Public Authorities

Webinar Q&A – A DRT Rural Success Story: Cheshire West iTravel

In the sparsely populated rural areas of Cheshire West, traditional public transport has long been a challenge for residents who live far from bus routes. However, the introduction of the iTravel Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service has marked a significant transformation in local mobility. Launched just eight months ago, this innovative service has already garnered strong community uptake, achieving an impressive average of at least three bus passengers per vehicle hour.

This success story is a collaborative triumph involving Cheshire West and Chester Council, Stagecoach, and Padam Mobility. Together, they have crafted a transportation solution that not only bridges the gap between rural isolation and urban accessibility but also encourages a more sustainable and convenient mode of travel.

To gain a deeper insight into the design, implementation, and success of the DRT service, a recent webinar organized by Landor Links brought together some of the key stakeholders in the project. Lynne McKie, Team Leader for Transport and Infrastructure at Cheshire West and Chester Council, Rebecca Hamilton-Adams from Stagecoach, and Jack Holland, Head of Business Development Northern Europe, shared their insights and experiences. The webinar was moderated by Beate Kubitz, independent mobility consultant and expert in the field of shared mobility at Beate Kubitz Associates Ltd. In the following text, we address some of the questions that were asked in the run-up to and during the webinar and provide detailed answers.

You can find the recording of the webinar by clicking on this link (YouTube)

Q: How is the financial performance of DRT judged, and how does this compare to fixed-route services?

The financial performance of DRT is often judged on a subsidy per-head basis. Currently, the subsidy is around £11 per passenger after nine months of operation. Our target over the next two years is to reach about five passengers per vehicle hour. With an average fare of £2.50, this would bring the subsidy down to around £5 per passenger, which is good value for money considering the service provided to people in a rural area like ours. We are also exploring efficiencies in service delivery, such as weekend and night services, which should help reduce the subsidy per passenger further.

Q: How can we bring the cost of Demand Responsive Transport services/costs per passenger trip further down, while at the same time increasing ridership?

Currently, the service operates with around three passengers per vehicle hour. We believe this can be increased to 4.5 to 5 passengers per vehicle hour, which would reduce costs per passenger trip while maintaining fare levels. Additional strategies include:

  • Diversifying funding sources and creating efficient operating models.
  • Integrating with taxis and ride-hailing services for a flexible supply model.
  • Using feeder/fetcher models and hub-and-spoke arrangements for targeted service design.
  • Combining Dial-a-Ride and DRT or Home-to-School and DRT services for greater efficiency.

Q: How can we better make the case for rural DRT schemes when the economics don’t necessarily stack up?

Rural DRT schemes should be evaluated with different metrics compared to fixed-route buses. They inherently transport fewer people in areas traditionally lacking bus services. While subsidy per passenger is a useful metric, it shouldn’t be directly compared to fixed-line services. We should also consider the cost per square mile of delivering the service and the socio-economic benefits, such as improved access to employment, education, and reduced loneliness. Many users previously had limited access to reliable transport, and the new DRT service has significantly improved their quality of life.

Q: How do you prevent detracting from existing mainline services with the introduction of DRT?

The service is designed to complement existing public transport. For instance, we block journeys that could be covered by the existing Stagecoach X30 service. We also serve seven railway stations but had to remove the fixed rail timetable from our algorithm to improve service capacity. By blocking journeys that can be undertaken by existing routes, we ensure that DRT complements rather than competes with these services. We use the £2 fare cap to make the service affordable, though through-ticketing isn’t available yet.

Q: What is the average daily mileage of the buses per day?

Each bus reaches about 200 miles each day.

Q: How did you communicate about the service to the local people?

Initially, there was some confusion about who the service was for, with some thinking it was only for older residents. However, through conversations and local engagement, we clarified its purpose. The community was very receptive, and word-of-mouth marketing played a significant role. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with many expressing that they had been waiting for such a service.

Q: Is there any consideration of using the iTravel service to transport goods, like parcels?

At the moment, we are not considering transporting goods. The vehicles are not designed for such a purpose, and it would be challenging to provide the necessary capacity.

Q: Could DRT be a sustainable transport solution for new settlements?

Yes, DRT is an excellent early-stage model for new settlements. It provides a flexible and efficient transport solution until the settlement grows large enough to support fixed bus routes. Typically, when a settlement reaches around 1,000 houses, it might transition to a fixed bus model. Until then, DRT offers a viable, scalable option.

Q: How might the service develop in the future, and what role will autonomous on-demand mobility play?

In the coming years, we expect autonomous vehicles (AVs) to play a larger role in on-demand services. Service design must be meticulously planned to mitigate risks. With a shortage of approximately 200,000 drivers across Europe, finding personnel for this job is becoming increasingly difficult. As we aim to keep public transport accessible to everyone, we need to consider how to manage these challenges effectively. Currently, AVs are primarily used in controlled environments like campuses, but as the technology becomes more reliable, it will be applicable in broader contexts.


This article might interest you as well: Heading towards an on-demand transport service utilizing autonomous buses 

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Revolutionising Mobility: Movia Trafik introduces the ‘Nærbus’ on-demand service to transform public transport in the Faxe region

  • Movia Trafik’s new On-Demand Service “Nærbus” officially launches on April 8, 2024, and will replace three fixed, underutilised bus lines.
  • Users can book the service on weekdays as needed from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
  • The “Nærbus” currently covers 108 stops and operates without a fixed schedule, meaning its route is determined solely based on current bookings.
  • Faxe is a municipality consisting of the middle-sized towns Haslev and Rønnede, with a total population of approximately 35,117 residents spread over an area of 405 km².

To provide residents of the rural Faxe municipality with a better alternative to private cars and to optimise the existing public transportation network, the Danish transport authority Movia Trafik, in collaboration with Padam Mobility, has developed a new demand-responsive mobility service.

Named “Nærbus”, the service aims to enable residents in and around Haslev to reach desired destinations within the area more easily and quickly. In particular, the service aims to simplify access to long-distance travel, especially considering that 25% of Faxe residents commute over 50 km daily to their workplaces. Therefore, the connection to the local train station, linking people to larger cities like Køge and Copenhagen, is essential to provide a comprehensive and attractive transportation alternative.

The “Nærbus” operates in a free-floating configuration, meaning its route is determined by current bookings, allowing users to be taken directly to their desired destinations. Additional users with similar destinations can join along the way, with the travel time only varying within the specified time frame. This not only prevents the driver from stopping at stops where no passengers want to board or alight but also enables travel routes to be covered almost as quickly as with a private car.

Padam Mobility will support Movia Trafik throughout the project to ensure the best user experience for all passengers. This includes extensive planning and simulations before the start of the project as well as ongoing monitoring and analysis of the generated service data, which enables a precise evaluation of the network and, if necessary, adjustments to the service.

User interface and booking process of the Nærbus app

The “Nærbus” can be booked via app, phone, or a booking website. Additionally, the service is partially integrated into the national trip planner “Rejseplanen”. Users who already use Rejseplanen can easily access the On-Demand Service within the app to plan and search for Nærbus trips and book via the whitelabeled Nærbus app.

The integration into the Rejseplanen app marks an important development step for “Mobility as a Service” in Denmark. Users receive all the essential information for a seamless journey, including current traffic information, ticket prices, transport options, etc., all in one application. The collaboration with Padam Mobility gives Movia Trafik a  strong partner to incorporate on-demand services into its existing offering and to expand its service to other regions in Denmark.


This article might interest you as well: Padam Mobility launches “Buss On Demand” for Swedish Public Authority Västtrafik

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Royal Geographical Society Symposium 2024: Geography in Practice – The Future of Rural Mobility

This day-long symposium held at the Royal Geographic Society presented a range of perspectives on the issues and challenges emerging in rural mobility. A range of speakers from different regions and bodies looked at case studies that covered the use of new low-carbon modes from e-bikes to DRT in rural areas.

Padam Mobility provided some of the research material used by researcher Beate Kubitz to present case studies to show the contrasting approaches to DRT in the UK and in France.

Mobility provision in the greater Orléans area through the RésaTAO on-demand service; Example extracted from Beate’s presentation

The French mobility law or LOM came into force in 2019 and affirms everyone’s right to mobility. It is the organising principle behind transport in France and has lead to French transport authorities reviewing their networks to ensure this provision. Whilst trains, trams and fixed line buses provide a network of mass transit, where the population is less dense – at the edges of cities and in rural areas – they have designed DRT services to link people to onward travel or allow them to travel within their area. These DRT schemes form rings round major cities, serving dispersed communities, villages and hamlets.

In the UK, the Future of Transport rural strategy includes DRT as an effective part of rural transport. However, the implementation so far is more fragmented, with a number of pilots funded by the Rural Transport Fund providing services in some areas.

Mapping the population density in the HertsLynx on-demand service area for the county of Hertfordshire; analysing mobility supply gaps; Example extracted from Beate’s presentation

There are still similarities between the UK and France though. Where DRT schemes are implemented there are common themes that emerge in the experience of the people using it. Research indicates that DRT enables more people to access public transport close to their homes, their journey times by public transport are reduced and they can travel to work, social activities and services.

Did you miss Beate’s presentation? Contact her by clicking here to find out more.

We also recommend reading “Future of Transport” by the Department for Transport, which is freely available under this link.


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‘HertsLynx’ Demand-Responsive Transport Service expands to new areas in Hertfordshire

  • HertsLynx On-Demand grew to include Ware, Hertford, and the district of Dacorum in December 2023
  • HertsLynx On-Demand in the Buntingford area reached the milestone of 50,000 passengers in November 2023
  • The service was commissioned by the Hertfordshire County Council in 2021 and is based on the DRT technology from Padam Mobility, with UNO Bus responsible for operations

The HertsLynx service, launched by Hertfordshire County Council in September 2021, provides residents of very rural areas in North and East Herts with flexible and easy access to nearby Key Hub Towns. The on-demand service offers a new quality of life, particularly in places where people were previously heavily dependent on their own car. Partly funded by the Rural Mobility Fund, the service aims to provide bus services where conventional bus routes would not be economically viable. This is an important commitment by the government confirming that mobility is an important factor in creating a liveable area for all.

The HertsLynx service operates flexibly, meaning it does not follow a fixed route but adapts to the ride requests of users. It can be reconfigured based on demand, with project teams from HCC and Padam Mobility closely aligning the service design with the real needs of users. A night service, which was initially introduced during the 2022 Christmas period to transport people safely to and from the Christmas market, was made permanent in April 2023. The so-called “HertsLynx Evening Service” now operates every Friday and Saturday from 8:00 PM to 11:30 PM.

Users of all ages have embraced the app-based transport service from the outset. The service now handles around 3,000 journeys per month and reached the milestone of 50,000 passenger journeys in November 2023. The positive reception confirms that the service is a much needed tool enhancing local mobility.

These excellent developments have prompted Hertfordshire County Council to further expand the service. In recent months, the on-demand service has been extended to several service areas. Two additional vehicles now serve Hertford and Ware, bringing the fleet to a total of 7 vehicles. This new area is also served by the “HertsLynx Evening Service” on Fridays and Saturdays. To make the service more efficient, some trips, e.g. from Hertford to Ware and vice versa, are not permitted. Users can find out about the authorised distances online.

Recently, the Dacorum area has also been integrated into the HertsLynx platform. The service will cover Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead, Tring, and surrounding villages, aiming to increase access for residents to employment, education, healthcare, and leisure activities by offering transport links from rural areas.

The launch of the new HertsLynx service is part of Hertfordshire County Council’s Government-funded Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which intends to increase passenger numbers through the introduction of several key initiatives, such as the establishment of on-demand rural services.


This article might interest you as well: HertsLynx On-Demand service reaches 50,000 passenger trips mark

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HertsLynx on-demand service reaches 50,000 passenger trips mark

There was excellent news for HertsLynx this month, as it reached the 50,000th passenger trips mark! This rural service, launched in late 2021, is leading the way in delivering public transport across rural areas. It serves the area around the Hertfordshire town of Buntingford. These areas, where some villages consist of only 30-40 houses, are difficult to serve with fixed line routes and around 40,000 people were more than a 15-minute walk from a bus stop.

When HertsLynx launched, people were quick to adopt the new service, both those people who live near the skeleton network of rural bus routes, but also in villages and hamlets which were not previously on bus routes. Customer surveys show it’s being used by a variety of people with about 25% of ticket sales to young people and 10% to older people. Key destinations include Freman College in Buntingford and stations in Royston and Stevenage. The service notably provides people in the area with a direct link to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, which was previously only possible on public transport via a very circuitous route. Trip patterns also vary, as its used for a variety of purposes, with one in six passengers using the service 5-20 times a month to make about a third of the trips, and the majority of the others use it less regularly.

Padam Mobility is really proud to be working with Hertfordshire County Council to power this vital service.  The service has proved very popular and is being extended to cover the area below Buntingford as far as Ware.

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Best practice in Digital DRT and Community Transport – Q&A


Beate Kubitz, Victoria Armstrong, and Louise Currie discussing Best Practices in Community Transport

The recent webinar on Community Transport and DRT threw up some interesting questions. It focused on The Robin in the Forest of Dean, operated by community transport operator Lydney Dial-a-Ride and was hosted by Victoria Armstrong, CEO of the Community Transport Association (cta). Louise Currie from Lydney Dial-a-Ride provided insight into the community approach to running a sophisticated DRT operation, with metrics provided by independent transport consultant Beate Kubitz. We selected some commonly asked questions from the chat and outlined our replies below.

How did you promote the new service to everyone? We also have an older generation mainly in the area and have already had some passengers concerned about the DRT system to be implemented.

Working with a CT operator has been great for this. Lydney Dial-a-Ride already has good understanding of this group and in the webinar Louise outlined her approach to getting people on board. The data shows that we have seen great uptake from this demographic across app and call centre usage.”

I think a key metric when evaluating DRT is passengers carried per hour (or, to avoid issues with variations in distance, passenger boardings per hour). Would you agree that, if the result is lower than can be provided on a fixed route, the funds would be better spent on traditional fixed route (or timed many-to-one DRT) service?

We look at patronage per revenue our as a metric and want to grow this. However fixed line services would not be able to serve such a diverse range of destinations as the DRT where the virtual stops do not have to be distributed along linear routes and can provide for people across the area. Serving the same stops by fixed route would be very expensive . DRT provides more accessibility for more people. To improve value we try and design systems to carry people to a central hub, allowing them to make an onward journey on a bus or train. Also, in places where there is a fixed route service, there is an option to direct people towards the fixed route and ensure that DRT does not compete with routes served by commercial services.”

How can passengers guarantee a trip for a fixed arrival time, e.g. for medical appointments?

The Padam Mobility software that sits behind the DRT offers both a “depart at” and “arrive by” option when journeys are booked. We approach DRT from a public transport approach rather than a ride-hailing / taxi approach. This means that the arrival time is “locked in” after booking and is the latest time that you could arrive, inclusive of any other users that you share your journey with.”

Why does it have to be to bus stops – why can’t it be door-to-door?

Whilst it’s possible to run a door-to-door service, we’ve found that services with virtual stops work more efficiently. Virtual stops increase patronage rates as you are asking people to congregate at virtual or physical bus stops. Otherwise you could theoretically use a large amount of the flexible journey time stopping at each house on a street rather than a single collective stop. Also stop to stop services helps DRT distinguish itself from other services such as dial-a-ride that may be door-to-door given mobility needs of users.”

Is completely flexible DRT really sustainable? Some commentators suggest that many-to-one services (e.g. Petworth Route 99, Wiltshire Connect (ex-Wigglybus)) may stand a better chance (as has been proven over many years).

Semi-flexible DRT can help drive higher loadings but not all rural areas have population densities that can support this. Flexible DRT does have some place in the more isolated areas of the country, but can operate as a feeder service to key hubs, such as transport interchanges and town centres. The services in Gloucestershire and in Hertfordshire support this observation where 15-20% of trips start or end at rail stations.”


This article might interest you as well: DRT & Transport Consulting – Webinar with Xuefei Wang, Jack Holland and Chris Hillcoat – Q&A 

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ULTIMO Project Introduces its First Automated On-Demand Service in Geneva powered by Padam Mobility

The transport authority “Transports Publics Genevois” (tpg) is taking a pioneering role in introducing autonomous on-demand vehicles to the existing public transport system in Geneva. The deployment site selected as part of the ULTIMO project now officially offers on-demand automated shuttle transport, which users can request via the already well-established regional DRT app. Located in the Belle-Idée housing development, a stone’s throw from the French border, the project covers a 38-hectare site with various facilities such as a hospital, a kindergarten, a conference centre and restaurants. At the heart of this innovative project are three autonomous, electrically powered vehicles that take passengers to their desired destinations on demand.

A revolutionary way of getting around

At the Belle-Idée site in Thônex, Canton Geneva, tpg’s automated on-demand transport service offers passengers the chance to experience revolutionary new mobility. Unlike traditional fixed transport lines, users can move freely throughout the Belle Idée site thanks to the autonomous vehicles and their fully flexible configuration. The service will be available from 28 September to 30 November 2023, every Thursday between 10:00 and 14:00. Booking a ride is easy via the tpgFlex mobile app, powered by Padam Mobility, which is available free of charge for iOS and Android. During this test phase, one tpg employee will be on board each of the three autonomous vehicles to ensure safety and compliance.

What distinguishes this AV-DRT operation from other pilot projects with autonomous vehicles is the simultaneity of the “standard” DRT operation involving drivers as well as AV vehicles operating without a “conventional” driver. For the first time in such a project, tpg’s DRT system combines these two operating models.

This public opening follows an initial test phase of autonomous vehicles in Belle-Idée, which took place from 2020 to 2022. It paves the way for the ULTIMO project, which was introduced in December 2022. ULTIMO, funded by the EU and Switzerland, boasts a total budget of €55 million over four years (2022-2026) and is planned for three pilot cities in Europe, including Geneva (Switzerland), Herford (Germany) and Oslo (Norway). The project partners plan to deploy several automated on-demand services in the coming years as a means to improve public transport, especially in sparsely populated areas or off-peak hours.

The Future of Transportation in Geneva

With the roll-out of this first version of the innovative automated on-demand transport service, tpg and their partners are driving transportation in Geneva into the future. This visionary approach combines cutting-edge technology with user-centric flexibility, enhancing accessibility, reducing emissions, and offering a glimpse of what the future holds for public transportation.


About Padam Mobility

Padam Mobility, a key partner in the ULTIMO project, specializes in optimizing shared mobility solutions. Their expertise lies in creating software solutions for on-demand and shared transportation, making them an ideal collaborator for advancing automated on-demand transport services. The in-house project team for automated on-demand services has developed a dedicated solution for the orchestration of AV fleets. This has made Padam Mobility a strong partner not only for DRT projects but also for the deployment of automated fleets. Their technical solutions cover all important steps necessary for the execution of AV projects, from the shift management of vehicles to the booking and registration of passengers on board.


The ULTIMO project is an initiative of the EU and Switzerland and comprises more than 20 project partners from the fields of technology, industry and academia. The partners’ common goal is to integrate large-scale, on-demand and passenger-oriented Automated Vehicle services into the traditional public transport network. To achieve this, diverse cross-sector teams are researching and accompanying the introduction of CCAM (cooperative, connected and automated mobility) systems in selected deployment sites in different locations across Europe.


This article could interest you as well: Padam Mobility joins PAVE to educate and innovate in Autonomous Transport

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Padam Mobility Launches New Demand Responsive Transport App as part of the Solent Future Transport Zone programme

Padam Mobility and SCiA Project Teams

In collaboration with Community Transport Organizations FYT Bus on the Isle of Wight and Southampton’s Social Care in Action (SCiA) Dial-a-Ride; Solent Transport and its four local authority partners, have introduced a new mobile app for the Solent region to improve access to FYT and SCiA’s services.

Specifically, FYT’s on-demand service will cater to residents and visitors on the western side of the Isle of Wight, while members of Dial-a-Ride in Southampton will be able to book SCiA’s Dial-a-Ride service through the new mobile app.

Powered by Padam Mobility, a globally renowned provider of dynamic demand-responsive technology, the new journey planning app aims to offer seamless and convenient access to public transportation on the Isle of Wight and across Southampton. To access these services, users can download the “FYT and SCIA Booking” app from the App Store or Google Play, select their local service and book their journey..

This innovation in community transport within the Solent region has been made possible through the support of the Solent Future Transport Zone (FTZ) programme, funded by the UK Department for Transport. Collaborating closely with FYT Bus and SciA Dial-a-Ride, the Solent FTZ will monitor and assess the advantages of on-demand transportation solutions. This valuable information will contribute to shaping transport policies at a national level.

Introducing the “FYT Bus On-Demand Service”

The on-demand FYT Bus, also known as the “Route E afternoon service” or West Wight FYT Bus, will be running only in the afternoons and aims to cater to the transportation needs of residents and tourists on the picturesque, west side of the Isle of Wight. This cutting-edge on-demand service is designed to offer convenience and flexibility, with the inclusion of virtual stops and several fixed points served during each ride. Passengers will experience a new level of convenience, allowing them to reach their destinations seamlessly.

Enhanced Accessibility with the “Southampton Dial-a-Ride Service”

In addition to FYT’s Route E afternoon service, Padam Mobility is delighted to provide Southampton Dial-a-Ride members with access to the “Southampton Dial-a-Ride Service” within the same app. This service, offered in collaboration with the SCiA Group is set to improve public transport accessibility in Southampton and the surrounding areas by offering real-time bookings across a website, call centre and mobile app.

Padam Mobility’s cutting-edge technology and expertise will be harnessed to enhance efficiency, streamline booking processes, and simplify management for users of the Southampton Dial a Ride Service. Passengers can look forward to an improved and more user-friendly experience, making travel within the city and beyond more accessible than ever before.


About Padam Mobility:

Founded in 2014, Padam Mobility provides digital on-demand public transport solutions to transform peri-urban and rural areas and provide better access to mobility services for all.

To achieve this, Padam Mobility provides a software suite with intelligent and flexible solutions that better adapt public transport services to real demand, especially in sparsely populated areas. The software suite is based on powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence.

Public transport operators, public authorities and private companies trust Padam Mobility when it comes to improving access to territories, enhancing mobility services and optimising operations. The company accompanies its clients on the road to operational excellence while promoting environmentally friendly mobility.

Padam Mobility was acquired by Siemens Mobility in May 2021. The company is headquartered in Paris.

About Solent Transport:

Solent Transport is changing the way the public travels in the Solent area; making it greener, healthier and economically stronger than it’s ever been before. Through the delivery of transport solutions, Solent Transport provides leadership, strategy and direction to support sustainable economic growth in the Solent area. Originally established in 2007, Solent Transport is an apolitical partnership between the councils of the Isle of Wight, Hampshire County, Portsmouth and Southampton. In collaboration with the local community, business, government and transport operators, Solent Transport undertakes research; develops transport policy and strategy; submits and supports funding bids; and lobbies for transport improvements that will benefit everyone.

About the Solent Future Transport Zone:

Solent Transport won £29m from the Department for Transport (DfT) to implement innovative future transport solutions around personal mobility and freight movements. The funding means the Solent area will benefit from several innovative transport solutions including: smartphone apps for planning and paying for sustainable journeys demand, e-bike share scheme, and new approaches to freight distribution, including drone freight trials for NHS deliveries across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Funding will be allocated to different projects across the region. The Solent Future Transport Zone programme proposes to address local challenges such as high levels of car usage and the environmental impacts of freight movement within Solent’s urban areas. It will do this by delivering a series of complementary projects within two key themes: Personal Mobility and Sustainable Urban Logistics.


This article might interest you as well: Enhancing Accessibility in Rural Cheshire West and Chester with DRT Service “itravel”

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Padam Mobility launches “Buss On Demand” for Swedish public transport authority Västtrafik

  • The new DRT service is deployed in Ulricehamn, Vastra Gotaland
  • The aim of the first eight-month pilot is to investigate the influence of DRT on the mobility behaviour of the population
  • Users can already book their “Buss On Demand” by using the dedicated application

One of Sweden’s largest transport associations, Västtrafik, was looking for a solution to connect the less populated areas around the medium-sized city of Ulricehamn and thus improve the intra-urban mobility of its inhabitants. To do this as efficiently as possible, a digital solution was sought that would best meet the needs of the area.

The project is divided into several pilots. The first pilot will last 8 months and will investigate how the introduction of DRT affects the travel behaviour of the population. In order to expand the transport offer and also reach areas in the surrounding area, Västtrafik has opted for Padam Mobility’s on-demand solutions.

Ulricehamn belongs to the province of Västra Götalands Iän, which provides the app “Västtrafik To Go” to public transport users. With this travel app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, users can keep track of all public transport in the region and also buy tickets. For future pilot projects, it is planned to partially integrate the timetable information system HAFAS from the German company Hacon. Padam Mobility and Hacon are both wholly owned by Siemens Mobility and work as sister companies on intelligent software solutions for public road passenger transport. 

The first pilot project aims to demonstrate the impact of DRT solutions for local users in a service area limited to about 20 km². The trips are on-demand and not bound to a fixed route, meaning that users are transported to their desired destination in the quickest way possible in a free-floating configuration. The intelligent algorithms on which the system is based ensure that trip requests are bundled and passengers with similar destinations are transported in the same vehicle at the same time.

To simplify this process, Padam Mobility is introducing a new ticketing prototype that will allow users to pay for tickets for the on-demand service directly through the MaaS app via a deep link. The price is based on the existing fare structure, also valid season tickets are accepted on board the “Buss On Demand”. 

From the launch of the service, users can access the service from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm during the week and from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekends. At the beginning of the project, one vehicle will be deployed, however, the fleet can be flexibly expanded by another vehicle according to demand. 


About Västtrafik

Västtrafik is responsible for public transport in the Västra Götaland region, Sweden. Every day, over 444,000 customers choose to travel with our buses, trains, trams and boats. By developing and offering sustainable trips and smart services, we want to be the obvious choice when you travel. In this way, Västtrafik contributes to provide a foundation for sustainable growth in Västra Götaland. An attractive and competitive region.

About Padam Mobility 

Founded in 2014, Padam Mobility provides digital on-demand public transport solutions to transform peri-urban and rural areas and provide better access to mobility services for all.

To achieve this, Padam Mobility provides a software suite with intelligent and flexible solutions that better adapt public transport services to real demand, especially in sparsely populated areas. The software suite is based on powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence.

Public transport operators, task managers and private companies trust Padam Mobility when it comes to improving access to territories, enhancing mobility services and optimising operations. The company accompanies its clients on the road to operational excellence while promoting environmentally friendly mobility. 

Padam Mobility was acquired by Siemens Mobility in May 2021. The company is headquartered in Paris. 

About Hacon 

For over 35 years, Hacon has been developing software that helps transport operators optimise processes and make travelling as easy as possible for passengers. The company aims to ensure that its solutions help to establish public transport as a viable alternative to the private car. To this end, Hacon is constantly developing its portfolio: Mobility as a Service, Travel Information and Ticketing, Operator Business Products or Timetable Design and Scheduling – Hacon’s products cover all aspects of intelligent transport systems. 

Hacon links public and private transport and provides travellers with over 100 million door-to-door route calculations every day. In addition to regional platforms, Hacon also develops nationwide solutions, e.g. for the Netherlands and Spain. Hacon has been part of Siemens Mobility since 2017. The company is headquartered in Hanover. 

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Enhancing Accessibility in Rural Cheshire West and Chester with DRT Service “itravel”


Padam Mobility provides the on-demand solution for Cheshire West and Chester Council

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council commissions Padam Mobility to introduce “itravel”, an on-demand service addressing the lack of public transport in rural regions.
  • The seventh DRT service by Padam Mobility in the UK aims to connect remote regions with fixed main lines and key locations, benefiting residents with limited mobility options.
  • Supported by £1.075 million from the Department for Transport’s Rural Mobility Fund, “itravel” is a three-year pilot project, contributing to the improvement of rural mobility with innovative solutions.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is taking a proactive step to tackle the transportation challenges faced by residents in rural areas. Traditional public transport providers often struggle to maintain service levels on fixed routes due to unpredictable demand, resulting in inadequate services for people who live in places away from main routes. In response to this dilemma, the Council has teamed up with Padam Mobility, renowned for its Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) expertise, to introduce “itravel”, an innovative on-demand service, operated by Stagecoach.

With “itravel,” residents in the borough’s remote areas will gain better access to key destinations and fixed main lines. The service aims to reduce residents’ reliance on personal vehicles and promote inclusivity by providing mobility options for the elderly, individuals with reduced mobility, and young people who cannot travel independently.

Unlike conventional public transportation, “itravel” operates on a free-floating model, accommodating user bookings to tailor its routes dynamically. Users can easily book trips within the designated zone up to 30 days in advance, while those seeking spontaneous travel are advised to book at least an hour before departure.

To ensure a seamless experience, Padam Mobility offers the “itravel” user app, allowing users to effortlessly search, book, and manage their journeys. The app also provides real-time tracking of the vehicle’s route. For individuals without smartphones or who prefer alternative booking methods, the service is easily accessible through the website or phone reservations.

The “itravel” project receives support from the Department for Transport’s Rural Mobility Fund, with an allocation of £1.075 million. This three-year pilot project is part of the broader initiative to enhance rural mobility, with a total funding volume of £19,411,523 shared among 17 successful applications.

The official launch of “itravel” is scheduled for 31st July, marking a significant step towards improving accessibility and transportation options for residents in rural Cheshire West and Chester. As a visionary solution, “itravel” demonstrates the commitment to fostering efficient, inclusive, and sustainable mobility solutions for all.


This article might interest you as well: Padam Mobility Joins PAVE Europe to Educate and Innovate in Autonomous Transport 

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