If we look at big European capital cities and the challenges they face, we can see that many were built with an extraordinary vision of the future. Now, though, they face the challenge of overcoming congestion and traffic jams. For many years, our cities have been built around cars. Turning this around will require not only changing urban planning so it takes mobility into account more than ever, but also finding alternatives to today's transport services.
Public Transport Operators (PTOs) already do a great job of anticipating and creating On-Demand bus services which are practically hybrid versions of fixed-route/schedule buses. It is, therefore, very important that mobility is designed to decongest cities and be much faster, more convenient, and accessible to everyone.
Mobility cannot be approached as we have understood it to date. It must be much more sustainable in all senses. Not only environmentally or socially, but also economically. We have always understood public mobility as a deficit service. In many cases, this assumption has led us to accept large-loss-making services as normal. Now, though, is the time to consider sustainability from these three points of view, and shared vehicles as the answer.
If we know how to approach the use of shared vehicles, they will be much more efficient. It all comes down to people. Shared-use vehicles can be much more about user-centric mobility. In other words, we should move people, not vehicles. When we start to understand this concept, we will finally put vehicles at the service of people, not the other way around.
We chat with Adrià Ramirez Papell, Mobility Project Manager at Shotl, to get his insights into how to ensure maximum uptake of demand-responsive transit (DRT) among a user group traditionally considered challenging: the elderly.
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.