Ferintosh Community Bus
November 2023 Pupils in considerable numbers are now using the FCB after their After School Activities. As seen earlier this year, the pupils were first using the FCB after staying on for After School Studies in the run up to their exams. Now, all the year round, the FCB is enabling our students to stay on for their After School Activities as well. So an hour of gym or rugby or netball or football and then a wee trip on the FCB straight to their homes.
March 2023 Pupils of Fortrose Academy who live in the FCC area are now staying on after hours to access vital After School Study in the run up to their exams. Fortrose Academy and the wee bus have teamed up to create this new service just for those pupils. Ordinarily, with the school bus leaving school at 4pm, pupils and parents had the unenviable choice of either not being able to access the extra tuition so helpfully provided by the teaching staff (4pm to 5pm) or for parents to make extra car journeys to collect the pupils at the later time. In agreement with Fortrose Academy and its staff's organisational skills, the FCB, with its volunteer drivers, now provides a school run that collects the pupils at 5pm and transports each of the pupils directly to their home doorstep. Great feedback so far!
November 2022 An APP has been launched by HITRANS that enables residents to manage bookings and track journeys on line. The Ferintosh Community Bus has been chosen as the first bus service in the Highlands to enjoy this new facility and, after a few weeks, our passengers are now enjoying the ease of booking at any time and receiving reassuring prompts that the bus is on the way to collect them
Autumn 2022 Journeys to Dingwall and surrounding areas are now available! In the evenings and weekends with no Stagecoach services available, volunteer drivers are now available to collect residents from their homes to take them into the Dingwall area.
June 2022 One journalist's view of the wee bus can be seen here: https://www.communitycouncils.scot/the-work-of-community-councils/showcases/ferintosh-community-bus-tackling-transport-deprivation
Monday 28 February 2022, 1.30pm, Findon Hall with Kate Forbes MSP
Residents in the FCC area have been poorly served by public transport for many years and indeed have lost bus services in the past. The current limited bus services are found to be useful only by a very small number of the FCC's residents.
FCC has been exploring better options for a number of years and one interesting and innovative pilot was run during 2021 with FCC as a member of a partnership involving HITRANS, The Highland Council, Stagecoach and CSI Ross-shire. Residents provided overwhelming support that the pilot was deemed successful and that the service should be launched into a permanent service.
The key test for this service over the next few years is whether, by running a small electric vehicle flexibly to collect and return residents to and from their houses, more residents will now find that this is a more useful public service.
The leaflet and the FAQ's below explains the full scope of this new flexible service.