The future for DRT

Webinar, 10.30 - 12.00

21 Mar 2024


** Last chance to book **

‘The Future of Demand Responsive Transport’ will be chaired by SYSTRA’s Bus and Ticketing Projects Director Cathryn Jones alongside an expert panel, including SYSTRA Principal Consultant Richard Jeremy.

Digital Demand Responsive Transport services have been trialled across the UK in recent years, supported by trial funding from the national governments. However, as the trial funding ends, many local transport authorities (especially rural ones) have indicated the likely end of these services, as the subsidy cost per passenger head is much higher than supported bus services, and councils in the UK face funding shortfalls.

The panellists will discuss whether there is a ‘second-generation’ digital demand responsive transport, which provides reliable services but uses existing infrastructure, such as taxi-sharing, NHS non-emergency transport, community transport and current DRT services where well-used, connected with apps and innovative ticketing and complementing bus and rail, and whether this can provide a quality solution and reduce costs?


One strength of DRT is that it’s not limited to fixed lines, it can goes where people need to go for all kinds of trips, be they for education, health, leisure or business; even if those people live out of the way.

Some rural authorities in England began to explore “total transport” a decade ago, and in 2015 the UK Government allocated £7.6m for 37 pilot schemes. Following the pilots, which ended in 2016/17, the Department for Transport released a report looking at lessons learned.

A cross-sector approach to the delivery of passenger transport services across local authority sectors is favoured by DRT operators, who have been experimenting with integrating DRT with community transport from some time. Pooling resources and expertise to deliver services that are better coordinated, integrated, and more efficient is an attractive proposition.

Public transport, home-to-school transport, special education needs transport and non-emergency healthcare transport are all, to a degree, demand-responsive transport forms, but right now DRT can only  influence one of them at a time because the teams operating these are running in silos.

This webinar will look at the potential of DRT under revised governance frameworks, using new technologies to manage vehicle supply, demand, costs and route optimisation.

Chair: Cathryn Jones, Associate Director, SYSTRA

Speakers include:

  • Alice Missler, Demand Responsive/ Community Transport Team Leader, Hertfordshire County Council
  • Andy Ambrose, Group General and Development Manager, Arrow Taxi
  • Louise Currie, Chief Executive Officer, Lydney Dial A Ride
  • Kiron Chatterjee, Professor of Travel Behaviour, Centre for Transport & Society, University of the West of England
  • Richard Jeremy, Principal Consultant, SYSTRA – read Richard's views on DRT here


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