In this period of CoVid 19 health crisis, all of the affected countries have largely readjusted their transport offer. Demand responsive transport (DRT) is not exempt to this rule. The flexibility of its operation enables it to respond quickly and efficiently to the travel needs of the healthcare personnel while respecting the security measures in force. A tour of these DRT services that have been able to adapt overnight to the new health context.
All over France, regular DRT services are adapting to serve healthcare institutions and responding to the caregiver’s rhythms.
In Menton, Zestbus, previously a regular shuttle service dedicated to the inhabitants of the town, has been transformed into a DRT service specially addressed to the carers of the riviera. In Fleurance near Toulouse, the existing DRT service for senior citizens or people with no means of transportation is being reconfigured to transport the staff of public health institutions. In Strasbourg, in the Grand-Est region, the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS), in collaboration with Padam Mobility, has adapted its Flex’hop Z1 DRT service to the needs of hospital staff.The capacity of their vehicles is limited to two people in addition to the driver.
In Saint-Omer, in the Pas-de-Calais region of France, DRT Mouvéo’s service optimization algorithms have been adapted by Padam Mobility to expand the service perimeter and meet new travel needs.
Some DRT services are created from scratch to improve the mobility of the medical profession.
As is the case in Nice,, where a DRT service has been specifically set up for hospital staff. Open 24/7, the vehicles are operated jointly by the Régie Ligne d’Azur and the city’s taxis.
The Transport of Persons with Reduced Mobility (TPMR) services are also open to the transport of care personnel.
In Bordeaux (Mobibus), Saint-Étienne (HandiSTAS), Nancy (Synergihp), Toulouse (Tisseo), Nantes (Tan), Orléans (TAO), Le Havre (MobiFil), existing MPRT services were opened free of charge – usually 24/7 – to hospital, clinic and Hospice staff. In Grenoble, the Fléxo+ TPMR service open exclusively to caregivers is used on average 130 times a day.
Demand responsive transports that remain open to the general public are organised in such a way as to ensure that social distancing measures are respected.
Ile-de-France Mobilités, the Ile-de-France transport authority, has decided to keep all its DRT (DRT IDFM Padam Mobility) services open after implementing numerous safety and health measures in partnership with local authorities and operators.
In Marne La Vallée, east of Paris, Plus de Pep’s DRT service working with Padam Mobility has been reconfigured by Padam Mobility to no longer offer journeys to or from the market.
In Lyon, the DRT service, TCL on demand, which works with Padam Mobility, the Sytral has reduced the number of seats available in each vehicle to two in order to comply with the 1 metre safety distance recommended by the authorities.
With the reduction in group travel in Bain-de-Bretagne, the community of communes has decided to maintain the Tadi Lib’ demand responsive transport service in the twenty communes of the inter-communal territory for the most vulnerable people. In Morbihan, the town of Auray and Keolis have decided to keep the DRT Auray Bus service open, under the same operating conditions, in particular to facilitate travel for healthcare staff and relatives of isolated people, while reinforcing health rules for the benefit of all.
In the Gard Rhodanien, the bus lines are closed except for transport on demand provided by the UGGO service, intended for people over 65 years of age.
DRT services abroad are not left behind and are also adapting to the health context.
In York, USA, the DRT Rabbit transit service has implemented strict security measures following Governor Wolf’s recommendations.
In Scotland, 3 bus services have converted to DRT to guarantee service to the territories. In Edinburgh, Border buses allow healthcare staff to travel free of charge. In Jedburgh and Newcastle, Peter Hogg and Telfords services remain open to all and are accessible by reservation 24/7.
In Padua, Italy, the operator Busitalia has modified its DRT Night Shift service. Initially designed for night travel by students, the service hours have been extended to the whole day.
In Quebec, in the municipality of Charlevoix, the County Transit service also interrupted its night service to operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. In addition to meeting the travel needs of residents, it provides meals and essential supplies to seniors’ centres.
Local authorities and operators are organized and committed to guaranteeing the continuity of the public transport service in the best possible sanitary conditions and to providing a response adapted to the travel needs of healthcare personnel.
Thanks to their flexible management, Padam Mobility’s dynamic DRT solutions have proven their efficiency and their ability to adapt to the particularities of these new contexts. The company continues its commitment to develop ever more intelligent and inclusive mobility solutions, more agile and supportive, which will adapt to tomorrow’s world, post Covid-19.