VAMOOZ’s creators, the Harrogate-based bus operator Transdev Blazefield, launched the concept in May with three sold-out trips to the One Love Manchester concert, and it has quickly become a success with high demand and expansion into schools and leisure markets.
Now the VAMOOZ concept is coming to the South, thanks to a unique partnership between Transdev Blazefield and leading municipal bus operator Reading Buses.
Payment is made securely via the app, and the final price for everyone falls as more people sign up to join each trip.
Transdev Blazefield CEO Alex Hornby says:
“We’re delighted to have been able to reach a deal with a leading company like Reading Buses to use the VAMOOZ app and technology to run their own trips in the South, much as we do so successfully in the North.
“This deal demonstrates what is possible when two like-minded innovative public transport companies work together. We are bringing the benefits of an amazing idea to make effective use of bus fleets and offering more travel opportunities for people up and down the country.
“The idea behind VAMOOZ is entirely new in the UK bus industry, and we’re sure the people of Reading and beyond will love it every bit as much as those in Yorkshire and Lancashire already do!
“We look forward to creating further similar partnerships with other operators in the future.”
The deal to bring VAMOOZ to Berkshire is being hailed as a positive breakthrough for public transport in the south of England by Reading Buses CEO Martijn Gilbert:
"We're delighted to be launching VAMOOZ in Reading and the surrounding area. This groundbreaking solution will be great for our customers and brings a new dimension to affordable and green travel beyond our traditional local bus network leading to many more journeys and potentially even paving the way for new services.
“The app based and crowdsourced nature of VAMOOZ is also a great fit with our technology and innovation agenda here at Reading Buses and the opportunity to collaborate with Transdev Blazefield, another of the UK's pioneering passenger transport providers, heralds a great step forward in the evolution of the future of the UK bus sector".
Back in the North, VAMOOZ continues to grow and offer a wider variety of destinations, many inspired by customer suggestions – ranging from traditional family favourites like Scarborough, Blackpool and Alton Towers, to special events including next month’s V Festival at Weston Park in Staffordshire, the Leeds Festival Weekend and the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne, Lancashire.
VAMOOZ Manager Rebecca Reeve-Burnett added: “That’s one of the most exciting things about VAMOOZ – it gives everyone the ability to go where they choose, when they choose.
“The customer feedback we’ve had from our VAMOOZ trips so far has been fantastic, and I’m certain the concept will prove every bit as popular in Berkshire. It truly is a first for public transport in the UK and we’re excited to see it being taken forward by Reading Buses, another of the UK’s most innovative bus operators.”
The full list of the first round of trips, designed for the school summer holidays, will be published on the app in the coming days and will include Brighton, Portsmouth, Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures. They’ll also be an option to suggest future destinations for VAMOOZ in the future.