Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  The POLYBUS SYSTEM consists of many vehicles, each fitted with Satellite GPS, computer, ticket printer, digital radio and suitable software to operate in conjunction with a fixed SYSTEM CENTRE so that requests telephoned to the SYSTEM CENTRE result in an appropriate vehicle arriving within a specified time at the door however remote. (Appropriate means that the vehicle is near the requestor, has enough seats available and is already going in the right direction to pickup and deliver other passengers.) A computer on each vehicle together with the other components of the system ensures that each job is automatically allocated to the most "appropriate" vehicle.


  The "appropriate" vehicle will then take the group of passengers, "door to door", anywhere within a given area (in rural areas POLYBUS will establish a route to a nearby or the quickest connection with a conventional bus or train to continue the journey). Similarly, on a return journey the same procedure will apply to ensure "door to door" journeys within a reasonable time and cost.

  To ensure that POLYBUS is as available as the private car, the service will run for 24 hours a day, weekends and holidays. It will be more convenient than a private car for many journeys, though not all, as goods can be carried, accompanied or otherwise, and delivered to the door at a convenient time.

  The average price will be of the order of £1.00 per mile per group of passengers, tickets will be provided and journeys will have a fixed price irrespective of the route or time taken.

  Journeys will never be more than 50 per cent longer in time than with a private car (driven within the speed limits) and overall journey time will be less than for a bus or taxi. Passengers will however have to share with up to three other passengers, though the average occupancy will be two passenger groups, giving an increase of 200 per cent on conventional taxi operation in urban areas.

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Prepared 28 April 1999