Councillors approved the timeline and funding to deliver an expanded Fife Bus Service ensuring a Ring & Ride Service is provided across the whole of Fife to support recovery post COVID-19, at Fife Council’s Policy & Co-ordination Committee on Thursday, 13 May, 2021.
As directed by P&C committee on 1st April 2021, the Fife Bus Recovery service will enable the Council to deliver a more equitable and enhanced demand responsive transport service that better meet users' needs across Fife.
Four new mini-buses especially converted with accessible tail lifts, wheelchair spaces are required to deliver the service. As well as new vehicles, drivers and dispatch staff will be recruited and trained to allow phased expansion of the service in readiness for full delivery. The new enhanced service will be in place by April 2022.
Cllr David Ross, Fife Council Co-Leader, added: “As part of the council’s recovery agenda, the Passenger Transport service area was reviewed in detail over six months. By expanding the Fife Bus we will offer improved services to meet council objectives, aid recovery, and provide fairer transport for all Fifers.”
Cllr David Alexander, Fife Council Co-Leader, said: “The Council’s Fife Bus Service – which provides a free door-to-door demand responsive transport service for people who are unable to use conventional public transport - is set to be extended across Fife to offer an improved service to those who need help the most. The Fife Bus Service is key to facilitating social connection, supporting independent living and enabling access to local shops and health and community services and is highly valued by its vulnerable clients.”
£240,000 will be invested to purchase four new vehicles over 2021/22. To run the expanded service £101,000 is needed in 2021/22 rising to a recurring demand of £371,000 from 2022/23 to fully deliver the Fife Bus Recovery Service.
The Passenger Transport Working Group agreed that the previous Fife Bus provision of a mix of Ring and Ride (allowing customers to choose a destination and travel time) and Dial a Ride (fixed destination, such as a shopping centre, at a fixed time) was not providing the optimum service for users.