Demand Responsive Transport Platforms (DRT)

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1 Demand Responsive Transport Platforms (DRT) Index Purpose Description Relevance for Large Scale Events Options Technologies Impacts Integration potential Implementation Best Cases and Examples 1 of 15

2 Purpose The introduction of Intelligent Systems for Travel Planning by means of on-demand services allows meeting the necessity of having a Urban Mobility system with low impacts on urban traffic and environment in terms of: Air pollution Acoustic pollution Traffic congestion Accidents Costs DRT offers quality and price levels between the ones offered by traditional public transport systems (low costs, yet scarce flexibility in timetables and itineraries) and by taxis (closer to the users needs but at higher costs), by harmonizing the needs of the subjects involved, such as Authorities, service operators and end users: Minimizing operational costs (use of the vehicle only when requested and planned, thus limiting fuel costs, other fixed costs,.); Maximizing the service level offered to the users (users aim at a good-quality service which is perceived as a sort of tailored service at accessible cost); Efficient organization of the transport service with innovative and flexible solutions. The DRT system includes various modules, perfectly integrated with one another, aimed at: Monitoring circulating vehicles; Collecting and processing different mobility requests; Possibility of payment through e-ticketing; Delivery of relevant and coherent information to users All this is performed in real time, with the objective of more secure mobility, also in terms of quality. The use of ITS offers: Real-time information on the position of transport vehicles, with the possibility of managing potential critical points and alerts to the user on possible delays, ; On-line information for travel planning (not bound to the user category); Intermodal transport solutions; Tools providing Authorities, operators and travelers with detailed and relevant information aimed at intelligent decision-making. Thanks to its modularity and flexibility, the system activated can be applied to different realities, managing different types of flexible service: Door to door transport service Door to point transport service Point to point transport service 2 of 15

3 Feeder service The description of the various types of transport services are described in chapter Variants. Description The system for the management of the DRT service includes different modules and functions guaranteeing efficient and effective use of services both by users and by resources (man and vehicle) available for the operator. The system implemented allows acquisition, through contact center, of mobility needs of the users directly managed by the system by an algorithm calculating the optimum solution. The user receives communication confirming the requested transport service, containing exact pickup time and envisaged drop-off time. Moreover, the system is in constant communication (sending and receiving data) with the on board device for: Sending all information useful to handle daily bookings properly; Sending specific service communications; Constantly receiving the GPS position for vehicle localization; Receiving specific service communications; Receiving service alarms. The contact center comprises different communication channels by supplying various tools to the users, such as: Call center Web site Multimedia kiosk IVR Mobile 3 of 15

4 The introduction of ITS allows managing mobility issues in a new way, with a systemic approach. Such systems, based on interaction between IT and Telecommunication, allow transforming transport into an integrated system, in which information, management, and control operate in synergy optimizing the use of infrastructures, vehicles and logistic platforms. The system is formed by a set of procedures, systems and devices allowing through collection, processing, and distribution of information the improvement of transport and passenger mobility, especially during big events when there is great amount of data and users to be handled. The management system of DRT services is realized by different integrated ITS: Mobility control center plays a key role in the management of passenger mobility requests, comprising a contact center which allows the acquisition of users request and, most of all, the management of different data in relation to mobility needs expressed by a single passenger (disabled, elderly, children, commuters, tourists, accompanying crew, ). The central system plans routes by providing optimum solutions, thanks to calculations performed by specific algorithms dedicated to the search of optimum routes. The control center communicates in real time all updates to the on-board device. Data supplied are various: complete list of users to be served pickup and drop-off times computed by the algorithm, user category (disabled, blind, general, ), fare to apply. The latter information is essential for guaranteeing correct payment of the journey on board through smart cards, prepaid/rechargeable cards, or purchasing the ticket after booking. Info mobility system, travel and public transport information in real time through different communication channels, such as text messages, on-board monitors displaying variable messages, information kiosks, mobiles. This allows having continuous bi-directional communication between the central system and the user, by providing updated and relevant information constantly, keeping the user informed on any variation and useful data. AVL and AVM systems for vehicle localization and monitoring, based on GPS/GPRS technologies to detect the vehicle position, thus supporting information to users on advances and delays, fleet management and 4 of 15

5 available resources, problem management. The advantage for the user is in the possibility of having realtime information on advances and delays with subsequent reduction on waiting time at the bus stop and higher perceived quality and reliability of DRT service. The managing operator of overall system as the possibility of having tools to control the service, optimize the fleet and drivers thanks to integration with the travel planning system (algorithm generating optimum travel solution), thus reducing operational costs (lower number of buses with subsequent decrease of related costs). The system is able to monitor the vehicle in real time, reporting fundamental data such as cruise speed, punctuality in relation to the pick-up addresses, monitoring of the passenger through check in/check out functions, name of the driver obtained in the login phase by the on-board device, display of the service plan with list of bus stops and timetables of the DRT service. On-board security systems, they are necessary for secure travelling of passengers. This is possible thanks to the support of CCTV cameras installed on board, loud speaker systems for on-bus communication and special emergency buttons. Relevance for Large Scale Events Hosting a large event for a city/country is, at the same time, a challenge and a big opportunity. The latter because it is an occasion to improve both the infrastructures besides the dedicated ones and services, in order to bring the city to a higher level of efficiency beyond the events and project duration. The challenges come from the exceptional rise of resource allocations in a limited time due to unexpected event-related impacts over the normal city functions and attempt to coordinate the out-of-the-ordinary transport system with pre-existing transport systems. Transport is always one of the most complex, critical and sensitive sectors in the hosting of large events, regardless of the size and level of development of the Host City/Country. In other to achieve improvement of public transport conditions of host cities, it is necessary to introduce complex integrated ITS distributed throughout the territory. In such a case, flexible transport systems are particularly indicated to satisfy mobility demand of areas located close to main lines of the host cities able to rapidly handle large amounts of people. Actually, ondemand services can be considered as feeder service to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which is the main rapid transport way for tourists from airports to intermodal nodes. The remaining part of the journey is managed through flexible services which can be completely integrated to local public transport. Moreover, the system is able to manage mixed services, in terms of planning/optimization of routes by the public transport vehicle, by updating variations to the service plan in real time. This is possible thanks to constant communication between control center and bus, continuously transferring information on position and possible advances and delays. The on-demand transport system during big events is highly relevant especially in relation to the transport of particular categories: VIPs and weaker categories. 5 of 15

6 As regards players and/or journalists, it is necessary to forecast and implement tailored transport services which guarantee comfort, fast transfers and punctuality. In addition, special shuttle buses should be organized for the transport of particularly categories, such as disabled. The latter have different needs in comparison to generic users, therefore assisting personnel on board could help them boarding or dropping off. Implemented ITS guarantees management during booking and calculation of the optimum route for transport of these disadvantaged users by considering the type of aid devices (wheelchairs and similar). This is a fundamental detail as it allows considering different times for boarding necessary to the management of routing and related pickup and drop-off times. On-demand service means that the vehicles operate according to the demand at the Games clients/load zone. Vehicles should be pre-staged and operate according to the next Games client needs. Games clients going to the same destinations, or close destinations should share vehicles. Typical destinations that can be served using DRT are: Competition Venues Olympic Airport IOC Hotels Main Media Centre Olympic Village/s The user can book an all-inclusive transport service leaving the central system with the responsibility of planning travels according to passenger needs and requests received and resources available. This is also possible thanks to the use of devices for counting passengers and by updating in real time the databases with the remaining number of bookable seats. The use of combined systems DRT in support to local public transport promotes secure, fast and qualitative travels. ITS favors the reduction of traffic congestion, accidents, CO2 emissions and increases freedom of the passenger in deciding his journeys. Such a mixed system allows linking strategic POIs easily and securely (big POIs, intermodal nodes, poles of attraction). Options As previously described, the management system of DRT services is able to coordinate different services, implemented according to mobility needs to be satisfied. In DRT, there can be different service modules based on flexibility and complexity of the system: fixed line with booking, with predefined line routes, yet with journeys performed only with bookings 6 of 15

7 fixed line with deviations (feeder service), similar to the previous one, but in which deviations on the predefined routes are admissible and in presence of bookings the model "door to point" (many to one), which collects passengers in different points and transports them to a common destination the model "door to door" (many to many), which offers complete flexibility both at origin and at destination (there are no prefixed stops, it is a house -to -house service) the model point to point, routes and times are variable on a defined set of stops (pickup and drop-off point) Technologies In order to achieve the objectives, the system uses specific mathematical models, analyzed and realized in collaboration with universities and research centers, with support of advanced technology. This includes the use of systems and software programs for planning and management of the service: satellite GPS systems, for Automatic Vehicle Location and Monitoring, telecommunications system (GPRS/UMTS), GIS IT systems for the management for territorial information (use of cartographic data): In-Vehicle Technology In-Vehicle Terminals and Networks 7 of 15

8 Location technology Sensor vehicles (passengers counter) Passenger Information Technologies Information services for disabled Use of speech recognition and analysis Safety Communication between vehicle and nomadic devices Driver monitoring Moreover, other technologies have been used: Standard GPS/UMTS/GPRS telecommunication systems between the Travel Dispatch Centre and DRT vehicles AVLS - Automatic Vehicle Location Systems On-board driver identification system and sending of data to the central system through communication protocols Protocols to define data exchanged use of web services Web service for sending booking data Web service for data exchanged between control center and bus Use of cartographic data to calculate the best routing solution for single bookings, considering parameters such as traffic flow direction, speed limits, overall dimensions. GIS (Geographical Information Systems): allow visualizing the routing calculated by optimization algorithm to check its quality and allows visualizing pick up and drop off points re-managing the entire service offered to the users. Protocols defining e-purchase on board by using secure reader cards. Impacts The use of ITS allows improving the transport service offered, optimizing passenger transport through abovementioned techniques. The optimization of services allows obtaining balance between users need and operators resources. The latter notice reduction of costs as the daily duty of vehicles is planned, hence avoiding useless transfers with empty vehicles. This also leads to reduction in traffic, accidents and greenhouse gases. One of the objectives is to educate the user, whether he be tourist or citizen, in using public transport services and planning transfers to guarantee secure, reliable and quality travel. On the other hand, the operator is aware that by using ITS, there is certain increase of accessibility and diffusion on the territory, consequently improving internal and external mobility. In addition, local ambitions and objectives (i.e. sustainability, desired legacy, etc ) can set the scene for mobility management strategies to be developed. 8 of 15

9 Integration potential Thanks to its great flexibility, the system can be integrated to satisfy different problems and solutions. The integrated system for management for big events can be summarized in the following figure: The integrated system for the Management of Big Events information to d Management of the areas with difficult access to standard vehicles dedicated to local public transport Integration with the local ticketing and fare systems Integration with the traffic detection system to allow precise and punctual management of DRT planning Integration with the weather forecast system (in other to avoid traffic congestion due to bad weather) Integration with other transport mode, such as bike sharing and carpooling Integration with the city system of main transport lines Integration with the platform for parking management and booking Management of single integrated ticket (possibility of purchasing different services through a single operation) Parking management Access control Tracking towards parking spaces 9 of 15

10 Implementation Examples of some DRT implementations: Nation: Italy City: Basiglio MUNICIPALITY OF BASIGLIO (MI) CALLBUS PROJECT Description of supply The project aims at improving the possibility for residents to reach locations dedicated to DRT services or use resources distributed on the territory. The system includes the following: The central application software for the management of DRT services, point to point (service with variable times and routes) Position of administrator Position of call centre operator (possibility of adding positions) 2 on-board terminals (hardware and application software for communication with the central system) Web access for end users and Authorities Link:http://www.comune.basiglio.mi.it/page.asp?IDCategoria=668&IDSezione=3455&ID= Nation: Italy City: Cosenza FERROVIE DELLA CALABRIA SRL AL-VOLO PROJECT Description of supply The service resulted from the users needs of having personalized connections between the city and LameziaTerme Airport. The transport operator involved in the project wanted to find a solution which matched high flexibility offered by taxis and low cost of buses. The system includes the following: The central application software for the management of DRT services, point to point (service with variable times and routes) Position of administrator Position of call centre operator (possibility of adding positions) 2 on-board terminals (hardware and application software for communication with the central system) Web access for end users and Authorities 10 of 15

11 Link: Nation: Italy City: Rome SCHIAFFINI SRL Description of supply The service resulted from the needs by users with reduced or no motor abilities in order to facilitate their travelling throughout the province of Rome and to promote their spare time. The service is managed by three different transport operators, each operating on different areas to guarantee coverage all over territory. The system includes the following: Call centre application software (web based) for the management of requests and service planning for door-to-door DRT (service with variable times and routes) Position of administrator Four positions of call centre operator (possibility of adding positions) 25 on-board terminals (hardware and application software for communication with the central system) Web access for end users and Authorities Operational centre for real-time vehicle localization and monitoring Link: Examples My Bus - a new Demand Response Transport in the Strathclyde region, UK Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) combined their Dial-a-Bus and Ring-and-Ride to create a new Demand Response Transport system called MyBus and to encourage a younger demographic to use it. Background & Objectives MyBus, launched in June 2010, combines SPT s existing Dial-a-Bus and Ring-and- Ride services under a single banner. MyBus is a group of bookable bus services for people with mobility difficulties or who live in rural 11 of 15

12 areas. It can even be used by people with a temporary disability such as a broken leg for up to four months, or for anyone who lives in parts of rural Strathclyde not served by regular public transport services. Implementation It provides a professional door-to-door service with comfortable and accessible vehicles, trained and experienced drivers, reliable journey times, dependable pick-up times and a responsive bookings service. This reduces transport barriers for users in rural areas poorly served by public transport, or those who find difficulty using other public transport services. Combining all demand responsive services under the new identity has created the opportunity to improve quality and attack the perception that the services were for older passengers. Some 68 modern vehicles that have been bought over the last three years have significantly increased the quality in service. With help from local authorities, SPT has identified locations of higher demand, such as sheltered housing or care homes, to offer regular group bookings, for example every Tuesday morning to the local shops. This again has reduced frequent low patronage journeys and allows staff at these locations to fit the service into their weekly programme. Growth in patronage, combined with efficiency savings from higher load factors and improved scheduling and vehicle efficiency, has halved the cost per passenger trip on MyBus. Conclusions The MyBus has achieved a 5.4% growth in passenger numbers in six months from an annual base of 435,000 journeys. To promote the new services to younger users, a number of MyBus branded vehicles have been used on subsidised bus services in off-peak periods, helping to increase the number of passengers under 50 by 12%. Analysis of DRT services has identified a number of popular routes which are now being operated to a fixed timetable, picking up from a village or area at a certain time while still offering a door-to-door service which can be booked in advance. This has improved efficiency, with fewer repeat low patronage trips required. New dedicated innovative services - TELE-BUS, Krakow, Poland Since July 2007, inhabitants of Krakow have the possibility to use an innovative demand responsive transport service: TELE-BUS. This Polish-Italian joint initiative is a pioneer DRT solution in Poland and an example of technology and know-how transfer in public transport on an international scale. The key partners within this activity are the local public transport company (MPK), the Municipality of Krakow and the City Council. 12 of 15

13 Background & Objectives The area chosen to be covered by the DRT service is spanning over three districts (Rybitwy, Podwierzbie and part of Bieżanów) that are characterised by low people density. The regular PT offer is limited there and the frequency of bus runs is low. The main goal of DRT was better adaptation of Krakow's PT offer to citizens' needs, getting new PT users as well as a more effective bus fleet management. The introduction of TELE-BUS was aimed at enlarging the existing transport system with respect to the current tariff and service provision regulations and at increasing the number of PT users, especially older ones, as the area covered by the DRT service is quite highly populated by the older generation. The target group of the measure was inhabitants of the above-mentioned districts of Cracow. Implementation The key conditions for the implementation of this activity was the support of Krakow s politicians, the involvement of the PT operator in Krakow (MPK) and a positive approach towards the new idea within the target group. It was also necessary to find a good example of such a practice in Europe. In this case it was the Azienda Mobilita e Infrastructura de Genova S.p.A (the Agency for Mobility and Infrastructure in Genoa ) and a company responsible for providing DRT software (Softeco Sismat). The implementation of flexible transport services in Krakow required a gradual and smooth realization of the following goals: choosing a DRT service availability area, creating a corporate identification system for the services, defining the service model with respect to business, operational and social dimensions, DRT software adaptation, training and implementation, the establishment of a Transport Dispatch Center (TDC) as well as conducting a communication and marketing campaign targeted to all stakeholders. The communication and marketing campaign for promoting the new activity focused on two main groups of stakeholders: District Councils (local decision makers) and inhabitants of the target area. The campaign included the following: direct meetings with the mentioned stakeholders, press releases, production and distribution of leaflets, posters and gadgets, information on the Internet, articles in local newspapers and magazines, short programs and interviews on local TV channels. All promotional materials were prepared in accordance with the TELE-BUS corporate identification system including green and blue colours for buses and bus stops and a new soft shape for the latter ones. As political support was crucial for this activity, the Mayor of Krakow and the City Council were involved in the implementation from the very beginning. The participation of the local public transport company MPK was obvious. DRT is a service with fixed stop points but flexible routes and timetables. The service operates every day and during defined hours. The daily operating DRT service is managed by the Transport Dispatch Center - part of the MPK organizational structure. 13 of 15

14 DRT clients contact dispatchers by phone using a special free line dedicated only to DRT services. Dispatchers collect the information from passengers and put data into the system. Then the system plans routes and output information is given to TELE-BUS drivers The only limitation from the passengers point of view is the fact that an order must be placed at least 30 minutes before the planned start of the trip. The communication between TDC and drivers is based on mobile phones and private radio network. The activity is popular among inhabitants and is running in a successful way now, although there was quite serious reluctance among citizens before the activity was launched. Besides, a preliminarily DRT service was created to replace existing lines that were ineffective from an economic and environmental point of view. Unfortunately, the inhabitants' opposition was so strong that DRT exists along with the rest of the bus lines. However, the area of the DRT service will be extended in the future and in this region DRT will replace the existing ineffective lines. Conclusions One of the key benefits of DRT is a new positive image of PT in Krakow concerning its flexibility, with the ability to adjust to customers needs. The DRT service started with 300 customers per month, but in January 2008, the number of passengers served amounted to However, the real factor of success was a positive change in the attitude among inhabitants towards the new PT offer. This measure has already been a technology transfer from the City of Genoa. It is the first activity of that kind in Poland and it is a great example of technology and know-how transfer in PT on a transnational scale. The measure is easily transferable to other cities, although much time is needed in order to establish an effective service based on Genoa-Krakow transfer experiences. As far as Krakow is concerned, there is a great probability that the service will be extended to other similar areas. Website: Examples of implementation during Big Events: Nation: South Africa City: Cape Town European Commission Description of supply As part of the Funding Plan known as the Seventh Framework Programme, the European Commission 14 of 15

15 issues invitations to tender aimed at encouraging international co-operation in research activities and pilot actions on various Subjects, including the important subject of Transport. The Stadium project was born from a planning proposal made by 17 partners in response to a European Call for management of transport during important events, and it is co-funded by the European Commission-DG Research 7 th Framework Programme for Research and Development. The project aimed at improving the performance of services and transport systems during important events in the host cities, and saw demonstrations of ITS (Intelligent Transport System) applications for 3 important events: the Football World Cup in South Africa (2010), the Commonwealth Games in India (2010) and the London Olympic Games (2012). The system includes the following: The central application software for the management of DRT services, point to point (mixed services: fixed lines, basic DRT service and combination of both) Position of administrator Various positions of call centre operators Web access for end users and Authorities Operational centre for real-time vehicle localization and monitoring Link: 15 of 15

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