A sad report and yet another example of potential failures in rural community service due to central funding issues.
Over many years we have seen growing Government interest in how to identify quality and measure efficiency using both commercial and CTO operators. The policy has been to focus on modality ’trials’ which continue to fall short in terms of sustainability, partly because the return on investment calculations exclude social value and impact. The integration of disparate agencies is the current prescription to solve our ills.
Somewhere in the middle sits a community of individual users who have their own needs and in many cases are; disconnected, lonely and vulnerable. They are unrepresented as a cohort. With society adopting new forms transport service delivery such as Uber, RATP Dev Slide, Arriva Click and Stagecoach little&often perhaps its time to revisit the personal transport plan by considering a social enterprising brokerage approach that could involve 'bundles' of services organised on the behalf?
Enterprises with the right social capital could put their stakeholders (the passengers) first, and aggregate opportunities, manage, service provision and unearth innovative solutions drawn from all forms of modality which may also include community-based lift share schemes. This may be an idea worthy of research?
('Buses Bundles and David A. Hensher 2007)