Integrated demand-responsive transport produces cost savings in Glasgow

The Glasgow Social Work Voluntary Club Transport project won the Scottish award for 'Excellence in Technology and Innovation' for their joint delivery of transport to the elderly, disabled and those with learning difficulties in the city.

GCC found itself facing substantial budgetary challenges in continuing to deliver its non-statutory social care transport services and approached SPT to investigate alternative methods of delivery to try to ensure sustainability in the long run. Within the ICMA-Mobilife project, a Cost and Price Model was developed for the project by AECOM, which has been applied for the first time in Glasgow. The results predicted that a probable integration of current demand responsive transport services could reduce operational costs of these non-statutory transport services by nearly 300 000 €. This finding encouraged GCC's Social Services department to team up with SPT - the Glasgow Social Work Voluntary Club transport project was born. SPT coordinates services from its Travel Dispatch Centre (using a real-time booking and dispatching system) and GCC makes available vehicles which are driven by community transport volunteers. According to SPT, the project has cut operational costs by 40%, which is beyond the 30% savings originally predicted by the ICMA Mobilife Price and Cost Model.

This exercise has not only proven that savings can be made without a drop in service quality, it has also shown that the ICMA Mobilife Price and Cost Model is a useful planning tool for transport service providers.

This initiative will be presented at the Annual Polis Conference.