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April 3, 2023

Ring & Ride, UK

Full-scale, demand-responsive transport for the West Midlands community.

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The Ring & Ride service, operated by The National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT) for Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), services community members who face challenges in using standard modes of transport.

This digital demand-responsive transport service is a vital lifeline that provides a readily available, low-cost transportation solution to the targeted members of the West Midlands community. With routing and scheduling expertise packaged in a DRT operations platform, followed by the launch of a passenger app specifically tailored towards community transport and dial-a-ride passengers’ needs, both passengers and drivers can easily liaise on transport routes and times - a vast improvement on a previously manual system.

Key Points

  • Dial-a-ride digitalisation
  • Driver and Passenger App
  • Largest DRT service in the U.K.
  • Over 38,000 passenger trips completed
  • 10,000 passenger trips completed per month on average

The Problem

TfWM wanted to modernise their dial-a-ride service to improve efficiency and to make their services more accessible for their local ridership.

TfWM’s previous manual system did not align with their long-term strategic objectives of providing safe, reliable, affordable and accessible transportation services in the region. They knew that there were efficiencies to be made, now and in the long-term, that could benefit everybody from operational staff to drivers and, above all, passengers. They also wanted to look at opening up public transport services to lesser-served areas, but for this to be a possibility they needed a purpose-built digital platform and service provider.

The Solution

Liftango collaborated with The National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT) and Transport for West Midlands to transform the service into a digital DRT operations platform for effective transport coordination for the West Midlands community.

Liftango’s wealth of expertise in modern-day transport tech built a solid foundation for streamlining and future-proofing the existing Ring & Ride service. From improving routing, scheduling and operational data visibility to exploring options for a custom passenger and driver app, Liftango have considered every passenger touchpoint.

Additional custom features were also built into the platform to facilitate seamless community transport and allow easy use by the targeted community members. TfWM have benefited from passenger journey features such as Liftango’s automated trip and pick up reminders that passengers receive by SMS.

To help the Ring & Ride project further, Liftango will be releasing a custom passenger and driver app with TfWM featuring a user-centred design, for easier access to the service and effortless tracking of real-time journey information.

The Results

Patronage of the Ring & Ride service maintained a steady incline since implementation of the platform. By December 2022, service coverage was expanded to include 80+ vehicles over seven zones, growing monthly trip figures to over 10,000 trips per month.

With improved route optimisation, community members can now accurately select pick-up and drop-off destinations for faster, more convenient travel.

This service upgrade went a long way in upholding transport equity and mobility justice in the community. Without it, vulnerable members of the community would have had inadequate means of transit in the West Midlands area – a blatant injustice that couldn’t be afforded.


The unique nature of this service required a rethinking and custom structuring of Liftango’s DRT app features to suit specific individual needs.

Liftango’s tailored DRT solution facilitated community transport in the West Midlands, increasing passenger trips post-release and contributing to a more sustainable mode of transit in the area.

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