HITRANS and Liftango partner to advance sustainable transport in Scotland

The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), a regional transport organisation in the North of Scotland, has joined forces with on-demand shared transport company, Liftango, to provide sustainable and accessible transit services to residents in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

This strategic partnership will leverage Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) software to combat transport inequality, reduced funding and a lack of commercial trips to rural areas of the country.

Neil MacRae, Partnership Manager at HITRANS, said: “Digital technology such as Liftango’s is helping us to deliver more equitable transport across the region. The flexibility and convenience of the Dynamic DRT it provides stood out. We look forward to the ongoing partnership as we roll out services across our partner Local Authorities and Fleet Operators.”

The vast majority of Public Transport on Scotland’s islands do not operate on a commercial basis. Commercial services are restricted to a few of the larger settlements and some longer distance arterial routes on the mainland. Public and community transport is almost entirely supported through a mix of services contracted by local authorities or volunteers, with some grants coming from the local or central government.

The cost of providing these services is high, and funding has not been growing to match this. The COVID-19 pandemic, the current level of Public Transport and the existing model have only increased these challenges.

In response to these challenges, HITRANS and Liftango have collaborated to roll out DRT services to the local authorities and fleet operators in the region. The rollout will allow multiple operators to independently administer their services exclusively through a single digital platform provided by Liftango. These services range from fully Demand-Responsive Transport services within specific or flexible geography on designated days to hybrid services that operate on a pre-booking model and serve particular destinations.

David Mawhinney, Head of Liftango – Europe, commented: “We see our platform being able to help bring transport to the communities across the Highlands and Islands. Flexibility and availability of transport options have been a challenge over the years for many of the region’s residents. They will now be able to access equitable transport services by making advanced or last-minute on-demand bookings at a time most suitable to their schedules.” 

HITRANS and Liftango will be facilitating sustainable transport in the region by improving access to transit and resolving transport inequality for residents in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.