The original Bwcabus idea was devised by Professor Stuart Cole in response to a need to improve bus service frequency and the passenger experience in rural areas.
Following extensive research conducted by the WTRC, and discussions with Welsh Government officials and Carmarthenshire County Council officers, the concept and then the technical aspects were developed.
The WTRC has developed the software system that allows the service to operate on demand and provide a flexible service. The system uses some of the most sophisticated technology available to provide dynamic scheduling which reacts to the daily variations in demand patterns. This was developed with the help of GIS / GPS expertise and incorporates the use of satellite communication, and a computerised scheduling / booking module.
The integrated system shows how modern technology can be applied to issues such as rural public transport provision.
The delivery of this project has been a model for successful partnership between the University of South Wales, Welsh Government, Carmarthenshire County Council, Ceredigion County Council, Traveline Cymru and private bus operators. The project has shown how industry, government and academia can work together to produce and implement radical ideas from concept to innovative, practical solutions.
Bwcabus has already won three prestigious awards in recognition of its success, scooping top honours for excellence in ‘Transport Policy and Planning’ at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport National UK awards, the ‘Most Innovative Transport Project’ at the National Transport Times UK awards and Best Partnership at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Cymru awards.
Owen Clark, senior research fellow and part of the Bwcabus management team said “It’s very pleasing to have taken Bwcabus from a piece of research all the way through to a nationally acclaimed integrated transport service. We will continue to support our partners and develop Bwcabus to become the model for the development of public transport in rural areas across Wales.”