the northallerton hospital transport service was part of the government's programme of rural transport experiments (rutex). it was a demand responsive shared hire-car service to hospital from two areas containing some 10000 households. the provisions of the passenger vehicles (experimental areas) act 1977 were used to authorise drivers to collect separate fares from passengers. the service operated in the morning and afternoon from monday to friday and in the evening from monday to thursday. on average 10 return vehicle journeys were made each week and 15 passengers made return journeys, but more than one half of vehicle journeys were made with a single passenger. without the service 16 per cent of the passengers would have foregone the journey, a further 8 per cent did not know how they would have travelled; the remaining passengers could have made other arrangements. the average passenger spent 80 minutes at the hospital and travelled 31 miles; the average vehicle journey length was 48 miles. twenty-two per cent of costs were met from revenue, the remainder, 4.50 per passenger journey, by the department of transport. the county council and women's royal voluntary service attempted to organise a self financing social car service to be introduced at the end of the experiment but so far (december 1979) not enough drivers have been recruited.(a)

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