51°29′32.7″N 0°04′50.2″W / 51.492417°N 0.080611°W / 51.492417; -0.080611

Dial-a-Ride logo

Dial-a-Ride is a service run by Transport for London (TfL) which is mainly a door-to-door community transport service for people with a permanent or long term disability or health problem who are unable, or virtually unable to use public transport.[1][2] In 2019, there were around 40,000 members of the scheme.[3]


In December 1972, London Transport began operating a dial a ride service in Hampstead, aimed at both commuters and shoppers.[4] This ended in 1976 due to high costs.[5]

In 1982, Camden Council set up London's first dial a ride scheme for disabled residents, with funding from the Greater London Council (GLC).[6][7] Several London councils including Greenwich soon followed.[7] Following the successful development of GAD-about in Greenwich, a clone prototype project was developed for London Transport which was then handed over in a modular form to allow easy implementation and scaling up.[7] By the late 1980s, there were over 25 dial a ride groups across London, subsidised by a £7.2m grant from London Regional Transport.[8]

Map of the London Dial-a-Ride service areas before 2003.

Until 2003, the London Dial-a-Ride service consisted of six sectors, each of which had its own main colour on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses:[9]

  Central London (Camden, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster)[10]
  North London (Barnet, City of London, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington)
  North East London (Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest)
  South East London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark)
  South London (Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Merton, Sutton, Wandsworth)
  West London (Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Richmond upon Thames)


As of 2022, the fleet comprises 256 accessible vehicles, all VW T6 low floor minibuses.[11] The fleet meets Euro VI emission standards, and therefore is Ultra Low Emission Zone compliant.[12] Historically, a range of vehicles have been used including Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito minibuses.[13]

A newer dial-a-ride low floor minbus.
A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus.
A Mercedes-Benz Vito minibus.


The 'Taxicard' scheme provides subsidised taxi and private hire journeys for Londoners with serious mobility or visual issues, with around 60,000 members registered to the scheme. The scheme is run by London Councils.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "Dial a Ride". tfl. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  2. ^ "London Dial-a-Ride". Age UK. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  3. ^ "DaR Q4 Summary 2018 19 (Data Sources).xlsx". accessibility.data.tfl.gov.uk. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  4. ^ "LT to try Dial-a-Ride". Commercial Motor Archive. 17 November 1972. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  5. ^ "Dial-a-ride dies". Commercial Motor Archive. 23 January 1976. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  6. ^ "Camden bus". Commercial Motor Archive. 2 October 1982. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Pickering, Caro (17 April 2013). "Bryan Heiser obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2022. He launched the first Dial-a-Ride in Camden, with funding from the Manpower Services Commission and later a grant from Camden council to buy the special vehicles required. Within a few years, with support from the Greater London Council, the scheme had expanded throughout London, and then, with government funding, around the UK.
  8. ^ "Dial-a-Ride cash call". Commercial Motor Archive. 3 August 1989. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  9. ^ AndrewHA's (12 October 2011). "London Dial-A-Ride". Flickr. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Central London Dial-a-Ride". Central London Dial-a-Ride. Archived from the original on 3 March 2001. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  11. ^ Pidgeon, Caroline (26 May 2022). "Please state how many buses currently operate for Dial-a-Ride". Mayor's Question Time. Retrieved 4 November 2022. There are 256 buses in Dial-a-Ride's fleet.
  12. ^ "London Dial-a-Ride goes green with Mellor". SMMT. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  13. ^ Harvey, Lauren (8 July 2019). "Dial-a-Ride". Mayor's Question Time. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Taxicard". Transport for London. Retrieved 4 November 2022.