Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) has begun a pilot of an on-demand bus service with an accompanying smartphone app and website.
Named Tees Flex, the service is set to run for three years in areas around Darlington and Stockton, Hartlepool, and Redcare and Cleveland.
The authority said that passengers will be able to book a bus through the app, website or over the phone, requesting pick-up and drop-off points within the serviced area and to destinations including stations and hospitals outside of the area.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “There are far too many people cut off in rural communities that find it difficult to see their friends and family, access essential health services, get to the supermarket or, most importantly, the jobs and training opportunities that we are creating across the region.”
He added: “This Tees Flex service is a great answer to get those not served by other routes moving and where they need to be.”
The pilot is being run with bus company Stagecoach and if successful could be extended across the region.
Image from Stagecoach