Bustler service offers free rides

THE Bustler dial-a-ride service is being offered free of charge throughout August and September.

The Woking Community Transport minibuses, which take registered members who have difficulty using public transport from their homes to destinations across the borough and beyond, usually charge a modest fee.

Bustler dial a ride busses will be available free of charge throughout August and September

Guy Padfield-Wilkins, the WCT chief executive, said many of the most vulnerable members of the scheme have found it extremely difficult to get out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This may have been due to shielding, reduced mobility, or not having the means to travel,” Mr Padfield-Wilkins said.
He said this has left WCT with surplus from its Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council grant, which has made the free service possible.

“We recognise the difficulty many of our dial-a-ride members will have in getting to hospital appointments, shopping, and those long-awaited hair appointments. We hope the free service will encourage people to use dial-a-ride again or to try it for the first time.

“It will mean people can access essential services and it will also help the local economy.”   

The Bustlers will transport only one passenger, or people from one household, at a time, with the drivers wearing personal protective equipment.

“Vehicles are regularly cleaned throughout the day and undergo a deep clean at our service station once a week, ensuring that all journeys are as safe as can be,” Mr Padfield-Wilkins said.
He said members will need to continue to book transport in advance, and new members are welcome, provided they meet the service requirements.  

“It is hoped that this safe and completely free door-to-door service will help those in our community who struggle to get out due to reduced mobility, age, or disability.”

Mr Padfield-Wilkins said the free service might continue until the end of the year if finances allow.

The WCT’s free town centre buggy, which was suspended during lockdown, has been running since non-essential shops were allowed to reopen. It circuits the pedestrianised area from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 1.30pm and can be hailed.

For more information, call 01483 724433 or visit  www.wokingbustler.org.uk.

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