A new on-demand bus service being trialled on the Mornington Peninsula is giving people in Rosebud, Dromana, McCrae and Safety Beach a faster and more convenient way to travel.
FlexiRide is a demand-responsive weekday service with no fixed route, allowing passengers to book a trip by phone or via the FlexiRide app from their nearest physical or virtual bus stop to or from Dromana Hub Shopping Centre, Rosebud Plaza, Rosebud Hospital and Rosebud Village Shopping Centre.
Introduced in February as a 12-month trial service, FlexiRide has replaced Route 787 between Safety Beach and Rosebud, and Route 886 from Rosebud to nearby Chisolm TAFE.
Passengers with limited mobility like 75-year-old Lynne Jarrett can request a more tailored service that collects her from her door or an agreed accessible location.
Lynne uses FlexiRide several times a week to visit Dromana and shop at Rosebud Plaza, which is 10 kilometres from her home in Safety Beach.
“It’s made a big difference to my life,” Lynne said. “It’s like a taxi but you don’t have to pay anywhere near as much.
“It goes right to your door, so you don’t have to worry about going to a bus stop, which makes a big difference.
“When I found out about FlexiRide I thought ‘oh beauty, at least it’s going to save my legs and my knees’.”
Rosebud resident Cheryl Rogers catches FlexiRide three times a week from her home on Jetty Road to Rosebud Plaza to shop and visit her doctor.
“It’s great,” she said. “You get picked up at your door and you don’t have to wait for the bus in cold weather and the drivers are lovely and help us a lot.”
Ventura driver Ray Young said he liked that FlexiRide allowed him to go the extra mile for his passengers.
“There’s more of a customer service focus to my role because the passengers are mainly elderly people doing shopping or going to appointments, and I help them get on and off the bus,” he said.
Ventura spokesman Hayden Matthews said FlexiRide was performing well, attracting around 20 passengers per day, with patronage expected to reach an average of 35 passengers per day within six months.
He said the average wait time was six minutes per booking.