Simply Connect aims to create a livable, consistent, affordable and sustainable transport system for all.
Simply Connect has just completed an initial trial of their small vehicle transport scheme with Exeter City Futures. For their first trial, Exeter City Futures provided a mini bus to transport staff at Oxygen House to and from work. Oxygen House is located in a business park on the perimeter of Exeter. There are high levels of traffic congestion during rush hours, making journeys across the small city extremely slow. In addition, there are parking problems due to the high volumes of traffic. The current bus network is not making a sufficient difference in overcoming these problems, so as an alternative Simply Connect offers users a ride to work which can be booked through their app.
There are no planned routes as journeys are developed based on real time bookings, specially designed software plans pickup points that will ensure users arrive at their destination on time. The journeys are efficient as routes and times are optimised. As Simply Connect is a highly flexible, demand-based service it can fill in journey gaps where buses are not viable, taxis are expensive and it is too far to walk or cycle.
From this trail, Simply Connect were able to gain valuable insight into where their technology is lacking but also how to make the service more user friendly by getting feedback from the passengers. They expect to refine and restart a renewed service in a few weeks, based on this feedback.