Bwcabus (Book-a-bus) is an on–demand local bus service operating in west Wales. The initiative was created in 2015 to respond to the needs of people living in rural and mountain areas.
Rural and mountainous areas across Europe have sometimes become very isolated as uncompetitive local bus services are cut to save costs. This means that inhabitants, who do not own a car, can be deprived from access to employment, healthcare or education.
The project and how it works
The project aimed to improve accessibility, reduce car dependency and assist people who live in areas where public transportation does no longer exist. The buses serve local towns and villages but also connect to the main bus or train lines.
The initiative was led by Carmarthenshire County Council, in partnership with Ceredigion County Council, Traveline Cymru and the University of South Wales.
The bus service has diverse itineraries with fixed routes and an on-demand service.
Inhabitants can pre-book the bus service by phone or on the Internet, on the Bwcabus website. The website provides information on the service, including the location of bus stops and fares.
Every Bwcabus buses are tailored to drive in remote areas and their entrances are also made for passengers with reduced mobility (the entrances being low, wide and accessible).
Positive results for inhabitants and the local economy
- The project successfully responds to citizen’s needs. Bwcabus buses help mountain people to have access to services of general interest such as health and education but also job.
- The service has increased the frequency of public transport use and encouraged a reduction in car use.
- Bwcabus generates an overall increase in passenger journeys. The buses transports workers but also new clients to local businesses. Thus, they help to stimulate and boost local businesses and the local economy.
In conclusion, the initiative shows that new approaches exist to deliver a sustainable model of integrated rural public transport.
For more good practices on mobility in rural and mountain areas, have a look at these 51 successful initiatives in greening and improving mobility in rural areas that have been collected within the project Move On Green.