I look for ‘market failures’ and devise credible solutions, says the man behind new Ely commute to work scheme

10:10 05 August 2014

Peter Dawe with one of the mini buses for Ely eCommuter. Picture: Steve Williams.

Peter Dawe with one of the mini buses for Ely eCommuter. Picture: Steve Williams.


Entrepreneur Peter Dawe is launching an Ely to Cambridge commuter service by giving away three minibuses to Ely Standard readers. He believes the Ely eCommuter system will replace a subsidised, unreliable, failing bus service.

“My particular type of entrepreneurship is that I look for “market failures” and devise credible solutions for them and seek to try them out to test and learn.

“Successes result in an improvement to the world. Past successful examples include the internet, European telecoms, homelessness, rural education and banking.

“Public transportation in the UK is one such failure. Bus services typically have to be subsidised and offer an unattractive service.

“As a result, many vehicles are over-capacity or shunned by their customers because of unreliability or comfort.

“I am using lessons learnt from my last venture in this sector, First Thumb Ltd.

“One possible problem with car sharing is that both drivers and potential passengers are reluctant to trust the informal nature of car sharing for a necessary journey.

“eCommuter addresses this by branding the vehicles involved in a similar way to how bus and taxi operators brand their vehicles. In addition we are offering a guaranteed minimum service using eCommuter-owned minibuses.

“Careful research of the legal framework means that the eCommuter service complies with insurance, tax and other legal requirements without the need for complex red tape and is scalable to a nationwide or even multinational service.

“A successful trial of the eCommuter service between Ely and Cambridge will be when we have sufficient eCommuter drivers and passengers providing a service that is sufficient for the subsidised bus service to be discontinued.”

• If you would like to be considered to drive a minibus, contact Ely Standard editor John Elworthy at john.elworthy@archant.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

Alternatively, you can contact Kieran Delaney, director and general manager of Dawe Cars Ltd, at kieran@dawe.co.uk


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