Stirling Council are helping rural residents with a range of new transport opportunities.
The £140,000 project includes a new shopping bus service, evening links to and from Stirling at weekends, an online transport booking service and a youth scheme to help school pupils develop their own ideas to improve accessibility to rural areas.
Stirling Shopper Bus runs on the first and third Saturday of each month from Tyndrum, Crianlarich, Killin, Lochearnhead, Kingshouse and Strathyre to Stirling City Centre and Springkerse Retail Park.
Balfron Early Evening Bus departs from Balfron at 6.20pm on Fridays and Saturdays, enabling residents of Balfron, Buchlyvie, Arnprior, Kippen and Gargunnock to access evening leisure activities in Stirling without having to drive. A return bus leaves at 10.45pm.
Doune & Callander Late Bus departs from Stirling at 11.02pm on Fridays and Saturdays, taking residents of Deanston, Doune and Callander home after an evening of leisure in Stirling.
These bus services will improve transport links for people in rural areas. The services, which were introduced in December on a trial basis have now been extended to run until 18 August 2018. Passenger numbers will be carefully monitored and if the services prove sufficiently popular, they may be extended further.
Recent public consultation suggested ways of improving the booking system for Demand Responsive Transport (DRT). The funding will also help to develop an upgraded online booking service, allowing users to manage their own bookings, make same day bookings and receive text alerts confirming the DRT operator, phone number and fare.
Pupils from Balfron and McLaren High Schools, working in conjunction with Young Scot, will also be given the opportunity to develop their own ideas to overcome transport barriers in rural Stirling via a Youth Innovation Solution project.
Convenor of the Environment and Health Committee, Councillor Jim Thomson, said, "Residents will benefit through both improved access to current transport and an extension to the existing services as we expand the geographic coverage and scope of transport in rural Stirling. It is now up to residents to make the most of these supportive measures and prove that there is a demand for them to continue beyond the pilot period".