Subsidised much-needed taxi service is being tried out in Devon for essential workers who cannot get to work by bus because of the regulated public transportation.
County council chiefs have unveiled the ‘Key Cars’ pilot project to substitute paths lost because of the dramatic decrease in passenger figures amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
Bus drivers have witnessed a 90% decrease in use resulting in only critical paths that are allowed to continue. Devon County Council anticipates the project will assist essential staff with lifts to their job place for a subsidised level charge.
A member of the cabinet with obligation for transport Councillor Roger Croad stated: “We don’t have enough information to know the make-up of the remaining 10 per cent of passengers still using local bus services, but some will be key workers needing to travel. Other key workers may well be facing difficulty getting to and from work because of reductions in public transport.”
The guiding taxi service is intended to replace trips that were being handled by bus services that have been halted during the present pandemic.
“Key workers that rely on public transport still need to get to work, and we have stepped in by subsidising this scheme to support them and make it as easy as possible for them to continue with their vital roles at this time.
This scheme is only for key workers – we’re asking them to email us and we will try as quickly as possible to make regular arrangements with any available taxi company. Cars have to be booked 48 hours in advance, but if regular travel is needed, the individual will only need to contact us once,” he added.
Essential workers making a reservation are requested to include their address, name, staff status, trip needs such as drop off and pick up points, payroll or and employer reference.
The DCC states that each effort will be prepared to react to all applications immediately during regular office hours.