Services that are there for employees, no matter their shift pattern
The COVID-19 lockdown meant the local bus network was reduced especially in the early mornings and later evenings. Stagecoach recognised that Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust needed a way to ensure there were still convenient bus services to travel to work and take staff home at the end of their shifts.
We could see that there was also a need to encourage modal shift away from private cars, to reduce pressure on hospital car parking space and improve air quality
Stagecoach and technology partner, Via Van worked together to create the Stagecoach Connect App. Our team mapped the Hull area and bus stops on to the Stagecoach Connect system to enable routes and timetables to be calculated. Full size single decker buses were used to ensure social distancing for passengers and we allocated regular bus drivers to the staff shuttles and trained them in the use of the system.
We provided a full suite of marketing materials to the Trust, in electronic and paper formats, to promote Stagecoach Connect. Working with transport officers from Hull City Council, we also secured an initial tranche of external funding to establish the new staff transport service.
Through the Stagecoach Connect App, NHS staff register so they can book journeys to and from work on the demand responsive shuttles. These quick and efficient shared trips run early in the morning and late into the evening hours. Users can track the location of their bus, change or cancel a booking, and pre-book to match with their upcoming shift schedules.
The pre bookable shuttle journeys complement the existing fixed line services, creating easy access for healthcare workers during additional shift patterns. The average ride is around 20 minutes covering 5.5 miles. Selected pick-up and drop-off locations are matched with a seat in a high-capacity bus that is fully compliant with public health guidelines for social distancing. Stagecoach Connect collects real time data and uses this to form detailed metric reports covering passenger numbers, journey profiles, waiting and travel times, and satisfaction ratings. So, key workers do not have to worry about a tired drive home or finding a car parking space during busy times.
A great alternative to the car - around 400 Hull NHS staff regularly use the Stagecoach Connect shuttle each week
Satisfied customers - staff consistently rate the Stagecoach Connect Shuttle at 4.9 out of 5.0
Growth through innovation - Stagecoach East Midlands is operating similar Stagecoach Connect NHS Shuttles in Mansfield and Grimsby
Hull University Teaching Hospitals have worked with Stagecoach on a number of projects over the years to deliver improved services to Trust staff, patients and visitors. These include a park and ride service, commuter plans and most recently a demand response transport solution for staff. We have found Stagecoach to be a customer focused organisation willing to explore new ideas and work with the Trust and other partner organisations in an effective and collaborative approach to deliver solutions which meet service user needs.