Demand Responsive Bus Service launched in East Leeds

West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council and First West Yorkshire have launched a new on-demand bus service for the residents of East Leeds, connecting people to local places, transport hubs and key destinations within the East Leeds area.

New on-demand bus service for residents

West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council and First West Yorkshire have launched a new on-demand bus service for the residents of East Leeds, connecting people to local places, transport hubs and key destinations within the East Leeds area.

This pilot scheme is the first digital Demand Responsive Service in our region and is part of West Yorkshire’s ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan adopted by the Combined Authority on 22 October. A new fleet of seven fully electric buses, each able to carry 12 passengers has been funded from the Leeds Public Transport Improvement Programme. The new service operates in the areas of Richmond Hill, Cross Green, Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone and extending into Leeds Bus Station. Residents in the area east of the A64, Seacroft, Whinmoor, Stanks, Swarcliffe and Manston will also benefit. Customers can download an app to book a journey on the FlexiBus.

The service will help people get to medical appointments, educational settings, and places of work much easier. Links will also be provided to Killingbeck Asda, Hunslet Morrisons and St James’s Hospital that are external to the zone.

More information on Flexi Bus East Leeds

Flexi Bus East Leeds

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

“I welcome the introduction of the new bus service in East Leeds. We absolutely must work hard to make transport easily accessible, reliable, and affordable. The East Leeds areas that are taking part in the pilot fall into the bottom 10% of scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) scores in England. I want to see this improve for the residents of East Leeds.

The quality of transport options available for people affects their ability to participate in social and economic activities and access healthcare. Transport that enables greater social engagement will consequently deliver significant benefits to mental and physical health. Our ambition is to ensure that people who may feel marginalised have opportunities to fulfil their potential, not only for those individuals, but for communities as a whole."

Councillor Kim Groves, West Yorkshire Transport Committee Lead Member for Public Transport said:

“This is an incredibly positive step to improving connectivity for people in East Leeds. The new bus service is easy to book, very reasonably priced and it is flexible. Buses are available to all members of the public and can be easily accessed by booking via an App with phone support also. Buses will pick up passengers at a safe and convenient place no more than 3 minutes’ walk of their location and will then drop off passengers at a safe location, a short walk from their destination.

If people are travelling further afield, FlexiBus will connect them to buses on main routes and to trains at Cross Gates. I encourage people to take advantage of this new service, to access amenities and services to help them out in their everyday lives.”

Couple taking pram off bus

Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Infrastructure and Climate, Councillor Helen Hayden, said:

“I am delighted to see the introduction of the new Flexibus service across East Leeds, as part of a three-year trial to improve local connectivity. The green, zero-emission electric buses will complement existing services and enable people to make those shorter journeys to the shops, work, leisure, or medical appointments.

“The service supports our ambition for Leeds of moving our transport system towards a more accessible and public transport focused network, where a car is not required to meet mobility needs. I would encourage people to try the new service and see for themselves how it can benefit them.”

Tom Bridge, Operations Director, First said:

“We have a dedicated team of drivers for FlexiBus who have been trained on the digital technology we use to devise route planning based on customer bookings, as this does not use a conventional network of bus stops.

“They also have detailed local knowledge of the area to assist with pick up and destination points to support customers and make sure they enjoy a great experience in using the service.

“We are confident this will prove a hit with communities in East Leeds.”