Hoppa buses get greener with new satnav technology

Community bus service, hoppa, is on the road to reducing its carbon emissions by installing specialist satellite navigation equipment into 21 of its minibuses. A registered charity, hoppa has so far raised over £7,000 to fund the project which will see vehicles routed more efficiently to pick up and drop off passengers.

Steve Forward, hoppa’s general manager explains: “We are very keen to run our services as smartly as we can and modern satnav, designed especially for public transport providers like us, can help us do that. We offer a flexible service to our customers, picking them up and dropping them off wherever they need. Our drivers use their excellent local knowledge to plan the best routes, but they can’t always foresee traffic jams or keep on top of road works. The new equipment will direct drivers round the most efficient routes on every journey while still making sure we can collect and drop off our passengers safely and conveniently.”

Steve Forward hopes the new satnav system will have environmental benefits as well as making financial savings: “Saving on fuel by using more efficient routes has obvious financial benefits for us through lower fuel costs and reduced wear and tear on our vehicles but there are important environmental benefits too. Community transport does not need to be part of the climate change problem. Simply by driving fewer miles and spending less time with engines idling means we can reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on local air quality.”

Hoppa’s satnav project has so far benefited from donations from The Farnham Institute Charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey, Tesco and Waitrose.

The charity provides a number of door to door and scheduled bus services to passengers across Waverley, many of whom are elderly and can no longer drive or who have disabilities or long term health problems. Its services are vital lifelines to passengers who may otherwise be isolated or unable to get to medical appointments.

hoppa’s transport manager Andy Taylor demonstrates the new sat nav system to hoppa trustee Suzy Naughalty.