On-demand bus service ‘a game changer’ for Berwickshire

Bus services in Berwickshire have been revolutionised with the launch of a new rural service.

By Paul Kelly
Monday, 9th May 2022, 2:16 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 2:19 pm

With the support of Scottish Borders Council, Borders Buses has launched its on demand bus service Pingo.

The service is game-changing in making bus and transport more accessible to those living in rural communities.

The on-demand, app-enabled bus service offers bespoke travel for Berwickshire journeys not served by a scheduled bus service.

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Border Buses launched Pingo last week.

Pingo operates seven days a week from 7am to 9pm, serving Cockburnspath to Coldstream, Gordon and St Abbs and everywhere in between.

The Pingo service is available to both fare paying and concessionary card holders and is expected to be a popular choice for those looking to meet the main bus network as well as those wishing to travel to places where there is no current bus service.

To book the service customers should download the “Ride Pingo” app. The app will keep customers updated on pick up times and allow them to track bus journeys live. Alternatively, customers can call the Pingo line on 01289 385506.

The fare for Pingo is a £2 base fare plus 20p per mile. However to celebrate the launch of the service it will be £1 per journey until May 15.

Claire Lark, operations manager at Borders Buses, said: “This is an exciting new offering designed to join up bus journeys, integrate with the existing transport network and provide bus travel where a bus service doesn’t exist.

“Whilst we expect the service to be busy with a wide range of customers, we expect it to be especially popular with young people who now have access to free bus travel through the Young Person’s Free Travel Scheme in Scotland.

“Rather than relying on the taxi services of mum and dad, young people in rural communities can now book Pingo to connect with key bus routes going to areas such as Edinburgh, the Borders, East Lothian and Berwick or for travelling locally within the Berwickshire area.”

Gordon Grant, principal transport officer at Scottish Borders Council, added: “The face of bus is changing and on demand services offer a simple and easy way to make more rural communities accessible. The Pingo service delivers safe, convenient, reliable and tailored transport to members of the local community and we expect it to be a great alternative to the car.”

To book the service customers should download the “Ride Pingo” app. The app will keep customers updated on pick up times and allow them to track bus journeys live. Alternatively customers can call the Pingo line on 01289 385506. All info at Borders Buses website.

Bookings can be made up to seven days in advance, there is no minimum time for booking a trip, but it would depend on where the bus is at the time the request comes in.

Pingo fares will be calculated as a £2 base fare plus 20p per mile. The fare will automatically be calculated by the app when making booking. If paying on bus fare will be rounded up to the nearest 20p. Concession cards are accepted on the Pingo service.