the ripon flexibus was part of the government's programme of rural transport experiments (rutex). it served an area to the west of ripon in north yorkshire where it replaced three bus routes. it was operated by a national bus company subsidiary using a standard bus which made specified diversions from a circular route on demand. a high level of service was offered initially. during phase i of the experiment the level of service in the area as a whole was nearly doubled. however, the improved service carried virtually no more passengers. after seven months the level of service was reduced to a similar level to that offered before the service began, but with the diversions retained. the reorganisation had little effect on patronage (on average 160 trips per week). the diversions were little used and did cause some problems with timekeeping. the booking of detours caused few problems. if phase i of the experiment had been operated for a full year, the revenue would have covered 28 percent of the costs, and the corresponding proportion for phase ii would have been 53 per cent, compared with 45 percent for the original bus service.

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