Passengers travelling on Godalming’s hoppa bus were recently surprised to find themselves sharing their journey with a special guest.
The Mayor of Waverley, Councillor Mike Band boarded hoppa at one of the town’s supermarkets and spent some time riding on the bus so he could experience the service at first hand.
The Godalming service is particularly popular and to meet demand, the capacity was expanded in October thanks to a grant from Waverley Borough Council. Currently, around one third of all trips booked are for the purpose of attending a medical appointment.
Councillor Band says: “Over the course of a couple of hours we picked up several passengers and took them to a variety of destinations.
“I was particularly impressed by the driver’s knowledge; he knew everybody by name and exactly who needed a helping hand with walking from their door to the bus. This is a very friendly and personal service that enables many people who do not have access to other means of transport to maintain their independence.
“Without exception, every passenger told me how much they value hoppa and how they do not know what they would do without it.”
Throughout March, hoppa is offering free travel on its Godalming service on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The dial-a-ride service picks up customers from their home at an agreed time and takes them to a location of their choice in Godalming.
Hoppa’s general manager, Steve Forward says: “So far, a number of people have taken up the offer to try hoppa for free. The good news is that there is still time for even more residents from Godalming and the surrounding areas to register and try the service for no charge.
“Our drivers pick up passengers from their home at an agreed time, which puts an end to having to wait around for a bus at a cold, draughty bus stop. The door-to-door service also means that passengers get dropped off outside their home and will receive a helping hand with carrying shopping bags to their door. Registering to use hoppa is very quick and easy and I would urge anybody who hasn’t yet experienced the service to give us a call.”
Registering with hoppa can be completed online at www.hoppa.org.uk or by calling 01428 681701. The normal cost of a fare for the dial-a-ride service is £2.50 each way and will apply on Thursdays and Fridays in March.
The Mayor of Waverley, Councillor Mike Band with Godalming passenger Mrs Walters.