Innovation That Matters

Minibus service offers an alternative mode of public transport

Mobility & Transport

Whilst companies such as cab4one are trying to cut down on the environmental impact of taxicabs by reducing their size, Spanish-based company Skybus have flipped this idea on its head, with an upsized taxi fleet of mini-buses. However, by incorporating into their operations a ride-share element akin to go520 and Ridekicks, they claim to have created a mode of transport both greener and more convenient than existing taxi and public transport models. Using Skybus is a little like using a combined taxi and bus service. Bookings are made online in advance of travel, specifying the pick up and destination addresses, as well as the number of passengers. Skybus then gives the user a collection time and the location of the nearest Skybus stop. Twenty minutes before the collection time, Skybus sends a text giving directions to the stop, a security code, the number of the Skybus, and information on any suspected delays and alterations to the collection time — saving users from waiting too long in the street. Once at the stop, users board the branded and numbered Skybus and quote their security code, before embarking with the other passengers. According to a report on Yorokobu, the Skybus drivers also carry iPads, which calculate and display the best routes for the them to take. The report also mentions plans to enable users to book from mobile devices, the introduction of same day booking, and expansion from their current operations in Madrid to include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Bilbao. The service boasts that it is cheaper than booking a taxi, greener than driving a car, and both more convenient and private than a bus. With eco-superior credentials such as those, is this one to support or partner with during their coming expansion? (Related: Pedal-powered taxis deliver free loveOnline marketplace focuses on eco-friendly vehicles.) Spotted by: Leticia Pérez Prieto



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