New On Demand transport service to be trialled in Newcastle
Novocastrians will soon have a new flexible transport service at their fingertips to take them between Newcastle’s innersuburbs and the city centre.
City of Newcastle, in partnership with Keolis Downer, will trial an ‘On Demand’ transport service allowing people to book a ride to collect them from a convenient, nearby pick-up point, and take them to a local transport hub or other point of interest in the city.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the service would allow people in Newcastle to explore new ways to get around.
“The trial of the On Demand service is just another way Newcastle is forging ahead as a modern and smart city,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It presents a new and flexible way for commuters to make their journey into the city for work and has the potential to remove cars from the city centre opening up more car spaces in and around the city.
“The trial’s aim is to encourage Novocastrians and visitors to take advantage of public transport options in the City. The service area has been designed to support public transport use by including key transport nodes such as Newcastle Interchange and Broadmeadow Station.
“It’s a stress-free way to travel to work, head into the city to shop or attend appointments.”
Transport on Demand is an emerging alternative to fixed route public transport. It is characterised by users being able to request pick-ups at times of their choosing via an app – like Uber, but significantly cheaper. It is regarded as a cost-effective way of connecting people to major transport nodes and routes. It uses smaller vehicles and only runs where there is demand.
Bookings can be made quickly and simply through an app with journeys expected to cost a flat fare of $3.20.
Three vehicles, two six-passenger cars and a 11-passenger van with wheel-chair access, will be rolled out to service the trial area, taking in the East End, Civic, Market Town and the Newcastle Interchange from places such as Beaumont Street Hamilton, Broadmeadow Station, Merewether, The Junction, Bar Beach, Hamilton South and The Hill.
The On Demand trial supports the City’s long-term planning and ambition for higher levels of public transport patronage and active travel creating a more pedestrian-friendly city centre.
The On Demand Service trial will operate in peak hours between 6.30am-9am and 3.30pm-6pm Monday to Friday, and is expected to kick off by the end of the year and run for 12-months.
This project is part of the City’s award-winning Smart Moves Newcastle program, which received $5 million in grant funding through the Federal Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.