Before Shotl came on the scene, the local government was providing free municipal transport for social purposes, Xarxa Bus, to improve quality of life of citizens by linking the three urban centers of the municipality.
Xarxa Bus was launched in 2017 and was initially intended for people with reduced mobility who didn’t have their own vehicle or the resources to use other public or private transport systems. A circular line with 11 stops passed through the three urban centers, facilitating access to municipal and general services alike, such as the weekly market, medical clinics, or banks. To use the service, users had to obtain a user card to prove beneficiary status.
In 2018, as a consequence of the success of Xarxa Bus, it was decided to expand the service to the general public regardless of their physical condition or personal situation, but retaining the original spirit of providing a local, social service. Users now had to pay a symbolic fee of € 0.50 to use the service.
The popularity of the service continued to increase and Xarxa Bus has now been completely transformed and modernized with the implementation of an on-demand transport service developed by Shotl. Now, one on-demand minibus circulates two days per week around the 17 virtual stops scattered throughout the 12,35 km2 area of Castell-Platja d’Aro.
The on-demand service went live in early November 2021 and quickly yielded good results. Citizens now have access to public transport that allows them to travel at times that suit them. Thus, the small municipality of Castell d'Aro has taken a definitive step away from inflexible traditional transport to focus instead on a digitized, demand-based approach that allows greater efficiency and inclusion in public transport services.
At Shotl, we’re often asked what the greatest challenges are in getting people to accept our model of flexible, demand-responsive transit. The answer may surprise you.
This post concludes our series looking at how insights from different types of DRT data can be used to improve public transport across the board.
Data-miner is king. And as the world emerges from its hole post-Covid-19 shutdown, smart data management will be vital to meet the challenges of the “new normal.