Book-a-Bus

Welcome to Book-a-Bus, a flexible on-demand service, for areas with limited or no bus service.

Residents can conveniently book journeys to key destinations such as your nearest town, train station, hospital and more.

Introducing 'Book-a-Bus', your new way to travel in West Sussex!

Watch our 'Book-a-Bus' video.

1 mins

Latest news

We've expanded our Book-a-Bus service! The new 96 Flex covers North West Chichester and can be booked on the day or up to 24 hours before your journey.

To celebrate the expansion of the Book-a-Bus zones, the Book-a-Bus services are free during the whole of February 2024.

If your destination is located where major bus or rail stations are, live information will now be shown on the app for easy onward travel planning.

Zones

Book now

  • Online: via the Ride Pingo app

Our app is the easiest way to use Book-a-Bus.

The app shows you where your Book-a-Bus service is, where it will pick you up and when it will arrive.

You can book up to five seats per trip, subject to availability. 

  • Phone: 01243 858854 (operating hours 6.30am-7.30pm)

When booking by phone, please select the relevant telephone option. Option 1 for 99 Flex and option 2 for all other Book-a-Bus services.

The average response time via call centre is 2-3 minutes, with the aim 80% of calls are answered in 1 minute.

Using the Ride Pingo app

Download the Ride Pingo app using a smartphone or tablet:

With Ride Pingo, you can:

  • quickly see your closest meeting point
  • book and pay for your ride
  • track your vehicle in real-time
  • set up your account so that drivers are aware that you have specific requirements under ‘mobility assistance’ in the app.

Pre-purchased tickets are validated by the driver, or you can pay on the bus.

Watch a video: How to use the Ride Pingo app.

By playing this video YouTube may set cookies.

Frequently asked questions

  • Bookings made on the app will receive a confirmation within the app, with an estimated pick-up and drop-off time. This time may vary slightly, within a few minutes either side of the estimated time.

    Telephone bookings will receive a confirmation phone call where contact details have been provided. 

    Your ride confirmation will be the zone name and vehicle number plate. The driver will check your booking details when you board.

    Receipts are sent via email.

  • When booking on demand, you will have to wait 0 to 45 minutes to be picked up. Please be at your pickup point 10 minutes in advance where possible.

  • If you no longer need to make a journey that you have booked, please cancel your booking via the app or by phoning the call centre on 01243 858854 (operating hours 6.30am to 7.30pm). This will free up a seat for someone else and make the bus service more efficient.

    If you cancel up to 30 minutes before the start of your booking, you will receive a full refund.

  • Missed rides delay other passengers so please cancel where possible. Missed rides will be charged in full. Frequent cancellations or missed rides may result in your account being suspended.

    When traveling, the bus will wait at your expected pick-up location for approximately 90 seconds before cancelling your trip.

  • We will always aim to be at your meeting point on time but occasionally circumstances out of our control may cause a delay.

    The app provides up-to-date expected bus arrival times. If the bus is running 60 seconds or more behind the estimated time of arrival, the app will notify you.

  • When booking using the app, you can ‘pay now’ by debit or credit card within the app at time of booking or ‘pay later’ on the bus when boarding.

    When booking by phone, you are unable to pay at time of booking, so will have to ‘pay later’ when boarding the bus.

    The 99 Bus and 99 Flex accepts both cash and card payments on the bus. Other zones will only accept card payments on the bus.

  • Concessionary pass holders travel free. The usual time restrictions apply.

    Show the driver your bus pass when boarding.

    Concessionary pass holders are still required to cancel rides if travel plans change.

  • Bus Multi-Operator Day Passes are tickets that allow you to travel on buses provided by different operators in a certain area with just one ticket. These tickets can be used on Book-a-Bus services.

    Multi-Operator Day Passes cannot be bought via the app/phone or on the bus.

    Book-a-Bus services will accept Multi-Operator Day Passes that have been issued by other operators that are participating in the East Sussex scheme.

  • When boarding the bus, let the driver know the name the journey is booked under or the booking reference number. If you’re travelling using a concessionary or multi-operator day pass, you will need to show this to the driver when boarding.

  • All Book-a-Bus vehicles are accessible with space for wheelchairs on board.

    The 99 Bus and 99 Flex use conventional buses with low floor access. All other routes use accessible minibuses.

    Drivers are highly trained and can offer extra support at your pick-up point or destination. If you have a specific requirement or want to request a meeting point closer to your home to assist with accessibility, please contact us. 

    If you have a visual impairment or mobility limitations and use a frame, walking stick or crutches, you can use the ‘mobility assistance’ option in the app or through the call centre.

    This means you will not need to book the dedicated wheelchair space, but the vehicle will still get as close as possible for your pick-up and drop you as close as possible to your destination to save you having to walk too far. You can also request this option through the call centre.

  • Prams and buggies can be taken on the bus, but you may need to fold it if the bus is busy, as we need to keep the aisle of the bus clear for safety reasons.

  • Book-a-Bus vehicles do not travel between different zones, meaning you can only be picked-up and dropped-off inside the zone. Therefore, to travel outside of zones using Book-a-Bus, you can be taken to locations where there are connecting bus services to destinations outside of the zone.

  • Yes, you can travel by yourself. A taxi may be used when there is high demand and additional vehicles need to be dispatched to meet demand.

  • Yes, passengers are allowed to travel with pets, but cannot take up anymore spaces/seats than booked.

  • No, passengers are unable to travel with a bike on a Book-a-Bus service.

  • This is a ride share service so there may be other people being collected on route to your destination.

  • Your feedback helps us improve our service. Users of the Ride Pingo app can give feedback during various stages of the booking process and will also be prompted to give a ride rating following a journey.

    You can also send us feedback using the contact details on this page. You can leave your feedback on West Suss Bus.

  • When booking your Book-a-Bus service by phone or app, West Sussex County Council aim to fulfil all journeys where possible. However, due to the nature of the flexible service, when demand is high there may be occasions when bookings may become unfulfilled.

Fares and tickets

Book-a-Bus uses a simple fare structure to make it easier to understand and budget for. The cost will be clearly displayed on the app or stated when booking over the phone.

Until December 2024 Book-a-Bus fares will be fixed at lower prices due to the Government price cap. More information on the price cap is available from Help for Households – travel costs.

Fare structure

Concessionary pass holder

  • Free (usual time restrictions apply)

Under 5s

  • Free

Child (Age 5-18)

  • Single - £2.00 fare price cap (normally £2.60)
  • Return - £3.75

Adult

  • Single - £2.00 fare price cap (normally £3.30)
  • Return - £4.00 fare price cap (normally £5.00)

Bus it! is part of the wider Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which is funded by UK Government.