Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

VAMOOZ to break new ground in the UK bus industry

29 Apr 2017 by Ben Mansfield


VAMOOZ, the app-based crowdfunding project being pioneered by North of England bus operator Transdev Blazefield, moves an important step closer to launch later this month as an experienced economics and transport expert takes the driving seat.

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Rebecca Reeve-Burnett joined the Harrogate-based company as its first VAMOOZ Sales and Operations Manager on Monday 24 April with a brief to work with schools, colleges and other organisations to build partnerships ahead of the launch of the VAMOOZ app.

VAMOOZ will seek individual customers to crowdfund regular services to specific destinations, such as schools and business parks that may not lie conveniently on the existing bus networks. Day trips will also be available to sports venues, shopping parks, festivals and events. Payment is made via the VAMOOZ app, and the final price for all customers decreases as more people commit to travelling.

The concept behind VAMOOZ is entirely new in the UK bus industry, and grew from busy buses during weekday mornings on the company’s popular 36: Riding Redefined route linking Harrogate with Leeds and Ripon, as a result of large numbers of young people travelling to schools and colleges in Harrogate.

Transdev approached parents and asked if any would be willing to commit to sending their children to school on a dedicated bus – and over a two-week period, over 70 parents said they would buy season tickets to travel on the dedicated school bus, plus the rest of Transdev’s network in Harrogate.

The success of the Harrogate scheme then led to a similar service in Lancashire – making the concept of crowdsourced buses a reality and creating a successful concept which new recruit Rebecca Reeve-Burnett will now roll out across Transdev’s operating companies on both sides of the Pennines.

Welcoming Rebecca on board, Transdev Blazefield CEO Alex Hornby said:

“It’s a very exciting time to be in at the beginning of VAMOOZ, an entirely new approach which we believe may transform how buses are provided and funded.”

“We needed someone who would embrace the concept and be an ambassador for VAMOOZ - and I’m pleased to say Rebecca fits the bill perfectly. With her wealth of experience in politics and economics as well as transport, Rebecca is the ideal person to lead this pioneering initiative for our industry and the thousands of people who travel across the North.

“We are all set for a successful launch of VAMOOZ imminently, with a new app, website and a range of social media communications now under final testing. We would encourage people to get in touch as we seek suggestions for the first trips to be provided in this way.”

Rebecca Reeve-Burnett joined Transdev Blazefield on Monday 24 April from a recruitment consultancy, and is an economics graduate from the University of York. She has also worked alongside Transport Minister and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones as a senior caseworker.

A councillor for the Rossett Ward of Harrogate Borough Council since 2014, Rebecca sits on the council’s executive Cabinet with responsibility for Planning and previously held the Sustainable Transport portfolio.

Rebecca’s responsibilities will include working with schools, colleges and other organisations including key stakeholders, towards a successful launch of VAMOOZ.

A special wifi equipped bus wearing a bespoke purple livery promoting VAMOOZ was launched at a photoshoot in Harrogate on 26 April.