April 23 - we were delighted to receive the news from the National Lottery that our grant application was successful. The National Lottery support goes a long way to securing our own bus
APRIL 2023 The 55 Bus — A New Era
Community Transport — it’s not about buses, it’s about people!
On 1st April 2023 a new era in public transport for Glenfarg begins. With the retiral of the Rutherfords, and the last Earnside Coaches 55 running on Friday 31st March, the baton is being passed to Glenfarg Community Transport Group (GCTG) — a Scottish Charity set up by the Glenfarg Community to safeguard public transport in and around the village.
GCTG has entered into a partnership with Perth and Kinross Council, forming a Public Social Partnership (PSP) and taking on the contract for The 55 Bus service and the Arngask Primary School run. The first three months (April, May and June) will be run as a pilot, allowing GCTG to introduce and develop the service. (This is in addition to the work we are doing with the Community Bus, offering social and cultural trips, which we hope to grow further).
The plan is to develop an hourly service throughout the day, augmented by the Stagecoach X56 morning and 56 evening services. The 55 Bus will develop into a fully flexible responsive service rather than the fixed route traditional service that we are familiar with. We will have the ability to service a wider area with a range of bookable stops - Duncrievie, Drunzie, Caulder’s Garden Centre initially, expanding to Loch Leven’s Larder, Balgeddie Toll Tavern and Bein Inn after a few weeks. The village will now have 14-15 services per day.
By the end of the three month pilot, we hope to be able to introduce a fully bookable Digital Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT) system backed by software, an App and dedicated call centre, so that we can further expand the service. You will be able to track the bus and be given an exact time for pick up — similar to the Ember system which has become tried and tested. In other parts of the country, where this has worked for many years, the system is often affectionately known as “The Wiggly Bus” or “Flexibus”.
We are being supported by our friends at Community Transport Glasgow (CTG) who will be arranging these bookable journeys for us. They have years of experience booking their own services in this way and also operate a service for NHS Lanarkshire and a similar bus service in Dumfries and Galloway.
Running times for The 55 Bus are on the Timetables Page. We will be running an hourly service throughout the day. However, and initially from 17th April, the first “morning bus”, and one afternoon service will be dedicated to Arngask Primary School. The bus will leave Glenfarg at 10 past the hour and return from the Kinross Park and Ride at quarter to the hour. The running times are geared to allow connection with the incoming and outgoing M92 services to and from Edinburgh but at the moment this is being piloted and depends on Citylink punctuality — so at the moment this feature is “aspirational”. You will see a few destinations have a “B” rather than a time. These are our “bookable” destinations which will grow in number as we progress. Please allow two hours prior to travel when calling to book, and the day before for Saturday and early morning travel. If urgent, the team will try to accommodate requests up to an hour in advance. If you travel regularly, you can block book, but PLEASE let us know if you need to cancel a booked journey.
You can book the bookable journeys by calling 0845 605 5955
GCTG need you to use the bus - please let us know how you get on with the process! Sign up for our Facebook page, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop us in the street or in the Coffee Lounge. We need feedback to develop a service that is fit to serve the people of Glenfarg.
And now the best bit!
!!FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS WE WILL BE RUNNING A FREE SERVICE FOR EVERYONE!!
Please USE The 55 Bus. It now belongs to you.
Recruiting Drivers for the 55 Bus
An exciting new way to deliver public transport in rural areas!
Glenfarg Community Transport Group (GCTG) is a Scottish Charity based in Glenfarg, halfway between Kinross and Perth. The organisation was set up last year to tackle dwindling public transport provision in our rural community. GCTG is about to embark on an innovative project where we will enter into a partnership agreement with Perth and Kinross Council and the community will deliver its own public bus service, initially between Glenfarg and Kinross. In addition, we will operate the Home to School service for Arngask Primary School.
We will initially be using 16-seat minibuses to deliver these services, so big bus licences are not required - being a good driver, holding a Cat D1 licence and possessing great people skills are the essential qualities required for this job. We are just starting our journey and we hope that our drivers will become an integral part of our team and community and grow with us to deliver our aims of providing a frequent, reliable, flexible and connected service so that the residents in our village have a viable alternative to the car. We will also continue to operate our Community Bus using our volunteer drivers to provide outings further afield. Our bus services will help our community thrive and remain resilient.
The new 55 service starts on 1st April and will run between Glenfarg and Kinross throughout the day with an hourly frequency. The service will be supported by Demand Responsive Transport software and booking so that we can service a wider range of stops within our target area. It will connect with mainline bus services at Kinross Park & Ride. We have already attracted press coverage and our activities have been commended in the Scottish Parliament!
We are in the process of procuring low floor disabled accessible minibuses for the 55 service, and it is our aim to use electric vehicles as soon as this becomes practical.
To the GCTG Trustees
- To drive GCTG vehicles as required.
- To provide any necessary assistance for passengers before, during, or after travel, consistent with their transport needs.
- To utilise the equipment provided correctly to ensure passengers travel safely and comfortably.
- Taking responsibility for the daily upkeep of their vehicle and equipment (and other vehicles when required), including basic maintenance and cleanliness. Defect reporting is required.
- The completion of necessary paperwork and administration, including fares collection from passengers and delivery of fares and drivers sheets to the office.
- To undertake any induction and in-service training programme as required.
- To assist in training for other staff and volunteer drivers/escorts when required.
To apply for this post please email email@example.com and request a job application pack.
At the PKC budget meeting on 1st March, funding for the 55 bus service was approved. Our councillors worked hard behind the scenes ensuring that the 55 was protected from possible funding cuts. We are now confident that the proposal for Glenfarg Community Transport Group to operate the 55, in partnership with the council, will go ahead. Please use the service regularly and help us make a success of the venture.
We are excited because this development is in addition to our community minibus which will continue to be available for Glenfarg Community Groups to arrange outings and trips not covered by the 55 route - and fund raising for a dedicated minibus, owned by the village, is well underway.
Further details will be posted as soon as we have formally concluded the agreement. Any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
On the 5th January 2023 we will commence with the first Community Bus outing.
This will run between Glenfarg and Kinross. Route details
December 22 We are pleased to report that the PKC Cost of Living Fund have awarded us a grant to support us in providing a community bus through the months of January to March 23.
A reporter from The Courier is visiting the village on the 20th December to interview our volunteers. Keep an eye out for the article.
28 Oct 22
Glenfarg Community Transport Group are now members of the Community Transport Association giving us access to a vast level of support and information.
21 Oct 22
We are pleased to advise that the Scottish Charity Regulator has awarded Glenfarg Community Transport Group Charity Status. We are now a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, charity number is SC520068.
11 Sept 22
We are pleased to acknowledge the support of Glenfarg Community Council in the award of a micro grant towards the cost of MIDAS training for volunteer drivers. In addition to this we have also received a grant from Perth & Kinross Council which will be put towards the cost of training.
Should you be interested in becoming a volunteer driver and are in possession of a D1 classification on your driving licence then please contact us using our email address email@example.com