Padam Mobility launches new Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service “Holibri” in Höxter, Germany


On this St. Nicholas Day, Padam Mobility launches its new on-demand service “Holibri” in Höxter, Germany. Padam Mobility and Hacon provide the software for the innovative on-demand project, which will completely replace four fixed bus routes in Höxter, a medium-sized city with about 30,000 inhabitants. “Holibri” is a service of fahr mit, the umbrella brand of five rail and ten bus companies in the “Hochstift” area (a region in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia) and is operated by the Paderborn/Höxter local transport association (nph). 

Holibri – The name says it all 

The “Holibri” service is named after the speedy hummingbird (in German: “Kolibri”).  In this sense, the DRT service is designed to get its passengers to their desired destination quickly and quietly. The new vehicles are low-noise above all because they are powered 100 % by green electricity – an important step for the city of Höxter to establish itself as a pioneer in the transformation of local public transport in the Hochstift region. 

A new concept to strengthen public transport 

The new on-demand service will completely replace the existing fixed bus routes HX1, HX2, HX3 and HX5, only school bus services will continue to run as usual. With regard to the other regular bus lines, the city of Höxter had been observing a decline in passenger numbers for some time and complained that the buses often ran with only a few passengers on board. A problem that many municipalities and smaller towns are probably familiar with: The fixed bus schedules cannot meet the needs of all residents, and in addition, the routes are significantly longer than a direct car journey to the target destination due to the compulsory stops at all given stations. As a result, people prefer to rely on their own cars and public transport is used less and less. 

Padam Mobility and Hacon support with their technical know-how

The nph is responding to this dilemma with the new on-demand service “Holibri”. The now starting pilot project, which will run for 3 years, aims to test how people in Höxter accept the new mobility service. In this context, Padam Mobility and Hacon are providing full support to the operational team. The carefully developed concept, which among other elements includes the definition of the service area, the operating hours or the service configuration, is constantly monitored and analysed by the experts. In this way, it is possible to determine how customers react to the service, which aspects are working well and which adjustments may need to be made.

A successful first appearance 

At the end of October this year, Padam Mobility and Hacon were present at the unveiling of the new Holibri mobile and answered questions about the software. In addition to the technical details, such as how the software manages to bundle journeys in real-time to create an intelligent route planning, Sven Steinbeck, Business Developer at Hacon, was also able to clear up any remaining question marks about the booking process. Those who do not want to rely on an app or website for booking, also have the option of reserving their desired trip via telephone. Everyone else can download the Holibri app for iOS and Android. In the dedicated user profile, it is possible to access past or cancelled rides and, of course, manage upcoming trips. Shortly before and during each ride, customers can even track the exact location of their vehicle via a navigation tool. On-board wi-fi and comfortable leather seats make the experience perfect. 

nph Managing Director Marcus Klugmann was also delighted with the new on-demand offer:

During this three-year project phase, we can gain valuable insights – for possible further developments as well as the expansion of the concept to other areas.” 

At the end of the three-year test phase, it will be decided in which form the on-demand project will be continued. 

Read more about the Holibri service here (content in German) 


This article might also interest you: With Karlstadssbus Nära Padam Mobility kicks off its first DRT service in the Nordics 

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