An on-demand bus service has been launched in Hartlepool which aims to help residents in more isolated communities across the region access essential services along with training and employment opportunities that are being created across Tees Valley.
Operated by Stagecoach, the Tees Flex service is operated by nine new Mercedes Sprinters in a three-year pilot scheme funded by the Tees Valley mayor and combined authority.
Serving three zones in Darlington & Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland, passengers will be able to pre-book the bus via a smartphone app, a website or over the telephone. They can request pick-up and drop-off points within the serviced area, and to destinations including train and stations along with hospitals outside of the area.
“Local people rightly demand a high quality, low cost way of getting around Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool,” says Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen. “There are far too many people cut off in rural communities that find it difficult to see their friends and family, access essential health services, get to the supermarket or, most importantly, the jobs and training opportunities that we are creating across the region.
“By funding this service, students, families and people of all ages can request a bus to collect them from right outside their door and take them where they need to be, and at a great price.”
Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths adds: “New affordable and convenient transport solutions, like Tees Flex, can play a key role in helping to keep people connected in less populated areas, and most importantly to encourage people out of their cars and onto greener bus services. We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the mayor and Tees Valley combined authority to pilot this new service for the region.”