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On-demand bus service 'm.connect' launches in Moray

By Ewan Malcolm

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A NEW and enhanced on-demand bus service has been launched in Moray today.

The on-demand service will cover the whole of Moray.
The on-demand service will cover the whole of Moray.

The Dial M bus service has been rebranded as m.connect with passengers in Moray now able to book using a new, easy-to-use app.

While people can still use the booking line, the app makes the service more flexible than ever, allowing passengers to book two weeks in advance or up to to one hour before travel.

The key aim of the m.connect service is to increase the numbers of people using public transport.

It also aims to reduce the number of people facing transport barriers to employment, education and recreation and reduce the environmental impact of transport in the area.

The app, which is available to download for free from apple and google play stores, allows users to create and manage journeys. Bus ticket features, vehicle tracking and notification options are all part of the app function.

Councillor Marc Macrae (Conservative, Fochabers Lhanbryde), Chair of Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “Many of us will have spotted the m.connect buses dotting around Moray in recent weeks as we prepared to see the launch of the full service, so it’s great to have the project live now. Transport is an issue we often hear is a barrier for people to take part in activities, commute to work and get around the region.

"This on-demand service, as part of the Growth Deal’s Bus Revolution, goes some way to remove these concerns and get folk moving around Moray with much more ease and a real potential to boost the local economy.

“The simplicity of the app, booking process and low-cost fare structure is a real boost to the service and I look forward to seeing many more people opting to take the bus as we all become more mindful of our carbon footprint.”

Six new electric vehicles, each with on-board WiFi, are being added to the m.connect fleet.

Options to pay by credit/debit card (contactless), National (Scotland) Entitlement Cards and with cash are available, while the operating zones and fare structure have been simplified. There’s also a £9 all day travel option.

Group bookings will be available from October 2023 with the option to repeat a favourite journey without going through the full booking process each time.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead added: “Reducing emissions is crucial if we are to reach net zero by 2045 so I applaud the introduction of electric buses powered from renewable sources in Moray.

“Scottish Government support through the Moray Growth Deal is contributing to creating a more sustainable and prosperous local economy where transport in rural areas is more easily accessible.”

M.connect is the first stage of the £4.3m Bus Revolution project, which is being funded through £4m of Scottish Government funding and £300,000 from Moray Council.

More details including fare structure, route map and booking details can be found on http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_125954.html.

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