Press ReleaseAug 8, 2023
Written by Newsroom

TRC celebrates West Sussex County Council’s launch of new “98 Flex” fully flexible transport service, powered by Pingo

Deployment follows the East Sussex launch and marks TRC’s sixth contract in the UK

August 8, 2023 New York, New York, USA: The Routing Company (“TRC”), a global on-demand vehicle routing and management platform partnering with cities to power the future of public transport, today celebrated the launch and ribbon cutting of West Sussex County Council’s (“WSCC”) “98 Flex” service. 

98 Flex is the latest service to launch under WSCC’s new “Book-a-Bus” service initiative, operating as a fully flexible service with no conventional timetable or routes. 98 Flex is powered by TRC’s Pingo and operates based on bookings received through the Ride Pingo™ app or by phone. Book-a-Bus is a demand-responsive bus service, which will serve more rural areas in the county with limited or no traditional bus services available. 

WSCC is the local authority governing the non-metropolitan county of West Sussex in the United Kingdom (“UK”), spanning 200,000 hectares and serving a population of nearly 900,000. WSCC transport ridership currently exceeds 26 million per year. The WSCC contract, first announced in June 2023, includes a two year base with an option to extend up to one year, for a total of up to three years. 

“Today’s launch is exciting because it immediately improves accessibility to transport for the West Sussex community,” said Dami Adebayo, Europe Partnerships Lead, TRC. “Given 87% of the local population lives in areas not normally reached by fixed transport, the new 98 Flex service – powered by Pingo – is providing a lifeline for residents to existing transport networks, in a time and place most convenient for them.”

As a community leader, employer and provider of critical services, WSCC is committed to improving the quality of life for all people in West Sussex. As such, public transport provided through WSCC aims to reach all people, including 42% of residents and over 50% of businesses located in rural areas. Through the deployment, WSCC aims to improve the attractiveness and efficiency of its shared transport service network, namely in rural and underserved, hard-to-reach areas. 

TRC will deliver transport by leveraging its full suite of Pingo products – including flexible on-demand transport services as well as semi-fixed services – and features such as Pingo Journey™, Pingo Flex™, Transit Connect™, and Transit Protect™. 

Pingo Journey™ integrates TRC’s real-time routing technology with public transport infrastructure, allowing riders to hail on-demand transport rides and plan multimodal transport journeys all from the single Ride Pingo app. The feature makes Pingo the world’s only app offering on-demand transport and end-to-end journey planning in one place.

Pingo Flex™ provides greater flexibility for traditionally fixed transport routes. Operators get more out of existing services by keeping scheduled stops, while adding on-demand elements to improve service responsiveness in high density or intermittently peak demand routes. 

Transit Connect™ guarantees connections for riders to fixed route networks using real-time data. The feature was developed by TRC as a solution to improve the rider experience and guarantee a connection to onward transport modes.

Transit Protect™ is a new feature within Pingo, allowing integration of on-demand transport while fortifying existing fixed routes. Operators can use Transit Protect™ to set zone restrictions in Pingo Dashboard™ – ultimately boosting on-demand access for communities underserved by public transport while restricting on-demand trips for already well-served routes. 

TRC’s award-winning Pingo platform includes the Drive Pingo™ and Ride Pingo™ apps and the Pingo Dashboard™ operations management tool, which together provide on-demand, paratransit, fixed, and flexible transport that enhances ridership of existing transport networks. Pingo has moved over 400,000 passengers to date. 

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About TRC

Founded by MIT researchers and rideshare industry veterans, TRC is a global on-demand vehicle routing and management platform that partners with cities to power the future of public transport. Leveraging proprietary and unrivalled artificial intelligence, TRC delivers routing from multiple points of demand to one vehicle while enabling greater transport equity, accessibility, cost efficiency, and sustainability. Its leading product, the Pingo™ app, offers on-demand or advance trip requests and can operate in on-demand, flex, fixed, or paratransit mode. 

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