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One step closer to MaaS in Lille

Un pas de plus vers le MaaS à Lille

Keolis Lille, the operator of the Illévia public transport network in the Lille metropolitan area, has just integrated Demand Responsive Transport (Padam Mobility) into its Illévia mobile application. This integration is done in the application through the Navitia multimodal trip planner, developed by Kisio Digital. It’s a step closer to the MaaS in Lille. 

Now, the integration lets any user complete their journey in all modes (including Demand Responsive Transport) at once for a seamless journey to their destination. 

Increasing the MaaS experience in Lille

The integration meets the will of Kisio and Padam Mobility’s common customers to integrate all modes of transport in a logic of MaaS. The Ilévia mother application offers a complete mobility package allowing the display and reservation of trips from other shared mobility applications such as carpooling or Demand Responsive Transport, like Ilévia Réservation.

The user experience is considerably more flexible. The user can access the entire available transport offer in a matter of seconds, and can compare routes, and choose the best travel option. The latter without interruption to the final destination.

“This first integration of Padam Mobility’s DRT solution in Lille in the Illévia app facilitates access to this new mode of transport for its inhabitants. The excellent collaboration between Padam Mobility and Kisio Digital’s teams enabled us to move quickly. With a logic of service-oriented mobility (MaaS), the integration of the solutions of the major players in new mobility in our Navitia trip planner is an important area of development to give more choices to the users by combining more and more means of travel”. Malik Chebragui, Director of Products and Operations at Kisio Digital

Another perk for the users: they no longer need to know precisely the mode of operation or the service area of the DRT service on which to carry out part of its journey, since only the relevant routes are offered. They also no longer need to know the exact name of the stop closest to their destination address.

Boost attendance rates

For the Lille metropolitan area, the new integration enables it to make its entire mobility offer, including DRT, more visible, which should boost ridership rates.

“It’s essential for a company like us to make its interfaces accessible. For our customers, this is a fundamental advantage that allows them to make their transport offer more legible and visible”. Ziad Khoury, Co-founder and COO Padam Mobility.

From a technical point of view, the integration is made possible by deeplinking, which allows the Ilévia parent application to query the Ilévia TAD reservation application, to generate Origin-Destination (OD) searches and to automatically make reservations on the sections served by the TAD whose use is relevant to the requested trip.

Ensuring a better access to transport in rural areas

Access to a seamless mobility that unites, without opposing them, the possible means of transport makes it possible to facilitate travel for all, providing a solution to spatial and social inequalities and to the climate emergency.

A step closer to the MaaS in Lille

 

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4 essential steps for a demand responsive transport 2/2: Extending the service and integrating new use cases

essential steps for a demand responsive transport

The efficiency and success of a demand responsive transport (DRT) service is based on several steps. In this article, we will discuss the two other essential steps to the implementation of an efficient dynamic demand responsive transport service: the extension of the service and the technical and new use case integrations. essential steps for a demand responsive transport

What is a dynamic DRT?

The aim of a dynamic DRT is to rationalise public transport by adapting supply more closely to demand with more interesting economic and ecological benefits. Vehicles, reserved via a mobile application, a website or a call centre, replace underused or non-existent fixed lines. Their route is optimised thanks to algorithms.

Step 3: Service extension

The service extension stage is a move to scale aimed at perpetuating DRT to make it a structuring element of the mobility offer in the area in which it operates, to overcome the weaknesses of the existing transport network or to rethink the area’s public transport service plan by opening up poorly connected areas.

This step is used to identify the areas and use cases that best lend themselves to DRT in order to replicate the DRT model. It enables a “tools” strategy to be defined and implemented, following integration logics aimed mainly at replacing deficient fixed lines and/or converting under-utilised services.

The main challenges in extending the service are based on the method of acquiring the DRT software (calls for tender, over-the-counter, etc.), the balance with the rest of the network, integration with the existing network and its tools, performance monitoring and consolidation of service quality criteria.

What indicators should be taken into account at this stage?

  • The same as those of the pilot (step 2)
  • Acquisition, retention, use, mileage and knowledge of users.

 What questions should be asked before moving on to the next step?

  • Are there other needs or cases of unaddressed uses?
  • What is the capacity to replicate the service operationally in other areas, possibly with different operations or use cases?

Find out more about the service extension set up for Ile-de-France Mobilités by Padam Mobility

Step 4: technical integrations and new use cases

The principle of technical integrations: 

  • Adding new use cases to the existing ADP platform at marginal cost and benefiting from their advantages. In particular, this makes it possible to pool operating and management costs (vehicles, drivers, etc.).
  • To meet specific needs (e.g. transport of healthcare personnel in the event of a health crisis, substitution services in the event of works, occasional / event transport).

Cases of use that can be integrated:

  • Other shared public transport: TPMR, school transport, evening service in stations without reservation, airport shuttles, etc.
  • Occasional transport: transport of healthcare staff in the event of a health crisis, substitute services in the event of works, occasional / event transport (e.g. a concert or football match).

Technical integrations are used to make TAD a brick perfectly integrated in your MaaS (Mobility as a Service) vision. As an aggregator of mobility solutions, it aims to offer individuals the opportunity to visualize their journeys from end to end regardless of the type of transport used (public/private, shared, soft, mass, etc.).

In practice:

  • DRT platform integrates with the local MaaS and allows users to complete their public transit trips with DRT.
  • The TAD itself integrates with the network, synchronizing with train schedules for example.
  • Finally, other transport solutions exist, such as carpooling, bike sharing, car sharing, taxis/VTC etc. The TAD can be combined with these other forms of transport to complete its offer when it becomes saturated. For example, the TAD platform can offer carpooling or taxi/VTC alternatives when no TAD is available in the next half hour, and vice versa.

Learn more about the integration of MaaS in Padam Mobility solutions

Our experience in ADP design, configuration and optimization leads us to the observation of these 4 steps that we consider to be a good factor of success and efficiency of an ADP service. The success of an ADP service mainly includes user satisfaction with the service. In all cases, the best approach to adopt always consists in getting in touch with a dynamic ADP professional who will be best able to advise you in the implementation of your service.

Learn more about the two other essential step 1/2

 

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4 essential steps for an effective demand-responsive transport: the feasibility study and the pilot

étapes essentielles pour transport à la demande

The efficiency and success of a Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service is based on several steps. In this article, we will discuss the first two essential steps for an effective DRT: the feasibility study and its simulations, and then the pilot.

What is a dynamic Demand-Responsive Transport?

The aim of a dynamic DRT is to rationalise public transport by fine-tuning supply to demand with more interesting economic and ecological benefits. Vehicles, reserved via a mobile application, a website or a call centre, replace under-used or non-existent fixed lines. Their route is optimised thanks to algorithms.

Step 1: the feasibility study and the simulations

The goal of the feasibility study is to understand the operation and use of DRT on a territory and to question its rationality from an economic point of view. It is used to define supply and demand scenarios, obtain reliable performance indicators, and understand how these evolve according to the different scenarios defined.

The simulations, preferably taken from the DRT platform, make it possible to put figures on the different scenarios based on reservation data, demographic data, transport surveys or telephone data, making it possible to anonymously track journeys within a territory. The simulations operate in-vivo and also make it possible to validate the economic relevance of the service, to ensure the correct configuration of the offer and to identify the risks.

What indicators should be taken into account at this stage?

  • Quality of service: waiting time, percentage of requests served and average detour rate: how do users feel about the quality of service? Are they satisfied enough to re-use the service on a regular basis?  
  • Cost of service: number of people per hour per vehicle per trip, mileage, number of vehicles used and maximum vehicle occupancy rate.

What questions should be asked before moving on to the next step?

  • Is the service financially sustainable and acceptable to the community?
  • Is the project politically tenable?
  • Will users and operational teams agree to host an innovative project such as DRT?

Read more about the feasibility study and simulations carried out for Aviapolis (Helsinki, Finland) by Padam Mobility

Step 2: the pilot

The pilot, whose watchword is agility, is used to test, measure and iterate over short cycles. The pilot is used to validate the relevance of the new DRT service for the need for mobility, the digital transition to a SaaS tool and the strategies and means of communication with the population. It also makes it possible to test the uses of DRT and to understand the issues involved (traction, quality of service, operational handling, etc.).

What indicators should be taken into account at this stage?

  • Quantitative data: number of visitors, distribution of the reservation application & website VS call centre, number of passengers per vehicle and per commercial trip, quality of service.
  • Qualitative data: human transition and change management, satisfaction surveys.
  • Network balance: frequentation of non DRT lines that pass nearby.

What questions should be asked before moving on to the next stage?

  • What is the trend? Is it stable?
  • How is the economic balance of the service?
  • What is the capacity to replicate the service operationally in other areas, possibly with different operations or uses? 

Learn more about the pilot carried out for Keolis in Orleans by Padam Mobility

Find out how to build an efficient DRT

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Between reality and science fiction: Will Demand-Responsive Transport be autonomous?

Autonomous Demand-Responsive Transport

Will Demand-Responsive Transport be autonomous? The Demand-Responsive autonomous vehicle has a unique disruption potential. Given the very many ongoing projects with equipment manufacturers and GAFAs, its implementation is almost palpable. However, if the technology on which Demand-Responsive Transport is based is now perfectly mastered, autonomy adds an additional operating complexity, especially in sparsely populated areas. Explanations.

Autonomous Demand-Responsive: current projects

Autonomous Demand-Responsive Transport is a transformational innovation that mobilizes many companies, startups and large groups.

Freight transportation: it will still take time before it democratizes but its potential is gigantic thanks to the growth of the e-commerce (remember that Amazon has its own freight airline which is constantly developing). If tomorrow we can do without a driver or pilot for all or part of the journey, carriers will then be able to gain in costs and flexibility. To achieve this, Boeing is launching with its subsidiary Boeing HorizonX, Tesla is making the buzz with its cybertruck and Thales is developing autonomous trains.

Intra-campus mobility: this is a subject which is operational and which is already working in a real situation, as the Belgian example shows with the site of the Solvay company. The objective is to complete the existing offer to set up shuttles in a university campus, a hospital site, a research center or a park. The route is standardized and involves few risks and interactions with other vehicles. We can also mention autonomous delivery vehicles, as it is the case in Virginia on the George Mason University campus which authorized 25 delivery robots capable of delivering meals to students. At any time, they drive on the sidewalks, avoid obstacles and pedestrians, and only the person who placed the order can access their meal inside the robot.

People transportation: Most GAFAs invest in it. On the Alphabet side, the parent company of Google, it is its subsidiary Waymo which works on it. However, this still only affects a few areas of the city of Phoenix in the United States. Many other startups are working on the subject, including the French Navya, Prophesee and AV Simulation, in particular on software management, artificial intelligence, cameras, detectors and other radars that will make these vehicles live.

Can we really do it without drivers?

Spoiler alert: no. At least not in the short or medium term. But before going into details, you have to understand what is meant by autonomous vehicle with levels which can be variable:

  • Level 1 is the minimum degree of autonomy which is characterized by the simple presence of a cruise control in a conventional vehicle.
  • Level 2 adds intelligent sensors which slow the vehicle down according to the behavior of other vehicles and which force it to stay within the limits of the traffic lanes. The driver must always have his hands on the steering wheel.
  • Level 3 allows the vehicle to control acceleration, deceleration and direction, but the driver must be ready to take over when needed.
  • Level 4 authorizes driving autonomously in certain situations known by the vehicle, such as a long journey on the highway for example, or in certain cities that are particularly well mapped and connected. But as soon as the vehicle leaves this zone, the driver must take over.
  • Level 5 does not need a human driver. The vehicle does everything, all on its own, and does not need a steering wheel. The latest example to date is the Cruise developed by a GM subsidiary in the United States, but which remains in prototype form.

Today, all the experiments require an operator on board, which kills the promise of an autonomous public transport, both from a technological point of view and from a financial point of view. On the other hand, in the current context, nobody is yet ready to accept a driverless journey, even less when it comes to collective public transport. In the United States, half of Americans think that autonomous cars are more dangerous than traditional cars. A situation which may change in the future, but which means accepting to get in a driverless plane or to leave your children on a driverless school bus.

Autonomous and driverless Demand-Responsive Transport is a great promise on paper, because its model is very flexible. If the drivers disappearance is not yet up to date, this remains a goal for a lot of companies.. 

Autonomous vehicle on demand: the question of the “where” more than the “when”

The question of the availability of autonomous Demand-Responsive Transport is not temporal, but geographic. To say that the autonomous car will be available in 2025 or 2030 does not make sense, because it will not be able to drive itself everywhere or all the time. In some places, an autonomous car may only be so 20-30% of the time. Think in particular of urban hypercenters whose multiplicity of modes of transport could make the circulation of an autonomous vehicle incompatible in the short term. In low-density areas, frequent traffic on small, sometimes winding country roads and the many white areas (areas without internet connection) make it necessary to have a human on board. In addition to driving the Demand-Responsive Transport vehicle, it is often asked to the latter to know and master the territory in which the service is offered. Padam Mobility’s smart and dynamic Demand-Responsive Transport solutions mainly improve the mobility needs of the populations located just outside urban hypercenters. For these populations, and in particular the elderly with a precarious mobility, the contact with the driver of the vehicle still represents a highly valued human tie.

As specialists in artificial intelligence, the Padam Mobility teams of course remain in close connection with the autonomous vehicle environment and explore possible applications to the most relevant use cases.

 

See how to switch from Smart Mobility to Fair Mobility thanks to the Demand-Responsive Transport

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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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Demand-Responsive Transport: Why aren’t they all equal? Reservation time limit and itinerary calculation

Demand-Responsive Transport parameters

Reservation time limit and itinerary calculation methods are important parameters for choosing a Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) solution.

Reservation the day before or last minute

There are three main categories:

  1. DRT services requiring a reservation the day before. This time slot is often sufficient for people who use the service for commuting. However, it does not fit to other needs (shopping, leisure, etc.).
  2. DRT services with a 2 hours reservation time limit. Allowed by technical improvements but also and above all by compromises on other points. This delay is ultimately quite little different from the previous case in its advantages and drawbacks.
  3. DRT with real time reservation. Like Uber and Lyft, users can book their trip as late as they want. The DRT vehicle will pick them up as soon as possible. Real time reservations is a real plus. In Orléans, when real-time reservations were put in place, more than 30% of reservations were made last minute, resulting in a significant increase in traffic. In addition, some use cases are only possible if real time reservation is possible. For example, an airport DRT service. Indeed, with the plane delays and baggage claim time, users are never sure when they can be picked up.
Different methods of itinerary calculation

Some Demand-Responsive Transport operate following the “virtual line” service design. They operate like a conventional bus line, except that they only stop at requested stops. Simple to set up, the interest is also very limited. In fact, there is little optimization in terms of time or mileage since the itinerary remains unchanged. Also, they will not be able to cover a larger area than a conventional fixed line.

On the other hand, there are DRT solutions which make it possible to vary the itineraries according to user requests. They follow a “zonal” service design. In this case, operating optimizations are important.

Zonal Demand-Responsive Transport
  • Some “zonal” DRTs require human intervention. The transit operator receives indications allowing him to make an informed choice when he assigns a person to a bus. The trajectory is therefore made up by the human using the machine or by the machine using the human.
  • Other “zonal” DRT solutions build the itineraries using an algorithm once all the reservations have been filled in. This therefore requires stopping reservations before the start of the service (one night or half a day).
  • Finally, some solutions, based on artificial intelligence, are capable of creating itineraries as reservations are made. This allows in particular the real-time reservation like Padam Mobility solutions.

Under the name “Demand-Responsive Transport” there is therefore, on the one hand, a service which follows a predetermined line and, on the other hand, a service which is capable of optimizing itineraries in real time according to user requests. Not all solutions fit to all uses cases, and choosing the right tool is a crucial step for the success of a Demand-Responsive Transport service.

 

Read more about Padam Mobility Demand-Responsive Transport solutions

Read more about other parameters to keep in mind when choosing a Demand-Responsive Transport solution

 

 

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Why are the territories rushing to replace their demand-responsive transit systems?

demand-responsive transit

Because dynamic demand-responsive transit is to DRT what the smartphone is to the landline phone: a solution that makes its ancestor outdated, thanks the combination of technology and intelligence, in line with the changing uses.

A cheaper and more accessible shared mobility solution

Historically linked to senior public and mobility impaired people, demand-responsive transit is now opened to all audiences. Leisure, studies, shopping, employment… Suitable to all territories and scales, dynamic demand-responsive transit offers new opportunities for communities:

  • Flexible and intelligent, dynamic DRT ensures a significant decrease in operating costs and carbon footprint.
  • More accessible, it guarantees social inclusiveness by addressing the issues of precariousness-mobility, mainly in peri-urban and rural areas, while being compatible with the transport of mobility impaired people.
  • In sync with mobility innovations, it saves time for people.

Despite its many advantages, DRT suffers from the image of the aged demand-responsive transit solutions deployed decades ago: heavy in terms of investment, long to deploy and complex to operate.

Technological advances, particularly the optimization of journeys in real time thanks to artificial intelligence, make it an extremely easy mobility solution to implement.

Demand-responsive transit: a simple and fast solution to deploy

Nowadays, thanks to technological innovations, new turnkey solutions are being developed to answer more effectively the needs of territories and users.

Unlike other systems, SaaS demand-responsive transit solutions simplify service implementation and ease day-to-day network management:

  • No installation is required on the computers. The acquisition cost is significantly reduced, as well as the cost of maintenance and updates.
  • These solutions offer great freedom of use, since they can be accessed from any connected device.
  • The tools are hosted on secured servers: maintenance and service guarantee are greatly improved
  • The needs of the territory covered define the functionalities to which users have access.

In addition, SaaS demand-responsive transit solutions do not involve any disruption for end users. Indeed, these tools can coexist with older systems, such as reservation centrals that access reservation interfaces. Users may also prefer a mobile application to book their trips. As for drivers, they can follow in real time the evolution of their journey via the application.

To determine the outlines of the best offer to deploy, some solutions provide simulation tools to study a given territory beforehand: number of vehicles, number of stops, service models, etc…

Depending on the customization required, the deployment of a SaaS demand-responsive transit tool last from 1 to 3 months. The data collected during operation help to improve the service permanently and to study new approaches to evolve the demand-responsive transit network.

Ready to give up your wire? Find out about Padam Mobility’s on-demand transport solutions here.

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From Smart Mobility to Fair Mobility with Demand Responsive Transport

Smart Mobility

Urban development, geo-tracking and mobile applications primacy, ridesharing, big data, 5G, connected and smart cities… these are all the terms related to the urban services in the future. Tomorrow’s cities will be more connected, smarter and more responsive. A societal transformation that is very interesting to follow, because while the most educated, connected, buying-powered population who master the digital ecosystems will be the one who will benefit the most, we must also ensure that we do not forget all other citizens, including people with reduced mobility, senior citizens and residents without transport service coverage. To be relevant, “smart” mobility must therefore be inclusive. Between smart mobility and fair mobility, the nuance is important and can contribute to make our society more just and fair. Let’s explain why.

Smart Mobility: intelligent and efficient, but far from perfect

Smart mobility means the use of new technologies (real-time data collection, processing and analysis) for transportation. It is, for example, a way of finding the right route at the right time, anticipating traffic difficulties, and connecting physical things (bridges, roads, traffic lights, street lighting, parking, etc.) to a digital interface in order to create new applications and use cases.

It’s quite hard to dissociate smart mobility from smart city. Although its contours are changing, the smart city is above all an ambition driven by public and private players who are committed to a more inclusive, connected and responsive urban planning project that can have a competitive advantage in terms of economic development in an increasingly globalized world.

In his report to the Prime Minister in spring 2017, Luc Belot, then deputy in Maine-et-Loire, set out 3 main principles of the smart city:

  • Organise real governance: a structure that brings together elected representatives, the administration, postsecondary education and economic players for cross-cutting policies.
  • Ensure sovereignty and avoid privatization: crucial issues for territories to keep control of data, tools, applications and software, with an emphasis on standardization and reversibility.
  • Ensure an inclusive city: giving a place to each citizen, without social or digital divides, and moving from a user-centric to a citizen-centric approach.

In reality, however, smart cities are mainly linked to megacities with a young, active, urban and connected population. Unintentionally, this term excludes certain parts of the population for economic, social, urban planning and physical reasons. So smart mobility is supposed to be inclusive on paper, but in reality this is not always true. Hence the importance of being vigilant to avoid gaps between intentions and concrete actions.

There are, fortunately, some counterexamples, such as the city of Medellín in Colombia, described as the most innovative city in the world by the Wall Street Journal in 2012, which proves that you can be a smart city without being a tech city.

Why make mobility more inclusive?

Why move from a premium and exclusive model to an accessible and inclusive one? There is clearly an emergency as shown by the alarming datas from the Ministry of Transport:

  • 12% of sensitive urban areas are not served by any transport network.
  • One in two people in professional integration has already refused a job or training because of mobility problems.
  • One French person in three has mobility problems and is threatened with social exclusion.

Intelligent and purely technological mobility only makes sense if it can include the entire population in a logic that is more human than economic. This is the reason why smart mobility has become fair mobility. To achieve this, technological intelligence must be a tool and not an end. What matter is the goal. If we simplify the lives of only 10% of the inhabitants of a city with a smart city, we de facto exclude the remaining 90%.

Demand-responsive transport (DRT): a solution to move from Smart Mobility to Fair Mobility

Demand-reponsive transport (or DRT) has the ability to transform intelligent transportation into sustainable, social and human mobility. Outside dense and urban areas, it can be difficult to travel by public transport. Not enough users, complex traffic, few commercial or tourist locations… the current model is not designed to be fair. And if things are already complicated during the day, imagine the challenges of travelling at night, especially for workers with staggered hours.

Demand-responsive transport is a public transport system like any other, with a shuttles or buses, but with routes and stops set according to users’ reservations. Here, no vehicle runs empty and routes are optimized.

Public transport does much more than transporting passengers. They are the links that connect and bring territories together. They make life easier for people, create economic value and develop responsibly thanks to the digital revolution that is transforming our society. When technology is at the service of all, mobility can become smart and fair.

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Demand-Responsive Transport : Why aren’t they all equal? The reservation channels

Demand-Responsive Transports: reservation channels

There are many types of Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT). They  vary both on the service and on the reservation method. Although it may seem anecdotal, the differences are significant and the results too. How to navigate? We light up the situation with a couple of articles. Today let’s talk about the different reservation channels.

The performance of a Demand-Responsive Transport management system is often reduced to its algorithm. While it is crucial, it is not the only success factor for a DRT.

The importance of the reservation channels

We should not underestimate the importance of reservation channels and their ergonomics. Most of the time, the single or main Demand-Responsive Transport reservation channel is a call center: you have to contact a service by telephone to book your seat. This fits well to the uses of a part of the population: the elderly. They are not comfortable on the internet and have the time to make a call during the day to book their trip. For the rest, several disadvantages must be taken into account:

  • Users can only make reservations during defined time period on daytime. But we rarely plan our trips during the day. We think about them either on the evening or on the morning. On average on our service, 46% of the reservations are made before 8.am or after 6.pm in the evening.
  • Teenagers and young adults do not like making phone calls (source in French)
  • Reservation by phone requires agents to take reservations. As a result, the more people who use the service, the more switchboard operators.
The advantages of online reservation

More and more networks have taken the measure of these disadvantages and offer the possibility to book by internet. This limits the staff needed to manage reservations and allows users to book their trip at any time. However, it will be necessary to think of a mobile version of the booking wesite at the risk of missing out more than the half of the traffic: in France, there are more Internet users to connect via their smartphone than their computer (Source in French).

Finally, since more recently, some communities offer an online booking, by phone but also via a booking app. This is for example the case of TAD Ile-de-France Mobilités.

Why favoring the reservation by app?
  • In France, 73% of French people own a smartphone according to the Digital Barometer of 2017.
  • Smartphone users spend more than 85% of their time on their smartphone to use an app (Source in French).
  • Apps allow to make more sophisticated and complete interfaces while requiring a less qualitative Internet connection.
  • Communication with users is facilitated. Thanks to the notifications it is possible to warn the user when his van is about to arrive; to inform him in real time about his situation (arrival time, delay or possible advance) and ask him to rate his experience at the end of his trip.

In rural areas, an ergonomic and well-designed website and a call center should be enough to meet the demand on one hand. On the other hand, if your audience is made up of smartphone users (service within peri-urban areas, industrial sites, activity areas , railway stations, airports and residential areas), we highly recommend the use of mobile apps as a reservation channel.

What do the users expect?

The wave of Uber, Lyft and other chauffeur-driven cars services have shown how far booking a trip can be easy. Users expect an interface with same quality for public transport. Setting up such an offer is quickly rewarded. A well-designed application can channel almost all bookings and  help saving money for managing them. As an example, on the Demand-Responsive Transport services that use the Padam Mobility platform, more than 90% of the reservations go through the app.

Under the name “Demand-Responsive Transport” there is therefore, on the one hand, a service which must be reserved the day before by telephone and, on the other hand, a service which can be reserved via an app. Not all solutions fit to all uses cases, and choosing the right tool is a crucial step for the success of a Demand-Responsive Transport service.

 

Read more about Padam Mobility Demand-Responsive Transport solutions

Read more about other parameters to keep in mind when choosing a Demand-Responsive Transport solution

 

 

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The future of urban mobility

Urban mobility

Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lyon. These are the most congested French cities according to a study by Inrix. In France, traffic jams cost drivers nearly 20 billions euros in time lost, over-consumption of fuel, equipment wear and tear and unproductiveness caused by delays. This is not the only issue when it comes to mobility. Large cities are also saturated by pollution when peripheral territories struggle to develop sustainable transport solutions. One thing is certain: the future of mobility contraste with the last fifty years model. If we can’t eradicate the car overnight, we can change its use. And that’s just one solution among many. Let’s project ourselves into the future of urban mobility.

Tomorrow, a greener urban mobility

Hybrid cars are already a reality. Tomorrow, it could be the dawn of electric vehicles. If they already exist, the technology is still in development. Every year, manufacturers improve battery power, battery life and vehicle options. However, the market maturation can only be achieved when the charging stations are available in sufficient number. Urban equipment adapts, but it may take time. Fortunately The LOM (Mobility Orientation Act) law imposes strict rules : charging stations will be mandatory in all car parks with more than ten spaces, in new or renovated buildings, as well as in all car parks with more than 20 parking spaces in non-residential buildings by 2025.

When it comes to green mobility, Norway is an inspiring example. For the first time in history, more than half of the new cars sold in Oslo are electric and the city is now considered the world capital of electric vehicles.

Tomorrow, a shared urban mobility

A car spends on average 95% of its time on stop. This huge indicator highlights the importance of the transition from the era of possession to the era of use. The trend is to leave the individual car for new solutions. For instance, car sharing, private rentals and carpooling are alternatives that promote shared mobility. The car becomes a way of locomotion like any other, and is no longer seen as an extension of its property or home.

In Canada, Vancouver is considered the car-sharing capital in North America. In total, more than 3,000 shared vehicles cross the road every day, and the demand for public transit is growing. Travel patterns are changing and communities need to adapt.

Tomorrow, a smart mobility

As a result of technological progress and a new ecological, social and societal craze, Smart Cities are now buildings, neighborhoods or entire cities that are connected, semi-autonomous and intelligent. Through the AI development and data processing, mobility generates and uses a large amount of data to optimize its operations and which can serve many causes, such as:

  • The real-time availability of parking spaces.
  • Better traffic management with smart traffic lights.
  • A more efficient sharing of public space.
  • Public transport schedules respected and updated in real time.
  • The emergence of autonomous cars.

Intelligent mobility depends closely on the evolution of technologies: big data, cloud computing, geofencing, 5G, etc. The more communities integrate these innovations into their projects, the more effective mobility can be.

Tomorrow, a plural mobility

Despite the efforts of the territories, it is impossible to satisfy everyone in terms of mobility. The future is therefore a better complementarity of transport modes. You can drive to a station, take a bike out of your trunk to catch the train, and once you arrive at your destination station, you can cycle to work. With shared data and optimized software solutions, tomorrow’s intermodality will be fluid and latency-free.

In the United States, entrepreneur Elon Musk (Space X, Tesla, Hyperloop…) explores underground traffic with his new company “The Boring Company”. He wants to dig tunnels under cities that will be used by cars on smart platforms. Projects are being tested in California and several contracts are under discussion in particular in Chicago and Las Vegas.

Urban mobility is a subject that structures the organization and future of our society. And its future looks bright to connect all territories, reduce the social divide, make travel cleaner and transform knowledge and technology into a lever for performance.

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