Barcelona grows with Shotl

In spring 2021, city transit operator Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) and Barcelona City Council announced that part of TMB’s strategic plan to improve mobility in the city would consist of gradually replacing existing fixed-route-and-schedule bus lines with flexible, on-demand routes. Along the way, they planned to add new areas of operation similar to the neighborhood of Torre Baró where Shotl’s DRT mobility platform has been successfully in use for over three years.

The first of these new areas to deploy a DRT system will be Montbau - Vall d'Hebron, and Shotl has been chosen to implement the project. Despite being a very small area (less than 1 km²), it has a high population density and regular bus lines that serve the area have high daily occupancy, partly due to the area’s proximity to one of the most important hospitals in the city.

The new on-demand line will function as a last-mile complement to local routes. It was important for both TMB and the City Council that the DRT service did not interfere with the existing high-occupancy regular lines so Shotl has developed a limitation on coinciding routes to avoid cannibalization and ensure a better user experience.

The peculiar geography of the area represented a challenge due to the abundance of narrow streets with dead ends. This has forced Shotl’s mobility experts to be extremely precise when configuring maps and dynamic routing to ensure the algorithms’ response is up to dealing with the demands of the area.

All the above improvements have been added to the elMeuBus white label app, powered by Shotl’s technology. Thus, from now on, both existing users and newcomers will be able to request trips not only in Torre Baró but also in Montbau - Vall d'Hebron.

The new area has 26 virtual stops and, from January 17th, one vehicle will cover the mobility needs of users Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At Shotl we are pleased to continue expanding our DRT service in and around Barcelona with this and other deployments in the pipeline. Once again, our DRT technology and solutions have proven to be a successful answer to the mobility needs of Barcelona’s citizens.

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