Britain's largest demand-responsive bus service to expand after passing 100,000 journeys mark

More than 100,000 journeys have been made on PickMeUp, Go-Ahead Group’s ground-breaking on-demand ride-sharing service since it launched in June 2018.

Over 22,000 registered users have signed up to the app and an average of 3,500 journeys are now completed per week.

  • PickMeUp in Oxford smashes internal forecasts after nine months of operation
  • Zone to expand with extra buses and additional staff
  • Buses pick passengers up on the nearest street corner at the touch of an app

In the light of the service’s popularity, Go-Ahead is expanding the zone to serve Summertown, an additional area of Oxford, from Sunday April 21st. The zone expansion forms part of its growth plans which have also seen an investment in five new jobs and two new buses this year, with support from Oxford Science Park.

PickMeUp, managed by the Oxford Bus Company on behalf of Go-Ahead Group, is the largest scheme of its kind to be launched by a UK bus company. It enables passengers to request a mini-bus pick-up within 15 minutes at a virtual bus stop using a mobile phone app. The service provides the flexibility to choose both the start and end point of journeys within the Eastern Arc of the city. Technology enables passengers to be matched with others making similar journeys to enable ride sharing.

PickMeUp operates in an area with a high concentration of car use, with more than nine out of ten commuters travelling to work in their own vehicles. The initiative is intended to tackle worsening traffic congestion and a shortage of parking as Oxford’s economy grows.

Go-Ahead partnered with cutting edge New York ride-sharing start up Via to launch the service. Via is a global leader in ride-sharing technology with operations in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, London, and Amsterdam, and a growing number of partnerships with cities, public transit authorities, and private operators around the world.

Katy Taylor, Commercial and Customer Director at Go-Ahead Group, said: “Passengers have embraced this new idea and we’re looking at ways to introduce demand-responsive bus services elsewhere in the UK. We’re always keen to find ways to meet customers’ needs through better use of transport and innovation.

“Passengers and local businesses have told us they want more flexibility and greater connectivity and we’re working to deliver on those. It’s good to see that PickMeUp is running ahead of expectations – many of the people using this service would otherwise have been travelling by private car.”

PickMeUp operates between 6.00am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday and between 7am and midnight on Saturday and 9am to 9pm on Sundays, with an average response time of 10 to 15 minutes. An introductory fare of £2.50 per journey is still being charged, with a surcharge of £2.50 if the journey could be made via an existing Oxford Bus Company bus route and the walk is 200 metres or less. Multi-journey passes are available as well as corporate packages.


For further media information please contact:

Go-Ahead press office
020 7799 8999

Madeleine Carter
0207 300 6320

About Go-Ahead

Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 29,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.


Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. With a fleet of around 5,200 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London, with around 24 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for TfL. Outside London, we operate services in Oxford, East Anglia, the South East, Southern and north east England. In September 2016, the Group began operating a bus contract in Singapore, on behalf of the Land Transport Authority.


The rail operation, Govia, is 65 per cent owned by Go-Ahead and 35 per cent by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for over 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises: GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) Southeastern and London Midland.  


Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group’s strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Group’s control or can be produced by the Group. Although the Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward–looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct.  Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision.  Except as required by law, the Group undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.