The BusVannin Manngo, used for the island’s dial-a-ride bus services (the DoI calls it ‘demand responsive rural transport’), cost a cool £28,700. Of this, £2,860 was spent on marketing its release.
The figures were revealed by DoI Minister Tim Crookall after a question from Ayre & Michael MHK Tim Johnston. The on demand buses are a real Marmite issue for local residents in Mr Johnston’s constituency who say they have been let down by the dept’s decision to buy minibuses and axe their regular bus routes.
Mr Crookall added: ‘As of 26th November, 1,580 customers had downloaded the app. The eligible Demand Responsive Transport area has 6,715 residential homes and the north of the island has approximately 14,000 population, which means approximately 11% of the population of the entire north have downloaded the app.’
We Don’t Know if Buses Are Late
Mr Crookall has also admitted his dept doesn’t know whether its buses are running on time. He was asked by Douglas North MHK John Wannenburgh how bus services punctuality is measured and how punctual services have been on each route in each of the last six.
In response, the Minister said: ‘The Department does not at present record punctuality of buses. The ticket machines do record the detail of every journey but any analysis would require a review of each individual journey which current resources do not allow. Schedule software is being developed so that this can be undertaken in the future.’
While the trials and tribulations of the capital’s horse trams have frustrated residents, the MER is up for two awards at the prestigious British Trams Online ‘Tram of the Year’ Awards. Yes it does all sound like a bit of a joke, but the island has done very well out of these awards in recent years and it helps to further the reputation of the island’s railway amongst rail aficionados, aka tourists.
This year, MER tram Number 2, which is a Guinness World Record holder is up for traditional tram of the year, while the Winter Heritage Transport Festival is shortlisted for event of the year.
You can read more about the nominees and vote here.