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July 5, 2021

Expanding Operations: JustGo North Lincs

Despite launching mid-pandemic in Sep 2020, JustGo North Lincs was able to safely service passengers and has since expanded operations after 7 months.

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  • Fleet size: 7
  • Service hours: 7am - 7pm Weekdays, 8am - 6pm Saturday

Launched in September 2020, JustGo North Lincs services the sparsely populated hamlets, villages and market towns of North Lincolnshire.

The 876 sq. kilometre low-density service zone offers the 172,000 residents a flexible and affordable way to connect to work and their local community.

Key Features:

  • Dial-a-ride replacement/modernisation
  • Fixed-route integration and exclusion zones
  • Call Centre and App bookings
  • Cashless payments
  • Digital Payment Wallet
  • Driver and Passenger App
  • Call Centre and Operations Platform
  • Virtual meeting point pick up locations

The Problem

North Lincolnshire is one of the largest service zones for an On-Demand service, covering 876 sq. kilometres in a rural low-density setting. This presented a challenge to previous dial-a-ride and fixed-route solutions due to the inability to maintain adequate patronage to make them a viable option.

Public Transport is infrequent and non-existent in some areas of North Lincolnshire and a previous dial-a-ride service was discontinued leaving residents with limited travel options.

The new service needed to connect residents in a manner that is convenient, technologically innovative and cost-effective—whilst complementing existing Public Transport services in the area.

Key Challenges:

  • Maintain an even dispersion of vehicle across the zone during service hours
  • Reduce wait times for passengers and excessive miles driven by vehicles
  • Avoid known fixed-route transit corridors so as not to cannibalise the existing Public Transport network
  • Modify vehicle capacity to adhere to onboard social distancing protocols

Rural vs Urban Demand

With multiple vehicles in a fleet, On-Demand routing algorithms will tend to converge on passenger demand. This means that vehicles can group together in one area, leaving other areas of the zone unserviceable. This can work well in a high-density urban environment where demand is frequent and in close proximity, but poses significant challenges in a rural, low-density setting.

This ‘convergence’ can result in ‘stranded demand’, or passengers not being able to request a vehicle when and where they want it.

The DRT service design needed to accommodate the lower-frequency and sparse passenger requests, in order to work effectively.

The Solution

Liftango’s solution created a technology- driven way to combine both Community Transportation and Public Transportation trips within the one fleet—thereby improving the overall efficiency of the fleet.

Selection of the technology provider involved a competitive and detailed analysis of a previous dial-a-ride service, Call Connect.

By simulating a DRT service design prior to launch, Liftango was able to uncover key challenges to efficiently service such a large zone.

This involved identifying the optimal fleet size and zone design by simulating passenger demand within the area.

To overcome the known issue of vehicles grouping together or ‘converging’ on clusters of passenger demand, they are routed to strategic break points in between passenger trips. This ensures an even spread of vehicles across the entire service zone, placing them in close proximity to anticipated passenger demand.

Further work was completed on the identification and exclusion of known fixed- route transit corridors. This ensured the DRT service did not cannibalise existing Public Transport patronage, but instead complemented the network and connected the sparsely populated and underserved areas of North Lincolnshire.

This service launched mid-pandemic in September 2020, and despite challenges that arose in the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak, JustGo North Lincs was able to safely service passengers and has since expanded operations in April 2021 to include an additional vehicle.

The Results

  • One fleet servicing multiple passenger profiles (community/commuter/commercial)
  • Average trip time of 24 minutes
  • Average growth rate in new passengers 7.5% amidst lockdowns
  • Patronage less affected during lockdowns compared to adjacent fixed-route services
  • Integration of fixed-route services to avoid cannibalisation
  • Heightened uptake during UK’s vaccination rollout
  • Fleet expansion due to increased demand
  • 47% App bookings vs 53% Call Centre bookings


  • For rural areas—design, deployment and growth must have a collaborative approach between operator and technology provider. Each geography is different and requires unique customisations to efficiently run a DRT service.
  • Having a 28 day advanced booking capability gives passengers certainty—especially non-commuter passengers expecting a community transport style of operation.
  • Using live service data, the Liftango Data Science team has been able to simulate the effect of an additional vehicle and provide data-driven guidance on expected performance.
  • DRT is still a new space and ongoing co-creation of localised functionality ensures the best outcome possible.
  • Sparsely populated rural areas do not lend themselves well to pure on-demand. Last-minute bookings often lead to a poor passenger experience. Demand-responsive public transport must accommodate the extended travel times and distances encountered in rural areas.
  • Simply dispatching a vehicle when a passenger request comes in is not adequate enough, where the passenger is and how long it takes the vehicle to get there is important. Longer travel times mean that the technology needs to monitor and adapt vehicle locations to ensure any future demand can be serviced.

Passenger Tesimonials

  • “I have used the service quite a lot and to be honest I’d be lost without it now. Thank you so much.”
  • “Amazing service! We used this so my son could get to college. It was great and we will use this again!”
  • “I am so grateful that this service is in place for me to get to and from work as they have cancelled the service bus.”
  • “Just getting in touch to say what a great service you are providing in South Killingholme.”

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