Mayor joins in hoppa’s birthday celebrations at launch of first electric vehicle
The Mayor of Waverley, Councillor John Ward, joined in hoppa’s 20th birthday celebrations (on 22 July) by unveiling the newest member of hoppa’s fleet, its first electric bus.
“Launching this new electric bus is a very fitting way to celebrate hoppa’s achievements over the last 20 years and to look forward to future decades of providing safe, affordable and sustainable local transport,” said the Mayor of Waverley.
Richard Davies, hoppa’s General Manager, added: “I’d like to thank the Mayor for helping us to celebrate our 20th birthday and for wishing us well on our journey to net zero. When hoppa began, we knew we wanted to be more than just a transport provider. We wanted to look after our customers with a service that centres around caring staff and carefully designed buses to keep customers safe and comfortable, from door to door.”
“We care about our effect on the environment too, so our new bus which runs on electricity is really exciting! It’s better for our customers, our drivers, for local air quality and the planet. We hope to add more electric vehicles to our fleet in future.”
The Mayor met hoppa’s trustees and members of staff to find out more about the impact the charity has had over the past 20 years and its plans for the future.
Reducing its impact on the planet is not hoppa’s only challenge. Trustees talked to the Mayor about running a service that is financially sustainable too. “Other than fares, which we try to keep as affordable as possible, hoppa relies on a patchwork of funding from local authorities, grant-giving organisations and revenue generating services such as school and hospital transport. With funding often covering only the short term, planning for the future is a constant pressure,” said Mr Davies.
Despite this, hoppa prides itself on going the extra mile for customers, recognising the importance of its role in supporting the community in a rural area. “Many of our customers are getting on in life, live alone or are concerned about losing their independence. We also have customers of all ages with disabilities or living on increasingly tight budgets,” explained Mr Davies. “The Mayor heard from our drivers and passenger assistants about how hoppa is vital for enabling customers to use local shops, interact with other people and get safely to appointments. Unlike taxis, we don’t just drop and go, we see customers into their homes safely and most of our buses are wheelchair accessible.”
Anybody of any age who has a transport need and lives in Waverley can use the hoppa service. To book a ride, passengers need to register which is free, quick and easy. Full information can be found at www.hoppa.org.uk.