What is community transport and commonly asked questions

Community transport is for people who cannot use conventional public transport services. This could be because they do not have access to these services or because they are unable to use it because of sensory and/or mobility problems.

There are a variety of community transport schemes in Surrey. Local transport solutions are designed around users' needs resulting in innovative and flexible schemes. These schemes include community buses, Dial-a-ride, voluntary car schemes and Demand Responsive Transport (DRT). Taxis and private hire vehicles are another method of transport and taxis can provide wheelchair user accessible vehicles.

There are a number of community transport schemes operating throughout the County. Some help people with limited mobility get around in Surrey.

A community bus can be a small bus (9-16 passenger seats) operated by a local community organisation. They provide a registered bus service using volunteer/paid drivers. Special permits issued by the Traffic Commissioner are required before services can commence.

Dispensations of many of the rules governing public transport is allowed when operating these buses and they can provide vital links in areas where public transport is less likely to be readily available.

If you are interested in further details of how to set up a community bus service you can contact the Passenger Transport Group by email passenger.transport@surreycc.gov.uk. As well as community transport, information on all Surrey bus services is available from the bus timetables webpage. You will also find information on bus services to hospitals in Surrey and details on low floor accessible buses available.

Commonly asked questions


As a disabled traveller, where can I find information about special transport services in my area?

Most borough and district councils, in partnership with the County Council, now provide - either directly or indirectly - transport for disabled and frail residents through Dial a Ride and Community Transport services. Contact your local district or borough council who will put you in touch with the local scheme operating in your area. A countywide community transport directory is available detailing schemes such as dial-a-ride services, community minibuses and voluntary car schemes.

More information about transport for older people and people with disabilities.

How can I book a journey on these services?

You must firstly register yourself as a user and this may involve an annual membership fee or subscription on certain schemes.

How much notice do I have to give if I want to travel?

Each scheme operates slightly differently. Some ask that you give 48 hours or 24 hours notice of your intention to travel while others can sometimes accept travel requests on the day of travel.

How much does it cost?

Each scheme operates slightly differently but as a general rule, most schemes charge fares comparable to local bus fares. Some schemes operate zonal charging and the fare will depend on how far you wish to travel and from zone to zone.

I need help when I travel - can a carer or friend travel with me, even though they themselves may not be disabled?

Yes, and some schemes will allow your friend or carer free travel if they accompany you on your journey.

Where can I find more information about schemes across the whole of Surrey?

You can obtain information on the various community transport schemes via the Community Transport directory.

How do I register as a driver for my voluntary car scheme?

It is easy to register as a Volunteer Driver with your local Voluntary Car Scheme. Please contact Vicki Turton at Surrey Community Action to register your interest in becoming a driver. You can contact Vicki via email at vickit@surreyca.org.uk or by phone 01483 447121.

How do I hire a minibus?

Please contact your local Dial-a-Ride operator to enquire as to whether they offer a vehicle hire service. The contact details of your local Dial-a-Ride can be found on our Dial-a-Ride directory

What type of training do I need to drive a minibus?

For further information please see our Minibus information for schools.