Information Commissioner's Office Registry Number: Z1623890

The Vision

A person visits a friend or family member. After drinking a cup of tea and dunking a couple of biscuits they realise it's time to go home and pick the kids up from school. They text or phone Fellowtravellers to let us know where they are and where they need to go, and whether they need door-to-door transport (say if it's raining) or whether the nearest street corner will do. A couple of minutes later a text message comes through to let them know their bus will arrive in three minutes. Three minute later the bus pulls up and takes them to their destination - if it's a popular route it will be a bus; if it's an average route it will be a minubus; and if it's a less popular route it may be an eight seater shared taxi.

A person has a regular daily commute to work, and requires a long-term contract. They input their key requirements for daily travel including journey length, acceptable price, timings, etc. Immediately they are able to view several offers that already have been uploaded by local transport providers; and can compare price, reputation score, vehicle type, etc. If an offer is acceptable, the person and transport provider agree terms which are acceptable to both parties. If no offers are acceptable, the person's requirements stay in the system and any new offers which correspond to their requirements are forwarded on.

A registered minibus transport provider, who specialises in once-occuring routes which are created in response to exact known demand, decides that today they want to work a short day. They input their start point and route time into the system; the system generates a circular route, including passenger list, which meets the provider's requirements. Additional passengers are added to the route throughout the day as new requests come into the system.

In fact, we already have the software design to deliver this new vision of public transport, where wasted capacity is strategically eliminated; but what we need to realise this vision is to generate a critical mass of people using the service. The current system is the crudest workable version, but as more people begin to sign up we will very quickly be able to more towards the ultimate vision of crowd sourced public transport.