Heading towards an on-demand transport service utilizing autonomous buses

Article by Jim Fleming, Director of Marketing at Fusion Processing Ltd

Padam Mobility, a provider of Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) software solutions, is investigating a future concept for on-demand transport using autonomous buses.

Currently, Padam Mobility operates the DRT service “HertsLynx”, utilizing manually driven minibuses on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council.

To explore this new concept, Padam Mobility and the County Council have partnered with mobility consultancy Sustainicity and autonomous technology provider Fusion Processing Ltd in a project supported by Innovate UK.

Fusion Processing is conducting surveys of existing “HertsLynx” routes using an autonomous vehicle equipped with radar, lidar, and camera sensors. The aim is to evaluate these routes from the perspective of an autonomous vehicle.

The project will identify sections of these routes suitable for autonomous vehicles and areas needing modifications, such as addressing overhanging trees, complex road sections, or repainting road markings.

In a separate initiative from the Herts Lynx project, Fusion has collaborated with Alexander Dennis Ltd, the UK’s largest bus manufacturer. Together, they anticipate that an autonomous version of the new Enviro100, a small 25-seat electric bus, will be the first commercially available autonomous bus in the UK.

The companies plan to demonstrate an on-demand transport system with autonomous buses using this new vehicle on a test track in early 2025. Sales are expected later that year for off-highway locations like industrial sites and airports, followed by on-road applications in 2026, coinciding with anticipated new UK legislation.


This article might interest you as well: ‘HertLynx’ On-Demand Responsive Transport Expands to new Areas in Hertfordshire

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Mobility Fresk: Better understanding for better decision-making

In the UK, cars account for 17 % of the nation’s CO2 emissions (The Committee on Climate Change, 2015). Faced with this challenge, we need to reconsider our modes of transport. This imperative is now being taken on board by (almost) everyone. Padam Mobility is dedicated to decarbonising mobility in suburban and rural areas, and is introducing its customers to the Mobility Fresk. An offshoot of the Climate Fresk, this initiative aims to raise awareness of the obstacles to decarbonising our modes of transport.

Learning through dialogue, a major asset of the Mobility Fresk

Padam Mobility, a SaaS company offering a car-free solution for suburban and rural areas, is at the forefront of legitimate organisations aiming to raise awareness among our fellow citizens.
In this context, the Mobility Fresk is a relevant educational tool. It makes it possible to tackle the substantial scales associated with our decarbonisation imperative. This initiative has a particular resonance with public sector employees, mobility specialists and transport operators, all of whom recognise the pressing need to adapt our modes of transport. Conducted in groups of no more than 8 people, the session lasts 2 hours for individuals and 3 hours for businesses and local authorities.

Transparent links between Demand-Responsive Transport and the Mobility Fresk

Demand-responsive transport (DRT) and the Mobility Forum complement each other perfectly. It highlights environmental concerns, providing a contextual point of view for Padam Mobility’s dynamic DRT. This interconnection between the company’s global vision and the tangible consequences of mobility on demand amplifies the importance of this approach.

In conclusion, Padam Mobility’s proposition for the Mobility Fresk transcends mere awareness-raising. It is an invitation to strategic contemplation, enabling Padam Mobility’s customers – generally decision-makers – to adapt not only their own mobility, but also that of others.


Would you like more information about the Mobility Fresc? Would you like to attend with your colleagues? Don’t hesitate to contact the Padam Mobility teams.

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Decarbonisation: Reducing emissions with buses

Decarbonisation is a pressing concern, particularly in Gloucestershire, where local authorities have agreed to work together on a county-wide project to achieve net zero by 2045.

One of the biggest issues facing the county is that rural areas have, on average, much higher CO2 emissions per person than urban areas, particularly in transport. In this article, we look at the connection between car dependency and carbon dioxide emissions, and the options for reducing car trips.

Carbon and cars

Rural people, in general, own more cars and drive more often and longer distances than people in cities. Overall people living in rural areas will travel an average of 6,449 miles per year, compared to 3,661 miles by their urban counterparts, and will make 401 trips by car, compared to urban travellers’ 245. Rural people will conversely make far fewer trips by bus than their urban counterparts. This reliance on cars contributes to overall carbon footprints from transport which are much higher in rural areas than in cities – Gloucestershire is no exception. Whilst some areas of the city of Gloucester score better than the England average on car emissions per person, only a few locations in the surrounding area can claim to be better than average, with most of the area very much below average, and a significant chunk in the worst 10%. These tend to correlate with the most rural areas, with dispersed populations.


Source (both graphics):

Back to bus?

The key to reducing car emissions lies in the provision of alternatives. Those areas with high car emissions correlate strongly with low density and infrequent public transport. Decades of increasing car use have eroded both the demand for and the provision of bus services, locking areas into car dependency and leaving people without cars with very few options. Whilst electric car sales are increasing, enabling some people to reduce their carbon footprint by replacing their vehicles, it’s not a solution for all. Public transport provides an equitable and inclusive path to low-carbon travel, for drivers and non-drivers alike.

It’s fair to say that this is a difficult time to be advocating the increase in the provision of public transport. Conditions have been very challenging across all areas of the UK, however, in particular, rural public transport has been pared back to reduce costs through reductions in the frequency of services and the reach of the network[1]. This further degrades the attractiveness of services, as it’s generally recognised that people only view the bus as a useful mode of transport where buses are frequent and the time penalty for using them over personal cars is small. In areas where this is not the case, the bus is used by those with no other option.

Reversing this trend to reduce car dependency however, requires better services and, in this context, the role of buses is being revisited.

Designing with DRT

Designing bus routes for rural areas can be tricky. The distances across rural areas are relatively long, and creating a frequent (at least hourly) service can require multiple buses to service each route. In addition, the mileage per bus per day can quickly add up, with buses often travelling over a hundred miles a day. On a commercial basis, the number of people living in – and therefore travelling between – smaller villages is unlikely to generate the numbers of fares and therefore the total sums to cover driver time and vehicle costs for these trips. Such services often fall to local authorities to fund, and the holders of the public purse strings need to understand how best to get value for public funds.

In these situations, to give people the option to travel, designing ‘on demand’ services can reach more people without the costs incurred by setting up fixed lines.

The DfT, through the Rural Development Fund has funded a number of DDRT – dynamic demand responsive transport – services to test the technology and evaluate the outcomes.

Two DDRT zones were launched in rural areas of Gloucestershire, one in the north of the Cotswold district (population density 78 people per km2) and one in the Forest of Dean  (population density 165 persons per km2). In the areas covered by the new service, the Robin, it is as low as 28 persons per km2 in the Sandywell, Ermin and Cedworth MSOA, and as high as 994 persons per km2 in Coleford[2].

In the Forest of Dean, DDRT service reaches across the area, with virtual bus stops within the reach of over half of the total population of the Forest of Dean (87,107) within a 10-minute walk. Bus routes travel between the towns, on fixed lines with community transport operating some rural routes some days per week. To augment existing services, two mini-buses offer people the option to book trips ‘on demand’ – in reality, this means from two weeks to an hour before they travel. People have taken to using the DDRT service to make trips that are not covered by fixed-line buses, it enables people to make trips beyond those areas served and on days that services don’t run.

In north Cotswolds, where the population is smaller – just 18,909 people – and even less dense, fixed routes make very little sense. However, the DDRT stops cover a similar proportion of the population, again with over 50% of people living within a 10 minute walk of a virtual bus stop.

Providing people with buses is not a short-term solution. Changing behaviour takes time – car dependency took several generations to reach this point, and rolling it back is unlikely to be immediate.

The first step is to provide an alternative that will enable people to travel when they need to, and DRT enables such a service to be put in place.



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You might also like this article: WeCommute, powered by Padam Mobility, to offer smart commuting solutions 

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Goodbye 2022 – a glance back at the past 12 months of Padam Mobility

Newly developed territories, service expansions, media coverage, relocation to a new HQ, new innovation areas, strong growth… A look back at an intense 2022 for Padam Mobility.


Orléans Métropole is extending its Résa’Tao DRT network to 4 new, redesigned zones, and a fleet of 39 vehicles.

With this project, TAO Orléans Métropole is positioning itself as one of France’s most innovative and advanced transport on-demand networks.

Padam Mobility took the opportunity to visit the site. Find here the interview of Romain Roy, Vice-President of Orléans Métropole, about the support of Padam Mobility in the implementation of the Résa’Tao network in Orléans.

“We have the feeling that we are investing taxpayers’ money better, especially as Orléans Métropole’s strategy is not to save money but to offer a better service. Transport on Demand, which is an innovative solution that does not exclude anyone, not only complements the classic offer but goes further by connecting 100% of the inhabitants of Orléans Métropole to the existing transport offer… “

Romain Roy, Vice-President responsible for transport and travel at Orléans Métropole

Learn more


New services in Bourges: Vitabus and Libertibus

Operated by Agglobus (RatpDev), Vitabus offers mobility to residents of communes that are not served by the network’s fixed routes. The LibertiBus service, on the other hand, meets the travel needs of people with reduced mobility residing in the 20 communes of the region (Bourges Plus, Saint-Florent-sur-Cher, Fussy and Pigny).

50 recruitments for Padam Mobility in 2022

Following its acquisition by Siemens, and to sustain i strong growth, the company is constantly recruiting various profiles. From trainees to senior staff, from the sales department to developers and HR… This year, all of the company’s value chains have been reinforced. A dozen positions are still available on the Welcome to the Jungle page of Padam Mobility.

Learn more about our values – Link to Padam Mobility’s website

Padam Mobility and Landor Links host Masterclass series

Together with Landor Links, Padam kicked off a three-part masterclass series. The aim of the series was to talk to partners and experts about current developments in the field of shared mobility. Participants, mainly transport operators and transport authorities, had the chance to voice their questions and concerns about DRT and get advice on how to integrate DRT into their BSIPs applications.

In the first Masterclass, Antonio Carmona, General Manager International and Head of UK Sales at Ticketer, and David Carnero, former Head of International Business Development and Partnerships at Padam Mobility, together with chair Matt Smallwood, Head of Digital Strategy, Transport for the North, talked about why – and how –  transport operators and public transport authorities should tackle the core problem of integrated ticketing.  

In the second masterclass, David spoke with Prospective Labs CEO and founder Pete Ferguson about the importance of data for DRT networks.

The third masterclass focused on the scaling potential of DTR services. On this topic, our former Head of UK Business Development Jack Holland spoke with Daniel Mould, General Director of WeDRT.


Andorra: launch of the UCLIC service in Encamp and Canilo

Uclic is a Transport on Demand service operated by Feda that offers users the opportunity to travel around the cities of Encamp and Canilo for 1 euro. The service is carried out with an 8-seater vehicle and has a total of 56 stops covering the different areas of the two municipalities.

The aim of this service is to bring the remote areas of the city closer to the centre and to facilitate sustainable mobility for all, particularly for the most disadvantaged, such as the elderly and young people. The service has been very well received: Nine months later, more than 72,000 reservations have been made, with an average rating of 4.9/5 for the service.


Padam Mobility and Hacon start their first joint On-Demand project in Switzerland

SALÜ, an on-demand service offered by Swiss transport operator BUS Ostschweiz AG, was launched in March for the city of Wil. Users have access to a Web App, and IOS and Android apps to obtain information and book the service. Padam Mobility and Hacon were responsible for the technical implementation. SALÜ is already the fifth on-demand transport project implemented by the two Siemens subsidiaries in the DACH region within just a few months. 


European rollout is accelerating with new DRT services in Spain

Two DRT services have been launched under the name TADex in the rural areas of Bajadoz (operator: Damas Extremadura), and Cáceres (operator: Solís Autocares) in Extremadura, Spain. They provide an essential travel solution for these areas, which are far from the main centre.

More about Padam Mobility’s use cases – Link to our blog

Padam Mobility is part of Siemen’s booth at the IT-Trans in Karlsruhe (Germany)

At this year’s IT-Trans trade fair in Karlsruhe, the Padam team was prominently integrated on the Siemens Mobility stand. After about a year as a firm part of the Siemens Mobility family, the software companies are increasingly growing together and showing their strength as a unit for intermodal transport systems.


VGI-FLEXI: On-demand transport in the suburban area of Beilngries (Germany)

Since June 2022, the Greater Ingolstadt area has a new Demand Responsive Transport service called VGI-Flexi. The district of Eichstätt is the first VGI member association to introduce a digital Transport on Demand service, enabling the residents of Beilngries, Kinding and Plankstetten to benefit from a flexible mobility service. The service area comprises about 70 stops.

In October, the service was extended to a new area, around Scheyern. Four more areas will follow in 2023. Stay tuned!

Set-up of a Paratransit, peri-urban and rural DRT network in Aveyron with Agglobus, and in Rubanbleu for rural services.

Operated by SATAR, these complementary services now cover a significant part of the areas not covered by traditional networks. Thus, rural and suburban residents and those with reduced mobility can contact a call centre to request a ride. In total, fifteen vehicles have been chartered to improve the territorial coverage of public transport in the area.

Download our case study about DRT in rural ares

STO in Canada extends collaboration with Padam Mobility to offer on-demand transport in the areas of Buckingham and Masson-Angers

Also, great news from Canada – our client the Outaouais Transport Company (Société de transport de l’Outaouais, STO) decided to extend the on-demand transport service for local trips in Buckingham and Masson-Angers districts for a second consecutive year. This means residents in these districts can continue to use STO’s on-demand service in addition to the regular bus network and active modes of transport.


Padam Mobility pilots autonomous vehicles in Lyon

As part of the EU-funded AVENUE project, which tested autonomous shuttles in four European cities, including Luxembourg, Geneva and Copenhagen, Padam Mobility was selected as a technology partner to run the autonomous DRT experiment in the Lyon region.

Learn more about our AV solutions


Padam Mobility and Hacon launch a mobility application in Albi

In the context of a growing mobility offer and changing needs, the Albigeois Agglomeration Community has introduced a new regional brand for its mobility offers: libéA. This new brand reflects the ambition to provide the territory’s inhabitants with sustainable and reliable mobility. Behind this brand is a desire to harmonise the transport offer in order to facilitate intermodal travel for users.

The new brand identity is reflected in the new libéA mobilités application, developed by Hacon and Padam Mobility and available since the end of June. Users of the application enjoy an enhanced experience when planning their trips. The best intermodal connections are presented on the basis of existing data transmitted in real-time by the various local public operators in the agglomeration.

Visit our blog for further information


A new service in Leicester

NovusFlex is an on-demand transport service that gives people the opportunity to travel around the New Lubbesthorpe area and access jobs and services in the neighbouring towns of Leicester and Narborough. New Lubbesthorpe is a new development located between Leicester and Narborough. 

The service, launched in August 2022 and operated by Vectare, will complement a regular shuttle service between the development and Leicester city centre.

New Lubbesthorpe’s landowner and main developer, The Drummond Estate, funded the service to provide residents with attractive and flexible transport options. Go Travel Solutions, a consultancy specialising in sustainable mobility solutions, acted as lead advisor in the design and installation of this innovative transport service.

Access the service’s website

Cognac: Deployment of a door-to-door DRT for PRM and senior citizens

Launched in September 2022, Trans’porte is a door-to-door transport-on-demand service operating on reservation throughout four defined zones in the Grand Cognac area. Operated by TRANSCOM, Trans’Porte runs from Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays, on the basis of 3 days per week and per zone.

A Transport on Demand service initiated by a municipality: Blagnac is following the example of Clamart

The “TAD Blagnac” is the new free DRT service that was set up to complement the Toulouse urban network in poorly served urban areas. It is aimed at residents of the Layrac, Savoie and Les Prés districts. It has about sixty stops spread across the town.

Padam Mobility further expands its presence in Europe

Padam Mobility continues its national and international development with new deployments.

Our new launches not only reinforce our leadership in intelligent DRT solutions, they also confirm that our customers consider Padam Mobility to be a truly trusted partner. A company whose experts make their know-how available to operators and local authorities for the co-construction of sustainable mobility solutions. Solutions that make perfect sense in the context of the current power crisis.”

Grégoire Bonnat, CEO at Padam Mobility

Padam Mobility is part of the Siemens Mobility stand at Inno Trans in Berlin

Inno Trans in Berlin is one of the world’s largest trade fairs for public mobility. As part of the Siemens Mobility family, Padam Mobility was represented together with its sister companies Hacon, eos.uptrade and Sqills at the impressive Siemens Mobility stand on over 1000m². Together with our teams, we were able to present our on-demand technology to the visitors and also talk about our possibilities of linking road and rail.

Find out more (Text in German)


Padam Mobility showcases the silent revolution of Dynamic On-Demand Transport on the occasion of the inauguration of its new headquarters

Grégoire Bonnat, CEO and co-founder, and Thibault Lécuyer, COO, spoke about the recent boom in on-demand transport and the outlook for the coming months. Following Padam Mobility’s invitation, Vincent Pilloy and Virgile Lapierre, from the Collectif mobilité Île-de-France, a partner of Padam Mobility, presented the results of their latest survey on travel in the greater Paris region.

Spending power, regional development, agile and inexpensive investment, positive environmental impact, social cohesion… there are many reasons that can explain the 150% growth in the use of Padam Mobility’s services over the last 16 months. And while the media may not yet be making a big deal of it, users are embracing the silent revolution.

Visit our blog for further information

UK: The Robin, a new Transport on Demand service, is introduced in Gloucestershire

The Robin on-demand service was launched in mid-October 2022 in Gloucestershire. The aim of the service is to provide reliable public transport to the largely rural areas of the Forest of Dean and North Cotswolds. Many people in these areas have little access to public transport, which significantly reduces their overall quality of life.

Users can book the service by phone, app or through the booking website. For the latter two options, they can choose to pay directly via the website or app, or by cash or debit card when entering the vehicle.

Visit the service’s website

A new use case for Transport on Demand: Cultural outings

This new use case of Transport on Demand for Padam Mobility is already bringing concrete benefits. The public can escape traffic jams around cultural venues by not having to use their own vehicle. The overall aim of this initiative is to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of cultural events, while at the same time relieving the public transport networks, both at peak and off-peak times.

Visit our blog for more information

Concentrated Power for Northern Europe: Sales Team at Persontrafik in Stockholm with its own stand

In August, the sales team for the Northern European market expanded – Padam Moblity was able to recruit Pranav Chittur as the new Business Development Manager.

In October, Pranav and other sales colleagues represented Padam not only at the Maas in Europe conference in Amsterdam, but also at Persontrafik in Sweden.


The Linggo service in the Langres region wins an award from the French Federation

In a bid to digitalise the region, the MixedTransport Syndicate of the Pays de Langres commissioned Padam Mobility to deploy its Transport on Demand solution.

The spotlight brought by the “Federation of things that work” is now giving Linggo’s founders a taste for more. “We really want to help other elected representatives interested in setting up this type of network. We were helped fifteen years ago and now we want to help other territories to set up a transport network adapted to their needs.

Already, elected representatives from the Vendée, the South-West and even the Paris region have shown interest in the system.

Find out more (Text in French)

Padam Mobility at the AGIR days in Nice

Padam Mobility was joined at the AGIR Days by Elisabeth Portelli, head of the Icilà service of Envibus operated by the Sophia Antipolis Agglomeration Community. Together with the Padam team, she provided details to visitors about the DRT service, which was launched in July 2019. Since its launch, more than 200,000 passengers have been transported. The initial objective was to meet the mobility needs of the region, which is made up of 21 municipalities with nearly 2,500 businesses and more than 68,000 jobs in an area of 24 km².

We currently work with Padam Mobility in 15 municipalities. We have a ticket system for technical problems, and the support team is responsive and attentive to our needs. There are real constructive exchanges and the software is updated on a regular basis.”

Elisabeth Portelli, Head of DRT at Icilà de Envibus

ULTIMO announces Padam Mobility as official partner

In early October 2022, the first phase of the project started, involving renowned partners from the fields of transport, vehicle manufacturing, science and research, politics and technology. They all share a holistic goal of developing autonomous public transport services that can be integrated into the existing infrastructure to move people in a resource-efficient, inclusive and cost-effective way.

In November, the official project launch was celebrated in Brussels. Padam Mobility’s Project Lead Javier Guimerá presented Padam Mobilty’s on-demand AV solutions to the other partners and gave insights into the successes of the AV projects supported by Padam Mobility so far.

Holibri in the fast lane: After less than a year, on-demand service in Höxter, Germany already welcomes 50,000 passenger

In December 2021, the on-demand service “Holibri” was introduced in Höxter, a city with a population of around 30,000 – easily accessible with almost 1,300 virtual stops throughout the city. And the service is catching on: An average of 4,500 passengers per month use the fleet, which is powered exclusively by green electricity – and consists of only 4 vehicles in total.

More information (Text in German)


IDFM renews trust in Padam Mobility for another four years

The Padam Mobility – Setec consortium has once again been selected by Île-de-France Mobilités to continue the deployment of TàD Île-de-France Mobilités until 2026.

The Transport on Demand service operated by Île-de-France Mobilités is one of the largest DRT networks in the world. In a couple of days, it is expected to reach one million passengers. The system provides a response to the challenges of mobility in areas with low population density and poor connections to the regular infrastructure. For the renewal, the agency RƎLIEF was appointed to boost the popularity of the offer among users.

2023: Off to a great start!

On Thursday 12 January, Padam Mobility is hosting its own event: MeetUp Mobility in Marseille. The focus of the event is on public-private dialogue in the context of shared mobility projects in rural areas.

The idea behind it? To exchange opinions and make initiatives known.

Autonomous vehicle operated by TGP in Geneva
  •   Alternating between high and low population density in a multi-faceted area
  •   Geological and topographical constraints: Coastal areas, mountains…
  •   Seasonal mobility needs
  •   Ageing population
  •   Car traffic

Further info and registration



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Why “Sharing” is really “Caring”


“Shared Mobility” services of various kinds have become an essential part of at least most big cities. Whether scooters, bikes, cars or ride-pooling services, the demand for shared mobility forms to suit every taste appears to be satisfied in urban areas. But what about user acceptance? What future potential do shared mobility services have? And which aspects might need to be improved? In this article, we try to shed light on these and other questions. 

The advantages of “Shared Mobility”

Shared mobility brings decisive advantages: the traffic load on roads and inner cities is reduced, and pollution caused by emissions and particulate matter decreases. In the light of alarming reports proving that the transport sector accounts for around 1/3 of all carbon dioxide emissions in Europe, with 70% of this coming from cars, trucks, vans and buses, there has to be a shift in thinking about local transport.

Shared forms of mobility have the potential to help reduce traffic congestion and can be an important pillar in achieving the Paris climate targets, which require, for example, that the German transport sector emits up to 42% fewer greenhouse gases in 2030 (compared to 1990).

Less traffic also means fewer busy roads, less noise and fewer traffic jams. Certain areas in city centres that were previously cluttered with cars could become accessible to citizens, which would significantly improve the quality of life for city dwellers.

In addition, shared mobility is also more economical for each individual user, because those who share rides also share the costs.

What people say about “Shared Mobility”

Living with fewer cars sounds tempting; who wouldn’t be happy with more space and better air quality?

In a study released by the Swedish technology company Ericsson in March 2021, over half of all respondents (57%) say that they believe shared mobility concepts will gain popularity among consumers over the next 5 years. The expectations are that more shared mobility solutions will reduce general traffic and the resulting environmental impact.

These data show that people have recognised the importance of shared forms of mobility and consider them to play an important role in the fight against climate change.

And yet, the numbers are surprising when considering that public transportation, especially in Corona times, suffers. Whereas just before the pandemic, in April 2020, 57% said they preferred their own car to shared mobility, that number has risen to 87% globally* over the course of the pandemic.

So why do respondents’ perceptions and actual usage numbers match up so poorly?

What do people really think about “Shared Mobility”?

In fact, in the same Swedish study, the picture changes when people are asked what they think their own consumption habits will be in the next 5 years. Over half of all respondents (51%) see themselves driving a personal (autonomous driving) vehicle by then. In other words, people think shared transportation is a good and important concept, but are worried about losing their own liberties and, thus, prefer to stick to a private car.

Why “Sharing” is still THE Mobility solution of the future

These survey results reveal one crucial aspect: under certain circumstances, people are certainly willing to abandon an individual vehicle, however, without sacrificing personal independence and flexibility.

So, if people are basically willing to make the switch and recognise the transport revolution as a crucial element in protecting the environment, and yet there is still no significant increase in the number of passengers, we need to find ways other than emissions statistics to convince them.

The key here lies in the offer. 58% of all respondents of the group of working parents of the Ericsson study are interested in sharing offers that promise a personal advantage in contrast to private, unpooled car travel. This could be the factor of entertainment and customer service, for example, a personalised user account that knows immediately upon boarding which light or seat setting the customer prefers, or even what kind of music they would like to have played on their headphones. Customers would also opt for a “shared mobility” service if they had access to a fast and robust Internet connection (64%) everywhere. A study by the German Fraunhofer Institute (March 2021) found that 58% of the respondents would be particularly interested in ridepooling services that operate at night.

It is therefore important to establish a service where there is a corresponding need. The relevant questions need to be answered: how do we establish a full-coverage offering in the sense of a Mobility as a Service solution? How can data be shared and used securely? How can the peri-urban areas benefit from a shared mobility solution in order to relieve the inner cities of a load of daily car commuters?

If the right questions are asked and solved bit by bit, consumers will also follow suit – the basic willingness to do so exists.

*11,000 consumers from 11 countries were surveyed for this study


Find out more about Padam Mobility 

You might also like this article: Ridepooling, Ridesharing, Ridehailing – Which is what?

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Propulsion Technologies of the Future – Alternatives for Petrol and Diesel in Public Transport 

technologies de propulsion

An important principle of shared mobility is to get as much individual traffic off the road as possible because more and more cars also mean more and more CO2 emissions, the equation is simple.

Cars are a central cause of air pollution in Europe and account for a full 60.7% of total CO2 emissions from European road traffic.

Of course, this is especially due to the fact that cars are still widely driven by internal combustion engines. But the share in the distribution of fuel types within the European Union of petrol engines (2018 approx. 52 %) and diesel engines (2018 approx. 40 %) is steadily decreasing. With approx. 60 % (petrol + diesel) to 40 % (electric drive) in 2021, electric propulsion systems and other alternative fuels have caught up significantly.

Time to take a closer look at this development and ask what alternative forms of propulsion technologies are actually available, especially for local public transport, what are the advantages and what challenges exist?

Propulsion Technologies of the Future: Electric Engines

For some time now, we have become accustomed to electric cars on our roads. Most car manufacturers have realised that they need to adapt their portfolios to technological and social change and have started to offer quite affordable electric cars.

All in all, this is a positive trend, because electric cars offer decisive advantages over the combustion engines which have been widespread up to now: they do not emit any direct pollutants and thus avoid smog, especially in big cities. Moreover, they drive much more quietly, which is especially beneficial for residents living near busy roads.

However, a car is still a car, and even if electric cars may pave the way for less emission-heavy road traffic, there are still criticisms that indicate that electric engines are not the magic bullet. Although developers advertise that their electric cars do not emit any direct pollutants, this is by no means the case when it comes to electricity generation and battery production.

Here, it is the carmakers’ responsibility to ensure that battery production does not diminish the eco-balance. In fact, the differences from country to country are considerable, which is why no general statement can be made about the CO2 balance of batteries. 

Another alternative source of propulsion: Natural Gas Engines

Another much more environmentally friendly alternative to diesel and petrol are vehicles powered by CNG (compressed natural gas). Compared to combustion engines, vehicles powered by natural gas save up to 77% in CO2 emissions. Moreover, emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter are almost completely reduced.

Advocates of natural gas propulsion also see a great opportunity for public transport and claim that the available quantities of sustainably produced natural gas are already sufficient to power “all public transport buses” (referring to Germany). The generation of electricity, on the other hand, according to them, is not as mature and is much more harmful to the environment than bio natural gas.  

Despite the good environmental balance, however, this market is developing only very slowly. The main disadvantage is the poor infrastructure of refuelling stations (only about 900 in Germany).

In addition, there are currently only very few manufacturers who are pushing the supply of natural gas vehicles, which will probably make widespread deployment in local public transport very difficult in the long term.

Hydrogen engines – The energy source of the future? 

Just like electric vehicles, hydrogen vehicles are equipped with an electric motor. However, the electricity required is not generated by a battery, but by means of fuel cells directly on board. This eliminates the usually long charging process, while the CO2 balance, like with electric vehicles, is similarly positive.

Despite these and other advantages (e.g. long ranges, low-noise operation), hydrogen drives are not yet ready for widespread use in public transport. This is due in particular to the high costs entailed. For example, a bus with a hydrogen fuel cell costs about € 650,000, while a bus with a diesel engine costs about € 200,000 €. To compare: electric buses rank in the middle here with about $ 750,000 (equivalent to approx. € 635,000). 

In addition, hydrogen production is not yet mature enough to make the fuel suitable for mass useTherefore, hydrogen propulsion also requires extensive financial support and a sound political framework. Only then will it be possible to move alternative forms of mobility into the centre of society and make them more attractive, especially for transport providers.

Propulsion technologies: What does this development mean for public transport?

Public transport can definitely benefit from the developments described above. Even though at the moment, people often only talk about individual transport in connection with electromobility, it can be assumed that it will also develop into a dominant element for local public transport.

For example, in the near future, the London transport network is going to be expanded by 68 new zero-emission buses. In addition, the ZeUS project (Zero Emission Urban Bus System) reported that, according to their own research, 19 public transport companies active in 25 European cities, have already submitted plans for a zero-emission bus network. 

But regardless of the efforts to establish a (largely) emission-free public transport system, the question of financing will certainly play a decisive role. A recently published study comparing “clean technologies” in relation to their costs indicates that CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is currently the most affordable solution for public bus networks, which is why this technology is most often chosen by transport operators worldwide. However, which form of propulsion will ultimately prevail in public transport networks will depend on the national and local circumstances in the energy sector, e.g. taxation of energy sources.

To sum up – where are we now? 

The steadily advancing developments of alternative forms of propulsion are certainly a step in the right direction. In particular, the many discussions about combustion engine substitutes show that people are generally willing to make the switch for environmental reasons. Yes, perhaps even take this turnaround in the mobility sector as an opportunity to get more informed and thus become increasingly open-minded towards other forms of (shared) mobility.

Electric mobility in particular promises opportunities for emission-free transport provided that the production conditions of the electricity are sustainable. Moreover, studies show that electric public transport is more economical in terms of maintenance costs. The money saved could ultimately be used to do (even) more for environmental protection, to enable low-income earners to get a discounted public transport ticket, or to promote transport-on-demand projects that might convince people that there are not only attractive alternative forms of propulsion but also attractive alternatives to owning a car.


This article might also interest you: Between Reality and Science-Fiction – Will DRT be autonomous? 

Find out more about Padam Mobility

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Today is Earth overshoot day: an event that should make the call for a transport turnaround even louder

The fact that we, the human race, live beyond our means and are almost unrestrained exploiters of our home planet shouldn’t be news. Almost all of our everyday habits, especially travelling and being mobile, contribute significantly to the consumption of finite resources. 

This Thursday (29 July 2021) highlights this fact even more, as today marks what is known as Earth Overshoot Day. The day on which humans will have used more resources than the Earth can produce within a year. In order to calculate this date, UN statistics on the ecological footprint of humanity and biocapacity are taken from a specific year, divided and multiplied by 365. The result is the Earth Overshoot Day of a given year. By the way, the same can also be calculated for each individual country:


Since 1970, we can see that the Earth Overshoot Day is moving further and further back – this year already to the end of July. A crucial sign and an important signal that not enough is being done to reduce the negative impact of human life on the environment. 

Earth Overshoot Day: an important message for a rapid change in transport policy

Private motorised transport contributes significantly to the deterioration of air and climate. This is mainly due to our increased level of mobility, which in Germany alone has almost doubled in the past forty years, with the main means of transport still being the individual car – with an upward trend.

Whereas in 2000 there were still 532 cars per 1000 inhabitants, this number has risen to 580 cars per 1000 inhabitants by 2020. This development is burdening the environment in many ways: air pollution is increasing due to the growing emission of pollutants, in addition, more and more cars require more and more space, which leads to a large-scale sealing of the natural soil.

In Germany, almost half of the ground surface is sealed, among other things to create more space for roads and parking spaces – with disastrous effects. In recent weeks, we have witnessed at first hand the consequences of human intervention in natural habitats: Rain can no longer be absorbed as easily by the ground, existing sewage systems can no longer cope with the masses of water, flooding may result.

All these scenarios, which already have a massive impact on our lives, should wake us up: the transformation of transport is an important part of reducing harmful human-made environmental impacts and must therefore be implemented as soon as possible.

Earth Overshoot Day: How can the change in transport look like?

It has long been obvious that a shift in mindset is necessary when it comes to transport. The task now is to create incentives that make it easier for people to switch to shared modes of public mobility. Only then will it be possible to reduce the approximately 17% of global CO2 emissions caused by our mobility behaviour and to conserve the earth’s resources.

Our existing habits play a decisive role in this. Car drivers are used to getting around easily: Roads are everywhere, detours or subsequent longer walks to the destination are almost non-existent, huge areas are covered with concrete so that cars, which spend a large part of the day just standing around, can be parked almost anywhere. These and other amenities have educated us to use the car. But this behaviour can also be changed.

To do so, it requires two things: 1) making the use of public, shared transport more attractive and 2) making the use of one’s own car less attractive.

Of course, these demands are not fully applicable to all people and life situations. People who live in rural areas are usually dependent on using their own car, while public transport hardly operates or does not do so on a regular basis.

A fair balance must therefore be created that benefits everyone and does not penalise those who are particularly reliant on a car. For example, people who move out of the cities because they cannot afford an expensive city residence, but still have to commute far to their workplace every day.

An attractive shared mobility offer can be created when mobility options are developed that actually correspond to the reality of people’s lives. These can be employee shuttles (for big companies) or on-demand feeder services that take people to main transport hubs that they cannot easily reach on foot or by bike.

A good example of how such Demand-Responsive Transport services are catching on is, for example, the Clam’Express in the greater Paris region. With a fleet of electric vehicles, people are comfortably transported the first and last kilometres from their home to their destination. The service stops at hubs where passengers can easily transfer to the regular transport network. The Clam’Express is inclusive, allowing people with reduced mobility to effortlessly book and use it. 

Further solutions for rural mobility, especially a Mobility as a Service (Maas) approach can be reviewed in our current White Paper. A link to download it is available at the bottom of this article.

Financial incentives, such as discounted tickets for employees or free tickets for senior citizens (at certain times), as is the case in the UK through the “Older People Freedom Pass“, should also be considered by governments to make public transport more attractive options for more people.

On the other hand, persons who drive every kilometre with their own car and occupy large parts of the public space should be charged significantly higher parking fees, for example.

Earth Overshoot Day: What does the future hold? 

Under the hashtag #MoveTheDate, solutions are being collected online to help push back the Earth Overshoot Day.

The solutions listed above, along with other incentives to make public shared transport a ‘normal’ means of transport for the general public, can enable us to move Earth Overshoot Day back by 13 days (compared to today). Saving 50% of current mobility-related emissions is already enough. In other words, about one-third of all journeys usually made by car should be replaced by public transport.

A demand that certainly is not utopian. Decision-makers are now obliged to pave the way for an effective change in transport. Innovative ideas and products for this already exist and only need to be used effectively and distributed fairly.


This interview about “Empirical Evidence on Demand-Responsive Transport Services” might interest you as well.

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Empirical evidence on On-Demand Mobility Services

Interview Gregoire_Lisa

On-Demand (or Demand-Responsive) Transport has been trending worldwide. But what does it mean exactly? It’s a mode of transport where instead of having fixed lines and fixed timetables, the itineraries are actually optimised based on the demand or bookings. In order to understand a bit more the impact of on-demand mobility on sustainability, Grégoire Bonnat, CEO of Padam Mobility, interviewed Lisa Dang, Research Associate at Lucerne University about the conclusions she had following the publication of her recent study on the subject.

Lisa, you are with the University of Lucerne and you recently published your study on the impacts of on-demand mobility on sustainability. Could you start by describing briefly what your study is about?

In our study, we examined the effects of On-Demand Mobility Services on sustainability in terms of emissions and traffic volume. For the analysis, we created four service options designed to be as realistic as possible, depending on the level of On-Demand Mobility integration into public transport :

  • On-Demand Line Operation, a service that operates like a “conventional” bus line, but is enhanced by an additional on-demand component;
  • On-Demand Public Transport Supplement, a service that provides an extension of public transport and is used, for example, only during off-peak hours when public transport services are infrequent;
  • On-Demand Public Transport Replacement, a service that replaces public transport through virtual stops, e.g. door-to-door rides;
  • Commercial On-Demand, a service that directly competes with public transport and aims to poach users.

The main focus of the study is the comparison of a rural area that is Glarus South with an urban region that is Basel St. Johann, both located in Switzerland. The calculations of the study are based on a sustainability simulation model created on Excel. The input data for the simulations are taken from the literature, as well as empirical data from pilot projects.

So according to your simulation, which of the service options is the most efficient?

In the service options that are the extension, the replacement and the competition, a significant increase in CO2 emissions can be expected, as a considerable share of users of these services come from the more environmentally friendly modes of transport, that is public transportation or non-motorized transportation.

However, implementing the supplement service option is recommendable. There are positive effects in terms of CO2 emissions because in this case, many passengers change from a taxi or a private car to this eco-friendly collective transport service.

And what would be your findings regarding traffic volume?

In all service options and in both spatial contexts, additional road traffic is a consequence of the on-demand collective transport services. There is additional traffic because according to the model assumptions, a considerable proportion of users in all service options switch from public or non-motorized transport to the on-demand collective transport services. And moreover, this effect is due to the low occupancy rate of on-demand collective services caused by a low degree of ride pooling and a high proportion of empty kilometres.

Have you found any interesting differences between the urban and the rural areas?

Yes, the results of the simulation regarding the influence of the area on the advantages of on-demand collective transport services show that the extension, replacement and competition service options generate higher additional CO2 emissions in the rural than in the urban area. The supplement service option, which is the favourable one, leads to a reduction of CO2 emissions in both areas with a higher reduction of CO2 emissions in the urban area. However, in urban areas, there’s a negative impact on the traffic volume in terms of additional vehicle kilometres since the pooled public transport demand is replaced by less pooled on demand vehicles.

So, in the end, which factors influence the ecological balance of on-demand shared mobility?

By calculating sensitivities, the present study shows which factors influenced the ecological balance and how strong the effects are. The model shift as well as the propulsion system technology have a strong influence on ecology and traffic volume. Regarding the traffic volume, we can say that the model shift, the average usage and the pooling rate have a particularly high influence on the generated traffic. 

If the majority of trips could be shifted from motorized private transport to the new On-Demand Mobility Services and at the same time an average capacity higher than that of a private car could be achieved, there would be positive effects on space and environment, and these aspects are particularly important in densely populated areas with high traffic volumes.And regarding the ecological effects, we find that the introduction of on-demand collective transport services leads to less traffic and fast to lower CO2 emissions when making optimistic assumptions regarding the pooling of ride requests, the empty rate and the shift from private cars. Also, the electrification of the vehicle fleet has a major effect, while the average distance per passenger has only a small effect.


This article might interest you: DRT optimisation: without the guarantee of advanced booking, no efficient route optimisation

Find out more about Padam Mobility.

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[Forum] The shadow of the private car is back

Private car is back

After so much effort to de-clutter the roads, the health crisis has reshuffled the cards. The modal share of public transport is in freefall, and there is a real risk that the private car will return to the forefront.

Pollution indices were among the few good news during containment. The French High Council for the Climate reported a 30% drop in GHG emissions.

The prospect of a major traffic jam

As ecological awareness has come up against the difficulty of guaranteeing health security for all, deconfinement has redistributed the modal share cards in the daily lives of citizens. Public transport has been deserted. According to Ile-de-France Mobilités (the Paris region Public Transport Authority), last June the number of people using the Paris region network represented barely 40% of the number of people using the network at the same time last year. In September, the figure did not reach 60% of passengers. Reluctant to board buses or metros, many urban and suburban dwellers want to avoid the promiscuity of public transport. Deprived, elected officials have seen their citizens demand impossible guarantees while seeing their public transport revenues drop.

The car is therefore on the verge of making a resounding comeback. Published in March, an Ipsos poll carried out in China revealed that 66% of the Chinese people questioned intend to choose the car to get around, a figure that did not exceed 34% before the crisis. In France, 233,820 new cars were registered in June 2020, compared to 96,310 at the same time last year, a notable increase of 1.2%. 

Favouring alternative solutions by being responsible

On all our roads, in the city centre as well as in the peri-urban and rural areas, it is not possible to give up responsible mobility. There is only one way to do this: be more responsible. It is up to us to wear masks, to respect sanitary measures and to avoid unnecessary travels. This is also how we will enable transit operators to be resilient. It is also up to us to trust them to ensure our safety by choosing the most suitable alternative for our journeys.

Among the solutions, Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) provides both flexibility and resilience that is rare in the world of public transport. This is Padam Mobility’s speciality. In the face of the pandemic, DRT makes it possible to book seats in everyday transport, thus controlling a passenger occupancy rate that guarantees social distancing. 

Adaptable in real time, it allows services to be transformed by adding stops where needs, even temporary, are felt. It is also much more predictable: DRT’s enhanced passenger information will warn users if a vehicle is already too full to accommodate passengers safely. And will direct them to the next available ride.  

This period is testing the resilience of public transport. Which has the means to meet the challenge. 

Thibault Lécuyer-Weber – Chief Marketing Officer, Padam Mobility


This article may interest you: Padam Mobility offers technological solutions to ensure social distancing in transports

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Which key measures for Demand-Responsive Transport in the new French Mobility Act?

Mobility Act key mesures Demand-Responsive Transport

What are the main key measures for Demand-Responsive Transport in the new French Mobility Act (LOM)? The text was published in the Official Journal of December 24, 2019. It brings many advances on shared mobility solutions including Demand-Responsive Transport. In particular, it marks the transition from a transport policy oriented towards major projects to an “everyday mobility” policy . 8 key points are to bear in mind:

1. Public Transport Authorities (PTA) mobility can more easily offer Demand-Responsive Transport services.

It is now possible for a PTA to intervene in the following 6 main areas, to develop an adapted offer to the territories: conventional regular transport, Demand-Responsive Transport, school transport, active and shared mobility, as well as solidarity mobility.

2. The mobility plans replace the current urban travel plans (PDU) and take into account Demand-Responsive Transport.

Active and shared mobility, solidarity mobility and the logistic challenges are better apprehended in these new plans. They are part of the objectives to fight urban sprawl, air pollution and for the preservation of biodiversity.

3. The transportation subsidy becomes the mobility subsidy and includes Demand-Responsive Transport.

This subsidy is subject to the setting up of conventional regular public transport services. In addition, it is possible to adjust its rate within the same work union according to the density of the territories.

4. Demand-Responsive Transport for People with Reduced Mobility (paratransit) is facilitated.

The mobility of people with reduced mobility will be facilitated, through concrete measures which include paratransit.

5. The development of Demand-Responsive Transport is facilitated.

The challenge is to make innovation a lever to meet the many unmet mobility needs.

6. The legal framework for carrying out experiments (POCs) on Demand-Responsive Transport in rural areas is adapted.

The act empowers the Government to legislate by ordinance to introduce legislative-level exemptions. This provision is part of the France Expérimentation approach.

7. Employers can implement Demand-Responsive Transport to facilitate their employees’ commuting as part of the compulsory negotiations to be carried out within companies with more than 50 employees.

These agreements must specify the manner in which employers undertake to facilitate the home-to-work trips of their employees. It could take the form of a mobility voucher.

8. A sustainable mobility package is created: up to € 400 / year to go to work by Demand-Responsive Transport.

Tous les employeurs privés et publics pourront contribuer aux frais de déplacement domicile-travail en solutions de mobilité partagée de leurs salariés. Ce forfait pourra s’élever jusqu’à 400 €/an en franchise d’impôt et de cotisations sociales. Aussi, il remplacera l’indemnité kilométrique vélo mise en place jusqu’à ce jour, mais dont la mise en œuvre est restée limitée car trop complexe. Ce forfait sera cumulable avec la participation de l’employeur à l’abonnement de transport en commun, dans une limite de 400€/an (la prise en charge de l’abonnement de transport en commun reste déplafonnée).

All private and public employers will be able to contribute to home-to-work trips’ costs through shared mobility solutions for their employees. This package can be up to € 400 / year free of tax and healthcare contributions. Also, it will replace the bicycle mileage allowance set up to date, but whose implementation has been limited because of it’s complexity. This package can be combined with the employer’s participation to the public transport subscription, up to a limit of € 400 / year (support for the public transport subscription remains uncapped).


Learn more about the LOM, the French Mobility Act (in Frenc)

Learn more about Home-to-Work trips

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