About the Slinky digital trial

information

This page is about our new digital trial version of the Slinky service, offering bookings using an app for customers in the Somerton and surrounding area.

If you want information about the original Slinky service that covers other areas of Somerset, please visit our Slinky services page.

Slinky logo

Slinky is going digital in Somerton.

important

Booking lines opened on Monday 13 May and the service operates from 28 May

This trial is a digital version of the Slinky on-demand transport service, known as Digital Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT), operating throughout Somerton and the surrounding areas shown on the map below.

The ‘on demand’ service is a flexible bus service with no set route, provided for passengers who book in advance. The trial introduces a new simple way to book your journey using the new Slinky app.

Absolutely anyone can use this service, as long as you do not have access to a public bus service to make the journey.

Where you can travel using the service

Map showing Slinky bus stops in the Somerton area

Service running hours

The service will run from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday – excluding public holidays.

How to book the Slinky

Before you can book the service, you will initially be asked to register and create an account, either through the App, web page or by phoning us.

  1. Download the Slinky app – by searching Slinky in your smartphone’s app store or by using the links below.
    Download from the Apple App Store    Download from the Google Play Store
  2. Using the Slinky Booking webpage
  3. Or phone us on 01823 359 999 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

How to use the app

  1. Download the Slinky app – by searching Slinky in your smartphone’s app store or by using the links above.
  2. Create your account – Follow the simple signup steps on the app, to create your account.
  3. Book your journey – By entering your start location and destination, the app will automatically assign the best pick-up and drop-off points for your journey. Enter the time you would like to travel and complete the booking by paying the fare on the app or selecting “pay on vehicle”, you will then receive a booking confirmation.
  4. Track the vehicle – Using the Slinky app – track the vehicle and find out exactly where your pick-up point is, the pick-up point may be a short walk from where you are.

How to pay

We recommend that you pay in advance for the fare when you make your booking on the app or webpage.

Pay in advance on the app is only available to users over the age of 18.

When you book a journey, there will also be an option to pay on the vehicle, this can be using cash or contactless. If you are under 18 and making the booking yourself, please select this option.

A registered parent or guardian booking on behalf of a passenger under 18, can pay in advance on the app or webpage.

How the Slinky will operate

The Slinky app uses existing bus stops and landmarks as pick-up points, to connect you to local places of interest within the operating area – such as supermarkets, town centres, education and health care services. It can also be used to connect you with the current public transport network for onward travel.

For people who can’t get to one of our designated pick-up points, due to mobility issues, a pick-up can be arranged from your home.

You can book up to an hour before your journey time and 2 weeks in advance – which is recommended where possible to secure your journey.

How to track the vehicle

If you are using our Slinky app, there is a feature where you will be able to track the vehicle from half an hour before you are due to be picked up. This will be a real-time update of the vehicle’s location and arrival time at your pick-up point. You will also receive notifications through the app to let you know when your vehicle is nearby. To use this feature please make sure push notifications have been enabled.

If you have booked through the website or the call centre, you will receive SMS notifications when the vehicle is on its way to you.

Booking additional passengers

Bookings can be made for up to 4 additional passengers for any single journey. Availability will be based on the current capacity of the vehicle and how many passengers are already travelling.

To change the number of passengers on a pre-booked journey, you will need to cancel and rebook your journey or contact the Slinky team at Somerton on 01823 359 999.

How to be on time for an appointment or connecting journey

If you are planning a connecting journey to another public transport service, or using the service to get to an appointment, please make sure you use the ‘arrive by’ option when you book and allow time to make your connection or appointment.

By selecting the ‘arrive by’ time, the app will schedule you an appropriate pick-up time, but your arrival time at your destination will be fixed so that you can meet your onward transport.

How long the Slinky vehicle will wait

As Slinky Digital is a shared service, keeping to allocated timeslots is key to making sure all passengers have the best experience. Our drivers will wait for you for a maximum of 60 seconds at your pickup point, after your agreed journey time. If you are not at the pickup point within this timeframe, the driver will need to move on so that other passengers aren’t delayed.

Please arrive at your pickup point a few minutes before your journey time.

Vehicle accessibility

Our vehicles have capacity for one wheelchair. If you require this space, please highlight this when you are booking.

Age restrictions to book and travel

Slinky Digital welcomes passengers of all ages.

You must be aged at least 16 years old to register and have your own account on the booking platform.

Due to our policy, if you are under 18 and making the booking yourself, you must choose to pay on the vehicle when booking your journey and not in advance on the booking platform. Payment on the vehicle can be done using cash or contactless.

A parent or carer, once registered, can book, and pay for journeys in advance for their dependants.

Passengers under the age of 5 need to be accompanied by an adult to use the service.

Fare prices

Somerton Digital Slinky fares

Fare typeUnder 3 miles
single
Under 3 miles
return
Over 3 miles
single
Over 3 miles
return
Fare typeStandard fareUnder 3 miles
single
£2
Under 3 miles
return
£4
Over 3 miles
single
£2.50
Over 3 miles
return
£5
Fare typeChild fare (aged 5 to 16)Under 3 miles
single
£1
Under 3 miles
return
£2
Over 3 miles
single
£1.25
Over 3 miles
return
£2.50
Fare typeConcessionary pass holder (50% discount) – Show your pass every time you travel – only valid from 9am onwardsUnder 3 miles
single
£1
Under 3 miles
return
£2
Over 3 miles
single
£1.25
Over 3 miles
return
£2.50

How to cancel your journey

Cancellations should be made as soon as reasonably possible. Cancellations less than 1 hour before the journey time will be charged the full fare. Cancellations over 1 hour in advance will have the fare credited to your account.

Repeated cancellations by you may result in the suspension or termination of your account, at our sole discretion.

How to contact us

If you still need more help, please use the contact information below and one of the team will be happy to help.

Phone us – 01823 359 999 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)
Email – HelloDDRT@somerset.gov.uk

How it is funded

The Slinky Digital initiative is funded by the Government’s Bus Service Improvement grant and is part of Somerset’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which aims to improve public transport across the county.

Last reviewed: May 13, 2024 by Paul

Next review due: November 13, 2024

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