More Kutsuplus buses next year
HSL wants to expand its new demand-responsive Kutsuplus service faster than originally planned. In September, HSL will launch competitive tendering for the operation of 30 vehicles.
On the basis of earlier decisions, five new Kutsuplus buses will start operating at the beginning of next year. At the moment, there are ten Kutsuplus buses. HSL aims to increase the number of buses in phases so that in March 2014, there would be 30 and in May, 45 Kutsuplus buses.
The pilot phase of the service will continue until the end of 2015. By increasing the number of vehicles faster than originally planned, HSL will be able to collect more information on customer needs, passenger numbers and the cost-effectiveness of the service. A sufficient number of vehicles is important also for system development.
The competitive tendering will be contingent on financing as the proposed faster expansion of the service requires approval by the General Meeting of HSL. The contracts will not be awarded until the approval of the Operational and Financial Plan 2014-2016. If the increase in budget is not approved, the tendering process will be discontinued. The tendering process has to be launched in September 2013 so that it would be possible to have the vehicles in operation in early 2014.
Active development of the service
The Kutsuplus service, which is based on a fully-automated booking system, has been actively developed since the service was launched in last October. Feedback from users and drivers has played a key role in the development.
The improved search for departure and arrival places makes booking a ride even easier than before. Besides searching by street address or stop number, it is now possible to search using the names of well-known places such as hotels or schools. Another new feature is the possibility to reserve a space for a pram.
There are over a thousand Kutsuplus stops and more are being added. For example, there are new stops in Kulosaari and Mustikkamaa.
The service has received a wealth of positive feedback from users. For example, the users have noticed that Kutsuplus is excellent for short crosstown journeys for which there is no direct public transport link.