We are pleased to announce that our most recent deployment rolled out last month (in December). This new route marks the third DRT service now available within our home municipality of Sant Cugat (Catalonia).
Sant Cugat, with a population of around 100.000 inhabitants, is recognized as being somewhat of a smart-city within Barcelona province. For example, the city is equipped with motion-sensor streetlights, which reduce light intensity by 20% in the absence of pedestrians. Also, the city has a Smart Lighting Noise system which helps to reduce the sound levels in crowded areas at night. The system uses intelligent sensors that are fitted inside specific streetlights. When the sensors detect that the optimum decibel level has been exceeded for more than one minute, they emit flashes to alert customers and establishments to lower their tone of voice.
In terms of mobility, as a smart-city, Sant Cugat is committed to giving more space to pedestrians and promoting public transport through different alternatives. One of them is On-Demand Transport (or Demand Responsive Transport).
The city’s first On-Demand Transport service started back in July 2017. When a route was established to help connect commuters in the Can Barata area with the train station. The second service started in March 2019, in the mountainous neighborhood of Les Planes. Both operations are still running today and their ridership continues to increase. Demand for the Can Barata service has seen a 5-fold increase when compared with the traditional service that was previously in place. And demand throughout the Les Planes service has tripled in just ten months.
Our most recent DRT service in the Can Trabal neighborhood has 24 virtual stops; covering a total area of 1,6 km2 and adding 5 additional stops to the service (when compared with the old route). In just 6 weeks, ridership has increased by 12%. The operation is serviced by a 16-seater bus with additional capacity for one wheelchair user.
Like the two existing DRT services in operation, Can Trabal users can request a ride in real-time from 07:00h to 21:00h on weekdays via the Shotl App (available on Android and iOS) or by calling the Call Center.
When asked about how the implementation of On-Demand transport is working out for commuters in the region, Pere Aguilar (Head of Public Transport for Sant Cugat City Council) told us:
“Sant Cugat City Council are pioneers when it comes to On-Demand and real-time transport. With our previous experience and subsequent satisfaction in regards to the two services in Can Barata and Les Planes, we have opted for a new on-demand transport service in the Can Trabal neighborhood.”
All of us here at Shotl are excited about launching this third DRT service in Sant Cugat, as it means that our On-Demand service works properly; the city council believes in it and citizens are happy with it. We are looking forward to sharing future updates about these 3 successful operations with you.
A local on-demand pilot in Herzogenbuchsee, Switzerland that is run by volunteers and operates via a fully electric-fleet, including a rickshaw, is now using Shotl’s platform under the umbrella of the project flow on demand.
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.