Responsive bus service helps to connect communities
In partnership with Tees Valley Combined Authority, Stagecoach North East is piloting a new demand responsive, fully accessible bus service to connect rural communities in the Tees Valley.
Called Tees Flex, the service being launched on 24 February aims to help residents in more isolated communities across the region access essential services along with training and employment opportunities.
Nine new, high-quality Mercedes Sprinter buses, all with disabled access, will be used for the pilot. Serving three key zones in Darlington & Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland, passengers will be able to pre-book the bus via a smartphone app, a website or over the telephone. They can request pick-up and drop-off points within the serviced area, and to destinations including train and stations along with hospitals outside of the area. The buses will be equipped with tracking technology to allow it to arrive to customers within 45 minutes.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Local people rightly demand a high quality, low cost way of getting around Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. There are far too many people cut off in rural communities that find it difficult to see their friends and family, access essential health services, get to the supermarket or, most importantly, the jobs and training opportunities that we are creating across the region."
“By funding this service, students, families and people of all ages can request a bus to collect them from right outside their door and take them where they need to be, and at a great price.”