PASSENGERS will be able to summon Oxford’s app-based bus service more easily after new vehicles were added to the fleet.

Oxford Bus Company is increasing the size of its PickMeUp service – dubbed 'Uber for buses' for the second time in response to passenger demand.

Two additional ultra-low emission Euro 6 Mercedes minibuses were added to the service on Sunday and five new driving jobs have been created.

Oxford Mail:

PickMeUp was the county’s first transport service of its kind when it was introduced in June, enabling passengers to request a minibus pick-up within 15 minutes at selected stops using a mobile phone app.

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Phil Southall, managing director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: “Due to phenomenal demand we have added two additional buses to our PickMeUp fleet to enable us to expand the service and respond to more pick-up requests.

Oxford Mail:

“This has also resulted in the creation of five new driving jobs, creating more employment in the city. It’s another encouraging step and we look forward to continuing to develop the service where possible. PickMeUp is a new innovative service which we are continuing to adapt and develop, and I’d encourage passengers to complete our online survey to provide feedback to us.”

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Two new vehicles were also added to the fleet in October last year.

The minibuses have tables, comfortable seating, wi-fi and luggage space, with company bosses hopin the new features enhance the customer experience.

PickMeUp provides flexibility for passengers to choose both the start and end point of their journey within the eastern part of the city.

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Passengers are matched with others wishing to make similar journeys to enable ride sharing. It was designed to help reduce congestion and compliment traditional services.

The service operates between 6am and 11pm Monday to Friday and between 7am and midnight on Saturday and 9am to 9pm on Sundays, with an average response time of 10 to 15 minutes.

Oxford Mail:

The introductory fare of £2.50 per journey is still being charged, with a surcharge of £2.50 if the journey could be made via an existing Oxford Bus Company bus route and the walk is 200 metres or less.

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Multi-journey passes are available as well as corporate packages.

At the start of the year Sue Jones swapped her school minibus for a PickMeUp bus.

After working as a teaching assistant at St Nicholas Primary School in Marston for 17 years the foster carer decided to become a full-time professional bus driver.

Mrs Jones used to drive the school minibus regularly to take her pupils on field trips.