With Karlstadtsbuss Nära, Padam Mobility kicks off its first Demand-Responsive Transport Service in the Nordics



Following a simulation phase, a new Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service pilot will be launched in Karlstad in December 2021. It will connect the peri-urban neighbourhoods of Karstad with the structural Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network. The DRT service will rely on digital solutions developed and provided by Padam Mobility. It will be operated by Keolis Sweden under the flagship of Karlstadsbuss.

The city’s existing main public transport network currently consists of nine fixed lines connecting the outskirt areas with Karlstad’s city centre. Karlstadsbuss, Karlstad’s local transport authority, sought a more intelligent and more effective public transport service that would not only satisfy the mobility needs of all the inhabitants of the province of Värmland but at the same time would be profitable from a financial point of view.

Therefore, Keolis Sweden and Padam Mobility were commissioned to establish an attractive DRT service that would optimally complement the existing transport network. For this upcoming pilot, a test area in the outskirts of Karlstad was selected to be served by the new DRT:  Mjölnartorpet, which connects to the larger area Kronoparken and the shopping area Välsviken.

The service aims to transport users to transport hubs following a “feeder” logic to provide them with a seamless and comfortable mobility experience. This allows them to master the “first or last mile” conveniently and without time constraints, eliminating the need for an individual vehicle. In addition, users who may not have access to a private car or are immobile for other reasons will be able to access Karlstad’s city centre and important facilities. It is expected that the new DRT will significantly increase the overall use of the public transport offer by easily connecting users to Karlstad’s structural BRT network which is set to be completed by 2025.

The service, which will operate under the name Karlstadsbuss Nära, brings decisive advantages for the launch in December 2021: the simulation phase that has already been completed, enables Padam Mobility and Keolis Sweden to better assess how resources ought to be deployed on the basis of the data collected. Based on existing information, potential risks (such as financial liabilities, coordination with the existing network and other high-risk factors) can be minimised.

During the pilot phase, the DRT fleet will be gradually increased from one to two vehicles. The permanent service monitoring and evaluation will facilitate its scaling decisively. In the long term, this will also allow to identify fixed lines which from an economic point of view would be more efficient as on-demand services.

The Karlstadsbuss Nära DRT service will roll out in three phases with increasing service levels. It will be available Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 am to midnight, and throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, between 5:00 am and 3:30 am.

Thanks to the partnership between Padam Mobility and Keolis Sweden, Karlstadsbuss and its users will benefit from a high-tech, on-demand solution that guarantees easy and reliable operation. If the one-year pilot proves successful, the service will be extended to other areas. 

Karlstadsbuss: Why Padam Mobility?

Within the framework of the Karlstadsbuss service operations, Padam Mobility will support the city of Karlstad in the achievement of several objectives:

  • Empowering non-motorized populations in their travel (seniors, minors, etc.) and giving everyone the possibility to reach the city centre easily and seamlessly
  • Reducing dependence on the private car and its negative impacts (pollution, maintenance costs, etc.)
  • Opening up certain low-density areas by providing a public service accessible every day improving access to services and jobs
  • Making the existing fixed-line network more cost-effective and more attractive through a complementing DRT service

About Padam Mobility 

Established in 2014, Padam Mobility provides digital on-demand public transport solutions (DRT, Paratransit) to reconnect peri-urban and rural areas and bring communities closer together. To do this, Padam Mobility provides a software suite of smart and flexible solutions that improve the impact of mobility policies in sparsely populated areas for all types of users. To get users, operators and Local Authorities on the move. This software suite is based on powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence. It includes:

  • Booking interfaces (mobile app, website) for users and call centres
  • A navigation interface (mobile app and tablet) for drivers
  • A management interface for operators and Public Transport Authorities
  • A simulation tool for designing and setting up mobility services 

Transport authorities, operators, private companies and consulting firms trust us to open up territories, to optimise the mobility offer and facilitate its operations, to accompany them towards operational excellence, and finally to enable environmentally-friendly mobility.

Key figures: 

  • +470 000 users transported in 2020 (already 365 000 users transported at the beginning of 2021)  more than 1M users transported since our creation
  • +70 territories deploy our solutions in Europe, Asia and North America
  • 80% pooling rate in average
  • Up to 3.3 x less expensive than a similar offer if operated by fixed lines
  • 33% of our users were previously using private cars, 19% were walking or unable to get around


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