Europe is combining six, 17-seat low-emission minibuses with the concept of Uber to create a new mode of transportation called PickMeUp, Oxford Bus Company’s new “Uber for buses” service.

The PickMeUp app and service officially launched in June 2018 as the new public way to travel in Oxford by bus.

Residents simply download the PickMeUp app and order a bus to a virtual stop on demand; they set up the pick-up and drop-off points within the app’s chosen zone and add extra passengers as applicable. Users can see their route and estimated time of arrival on the app.

The route covers 12.2 square miles, picking up passengers in east Oxford and covering stops including Oxford Station, Oxford Science Park, Oxford Business Park, hospitals, and Brookes University. Taking PickMeUp costs £2.50 (about $3.29) and the price doubles if you take a trip that could be made using an existing bus route.

Each minibus contains Wi-Fi, USB charging points, and wheelchair access. Although the service does not go door-to-door like Uber drivers do, it does promise to pick up passengers anywhere in the east of Oxford in under 10 minutes and includes 1,906 stops. Not tied to existing bus stops, these unique minibuses reach new parts of the city, offering a new alternative to driving to work. PickMeUp offers public transportation that is significantly quicker and cheaper than other forms of transports.

By encouraging people to use public transportation, PickMeUp offers the chance to lower traffic congestion and improve air quality, something cities across the U.S could benefit from. Will “Uber for buses” soon appear in a city near you?

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