• Show and Tell with Glenfarg Community Transport Group

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    • Show and Tell with Glenfarg Community Transport Group
    • by Nicola Mitchell
      Development Officer, Scotland

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    We launched our first ever ‘Show and Tell’ session with an informative and inspiring talk from the Glenfarg Community Transport Group.   

    Our Show and Tell series is a new platform for CTA members to share their innovative and inspirational community transport stories with other members and, boy did our first session deliver! 

    Our guest speaker was Drew Smart, Chair of the Glenfarg Community Transport Group who explained how their Section 22 bus service went from an idea to a highly popular and celebrated service in just under 2 years.

    Drew talked us through the development of their scheduled ‘The 55’ service, the challenges of setting this up, the highlights and how their very small committee continues to deliver this service plus others on a voluntary basis.


    Glenfarg Community Transport Group was first set up by the Community Council to improve transport in and around the village of Glenfarg and to reduce the dependence on cars in their community.  The original plan was to raise funds to purchase a vehicle that would encourage social and recreational activities for the community. 

    After having their public bus in Glenfarg cut and then saved only a year prior, ‘The 55’ was set up following the retiral of the local bus company.  Being new to CT and only delivering a small-scale service on a Section 19 permit, the committee quickly established there was no one better to deliver a scheduled bus service than themselves and so the expansion began!  

    In April 2023, they took over the 55 service from Kinross to Glenfarg. In January 2024, they decided to extend the route into Perth.


    The Community Bus (Section 19 permit) is operated using a 16-seat minibus and a 9-seat people carrier.  Available to community groups for hire and used to deliver communities to group activities.  A team of volunteer drivers deliver this service.

    ‘The 55’ is a scheduled registered route with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.  It is a semi fixed route with hybrid digital demand responsive transport (DDRT).  This allows them to operate a flexi-route with some wiggle room to take bookings from customers living in smaller communities off the main route.

    Delivered in partnership with Perth & Kinross Council on a PSP (Public Social Partnership) Agreement.    The bus has space for 1 wheelchair user but with 4 regular wheelchair users, they need to be able to pre-book their space.   

    The team use the MooveFlexi App developed by HITRANS and Liftango which allows passengers to pre-book the ‘wiggly’ pickup points along the route. A team of 5 paid drivers deliver this service with the bank of volunteers covering sickness and holidays. 

    School Transport (Section 19 permit) delivered on the ‘home to school’ contract on school days with Perth and Kinross Council.   This bus carries children from the surrounding area to Arngask Primary School (a small rural school) in the morning and takes them home in the afternoon.

    Active Travel – working closely with the Glenfarg Freewheelers and supporting them to secure funding to deliver an e-bike loan scheme.


    In the beginning, they “begged and borrowed” vehicles from the Council and other community transport groups to allow them to pilot their service whilst they started to raise funds.  They bought their first bus, second hand, and bought the 9-seat people carrier to do the school run but quickly outgrew it, demonstrating the importance of gathering evidence of demand before purchasing new. 


    Originally serving 120 passengers per week, the group were keen to double their numbers by the end of the first year.  By the end of year 2, they were delivering a staggering 942 passenger journeys per week! 

    Fares are kept as low as possible at £2.50 for a single fare or you can get a 10-journey pass for £10.  Hopper fares, if you are only travelling a few stops, are charged at £1.  

    Top tips

    • The best piece of advice they received was to join CTA!  
    • Visit other CT groups to find out more about what they do and how they do it 
    • You need to evidence that your service is needed if you are going to secure funding, so run a pilot service first to build up demand 
    • Ask your customers for feedback regularly and be prepared to adapt to the needs of your customers 
    • Build a relationship with your Council’s Transport Team.  They will be invaluable to you!   
    • Don’t be scared of the unknown or asking for help – there are plenty of people out there who will be willing to helpincluding us at CTA!

    You can watch a recording of this session on our YouTube channel, here.

    If you would like to arrange to visit the Glenfarg Community Transport Group in person, please contact Drew on transport@glenfarg.org.  Find out more on www.glenfargct.co.uk 

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