Public Transport on Demand

Exploring how and where in Sweden on-demand public transport services could be implemented

Demand responsive transport (DRT) has for decades been highlighted as an opportunity to offer cost-efficient public transport in areas with low demand and for special purpose services. However, experience shows that DRT is often expensive and fails to deliver the expected benefits due to other barriers. The breakthrough of smart mobile phones in recent years has led to a renewed interest in DRT. Several attempts of implementation have been made in urban or metropolitan contexts offering services aimed at the general public. Internationally, there are many ongoing initiatives based on the concept of booking a shared ride by using a smart phone, and re-routing vehicles based on real-time demand.

The main aim of this project is to build knowledge and increase the understanding of where such on-demand public transport services could be implemented in Sweden and how it then should be implemented. The project combines two approaches: a) a systematic review of experiences from current attempts with DRT; b) an evaluation of different ways of implementation by assessing costs vs level of service for a specific geographical area in simulations. The results of the project will improve the knowledge of conditions of where on-demand services could have a potential, how they should be implemented and give an indication of costs associated with such services without having to launch real tests.

Application area: Smart Transport

Partners: Skånetrafiken, Trafikverket, SLL, Transdev, Keolis, Svenska Taxiförbundet, UITP, and Malmö University.

Project period: 2018–2019

Funding: The project is funded by Vinnova, Formas and Trafikverket through K2, Sweden’s national center for research and education on public transport.

Contact: The project is coordinated by Lund University. IOTAP is represented by Paul Davidsson and Jan Persson.

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