The future of Waverley hoppa Community Transport’s dial-a-ride has been made a little more certain thanks to Waverley Borough Council’s decision to renew its financial commitment to the service.
The Council has awarded a grant of £108,000 for 2018/19 and similar levels of support are expected for 2019/20 and 2020/21.
The service, which is often described as a ‘lifeline’ by passengers is used by people who do not have access to other modes of transport. Customers pre-book their journey and benefit from the peace of mind that comes from knowing the hoppa bus will pick them up from their front door and take them to a pre-arranged destination. On the return journey, the driver sees passengers safely to their door and carries their shopping bags too!
Steve Forward, general manager at hoppa says: “The dial-a-ride service puts an end to passengers having to endure the elements as they wait at the bus stop for their bus to arrive. This, and our high level of personal service, makes hoppa the first choice of travel for many of our customers who are mainly older or more vulnerable members of our community.”
He adds: “We know from feedback that, for many, the only time they get to go out and interact with others is when they take their weekly trip to the supermarket. Hoppa is about so much more than transporting people from A to B, it’s helping to keep people independent for longer which is very important to our customers, especially for those who are rurally isolated.”
Hoppa has a fleet of 30 buses which vary in age and make. Councillor Jim Edwards, Waverley’s portfolio holder for economic and community development recently visited hoppa and was impressed by the flexibility and features offered by the newer models of bus.
For organisations that deliver a high priority community service such as hoppa, Waverley has a service level agreement arrangement in place. This agreement sets out the service expectations and standards Waverley require in return for its funding commitment.
Around 19% of hoppa’s income comes from grants and Waverley provides 66% of this total grant income.