The first batch of 90 green Dial-a-Ride vehicles has now arrived in London. Dial-a-Ride is the door-to-door service that opens up London and provides a lifeline for those not able to travel without assistance.
The buses will allow older Londoners and those with disabilities to make vital journeys across central London in modern clean vehicles. They meet the Mayor’s tough air quality standards – four months before the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone comes into operation. Emissions will be reduced further as the majority of these vehicles have technology to stop engines unnecessarily running when the bus is not moving. The wider fleet of around 300 will continue to be upgraded ahead of the expansion of ULEZ to the North and South Circulars in 2021.
Dial-a-Ride caters for more than a million journeys a year, has high customer satisfaction and an exemplary safety record. The new vehicles will improve these further by creating an enhanced experience with better heating, air conditioning and a smoother journey. The vehicles also have automatic braking, to reduce the risk of collisions involving Dial-a-Ride vehicles.
TfL is taking action to reduce operating costs across all of its functions while maintaining the safety and reliability of London’s transport services. These Dial-a-Ride vehicles are an example of this. TfL has used its experiences of previous Dial-a-Ride vehicles to design out known issues or faults. This, along with the improved reliability of the modern engines, will reduce the ongoing maintenance and operational costs of running Dial-a-Ride.
James Mead, General Manager of Dial-a-Ride, said: “Dial-a-Ride is part of the city’s social fabric, making sure vulnerable Londoners are not isolated in the community. These vehicles also contribute to the wider societal benefit of cleaning up the air for future generations.
“Our customers tell us how highly they value the service and this is borne out in our customer satisfaction scores. Additionally, where we can we support people who may have thought they were dependent on Dial-a-Ride to travel on their own with travel mentors. We give them the tools they need to experience greater freedom when getting around.”