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4/27/2021 - Free travel offer celebrates launch of new Argyll and Bute on-demand door-to-door bus service


From Monday 3 May for two weeks, free travel is being offered to users of a new public transport service in Argyll and Bute to celebrate its introduction. 


Not only will the on-demand door-to-door service – Pingo –  make it easier for the public to attend appointments at Covid-19 vaccination centres but it may encourage more voters to head to their local polling station to cast their vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election being held on Thursday 6 May.


The bus service operates Monday – Friday between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm in the areas of Dunoon and Cowal and Campbeltown and Kintyre.


West Coast Motors, in partnership with HITRANS and The Routing Company,  recently  launched the on-demand, app-enabled transport service that offers safe, door-to-door travel for those journeys not served by a scheduled bus service.  The service has been made possible through HITRANS Challenge Sponsorship in the Scottish Government’s CivTech 5.0 Programme. 


Transport can be summoned using The Routing Company’s Pingo app or by calling the Pingo help desk on?0141 370 9262.?


After the introductory free travel offer, journeys will revert to costing £2.  Concession card holders will always travel for free. 


Ranald Robertson, Partnership Director of HITRANS, agreed the two-week introductory free travel offer following discussions with Colin Craig, Managing Director of West Coast Motors.


Mr Robertson said:  “Our aim is to promote this important new travel option as widely as possible and a real bonus of the two-week free travel period is that it covers both a busy time for vaccination appointments and the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections.”


Mr Craig said:  “This is an important new service, which will make it easier for the public to access vaccination centres and other key destinations.   A spin off benefit may be that the turn out at the forthcoming election is given a boost.”


HITRANS is working with The Routing Company to explore ways to assist with route planning and vehicle deployment across the Highlands and Islands. 


The trial partnership will leverage The Routing Company’s proprietary technology -- developed over 5 years of cutting-edge university research -- to deliver safe, convenient, and reliable door-to-door transport to members of the local community. The technology powers an easy-to-use Pingo app, which is available for download in the App Store (iOS) and in Google Play (Android). 


As part of the partnership, The Routing Company will deliver a custom-built Dashboard that will help HITRANS and West Coast Motors develop a better, data-rich understanding of how people and goods move within the Highlands and Islands. The trial is the first in what is expected to be a broader, longer term partnership between The Routing Company and HITRANS focused on serving the transport needs of communities across the Highlands and Islands.



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