well. The main cause of the poor performance of this service was the lack of flexibility in booking. This analysis was substantiated by a survey that was conducted in the context of MOVE.
We improved the service by putting into place the possibility:
- to book online,
- to book until 30 minutes in advance (which used to be until 2 hours in advance)
- to book on Sundays.
The pilot resulted in an increase of passengers of 47% in the period Sept. 2019 to Jan. 2020 compared to the same period one year earlier. Moreover, the number of unique customers in this period has increased by 51% in this same period.
Due to the successful pilot, local authorities and the bus company took other initiatives to improve the availability of this bus service. This means that they provided tickets for the local bus users at a reduced fare, extended the geographical area in which the bus was available, and ultimately extended the service as offered in the pilot until the end of 2021. As it seems now, the responsible local authority will continue to offer this service even after 2021.
Anyone can make use of the Flexbus. However the target group of the Flexbus is elderly, has some problems to get around by their own means. Vehicles are accessible for wheelchairs. The objective is to ease access to two train stations (Puurs and Bornem) from where travellers reach further destinations.
The bus service was launched on 2 September 2019 and was supposed to run until the end of February. As it seems now, the responsible local authority will continue to offer this service even after 2021.
Header source: hln.be