UK: Transport for London launched a 12-month trial of an on-demand minibus service in the borough of Ealing in west London on November 13.
Slide Ealing is operated by RATP Dev subsidiary London Sovereign and Volkswagen Group subsidiary MOIA. Services run in the western part of the borough between 06.00 and 01.00 using a fleet of 10 TGE MAN L4H3 minibuses that are accessible for people with reduced mobility.
Passengers can book journeys through an app or by telephone, and TfL says that they will be picked up within 10 min. Fares are set at £3·50 for the first passenger and £2 for each additional passenger regardless of journey length, and every 10th trip is free for the passenger that books. Daily, weekly and monthly capping applies. Payment can be made through the app. Freedom Passes and the English National Concessionary pass accepted, but not Oyster or and contactless payment cards. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
TfL says that it chose Ealing for the trial because it has relatively high numbers of private vehicles, with 40% of people living in the Slide operating area using cars to travel to and from work.
In May TfL launched a similar service in the borough of Sutton, also for a 12-month period. Branded Go Sutton, the service in southwest London is operated by ViaVan and Go-Ahead.