Minibus services relaunched across Greater Manchester to help vulnerable residents
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The Ring and Ride service resumed again on Monday (May 18) with safe social distancing in place.
The service, which is run by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), is aimed at people who have difficulty accessing the general public transport network due to disability, walking difficulties or other reasons.
TfGM’s advice remains that people should stay at home as much as possible and only make a journey if it’s necessary. Those that do need to make a journey have been advised the service is operating with some restrictions in place currently.
The service will be reintroduced as a kerb-to-kerb service only and will operate on weekdays between 8am and 7pm.
There will be no access to the tail lift for wheelchairs or mobility aids, and any passengers needing tail lift facilities will be offered a taxi journey instead.
Drivers will be unable to give assistance to passengers when boarding or alighting the minibus and passengers must be able to secure their own seatbelt.
Only two passengers will be allowed in the vehicle at any one time, rising to three passengers if two are living at the same address.
Fares of £1 for concessionary plus passengers and £2 for all other passengers will be charged on a temporary basis. No change will be provided and no tickets will be issued to reduce contact between drivers and passengers.
To reduce the risk to all staff and passengers, drivers will wear face masks and gloves while working and all vehicles will be rigorously cleaned, including a steam clean of the seats, before services resume. Vehicles will also be wiped down between trips.
TfGM’s customer director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “It’s really important for us to resume the Ring & Ride service safely so we can provide transport for essential journeys for people with disabilities and older people with walking difficulties, who may find it harder to use reduced public transport services.
“However, our message to the public remains to stay at home as much as possible and only travel if it’s necessary; stay local and shop local where you can.”
The Ring & Ride contact centre also reopened with staff now available Monday to Friday, between 8am and 4pm.
TfGM is also advising residents of Greater Manchester that if they do need to make a necessary journey, they should walk or cycle where possible; and if they do have to use public transport to wear a face covering, keep their distance from other passengers, clean their hands frequently and use contactless payment.
For more information about the service, including on how to register, visit the TfGM Ring & Ride webpage at https://tfgm.com/public-transport/ring-and-ride-minibuses, call the contact centre on 0161 200 6011 or 0845 688 4933, or email [email protected]