the exe valley market bus is one of the government's programme of rural transport experiments (rutex). it serves an area to the north-west of tiverton in devon, where two conventional bus services were withdrawn because they were too uneconomic for local authority support. it is a 'community minibus service', organised and driven by local volunteers (trained to the necessary standard for psv drivers' licences), operated on a demand responsive basis. the route taken by the bus on any day depends entirely on the passenger list which is made up from casual bookings (made the previous evening) and regular passengers; it has proved possible to estimate passenger pick-up times with an accuracy of plus or minus 5 minutes. in the first half year of operation, the bus carried an average of 81 (one-way) passengers per week - double the number carried on the previous conventional bus services. some 40 per cent of the passengers lived at least one kilometre from the previous bus routes. revenue has covered operating costs, but made only a small contribution to the initial costs of vehicle purchase and driver training; some additional income may be raised from private hire and excursions.(a)

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