Taxibus was a shared taxi service, set up in Stourport, at the initiative of a local taxi operator and with the assistance of the County Council. He obtained licences to operate two of his taxis as Public Service Vehicles and obtained a Road Service Licence. The service which was fixed route, but operated on demand, commenced operation in February 1982. It was completely integrated with the operator's other taxi work. Users, particularly the elderly, were prepared to pay significantly more than the equivalent bus fare for the convenience it offered. They had no objection to sharing a car with strangers. Before the fares were revised the service was making about 50 one-way trips per week and covering just over 50 per cent of its costs. Revised fares increased the cost recovery rate to 74 per cent, but the weekly trip rate dropped slightly to 46 and the occupancy per trip was reduced from 2.1 to 1.8. The performance of Taxibus has demonstrated that a shared taxi service can provide a high quality service with modest financial support in an urban area where demand is too small for a conventional bus service. (A)

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