Demand Responsive Transport

This measure was updated by INSTITUTE FOR TRANSPORT STUDIES (ITS) in 2014 under the CH4LLENGE project, financed by the European Commission.

Demand Responsive Transport is an intermediate form of transport, somewhere between bus and taxi and covers a wide range of transport services ranging from less formal community transport through to area wide networks.  Its key attribute is that it operates flexibly to respond to user demand.  Services typically have variable routes (though they may have a single origin or destination, such as a shopping centre); variable stops; and variable schedules. Fares may vary, and drivers may be either employed or voluntary.

Their principal objective is to provide a service for those who otherwise have limited or no public transport service.  These can be groups with particular needs or living in lower density areas poorly served by public transport.  They are thus particularly well suited to meeting equity and accessibility objectives.  It is also possible that Demand Responsive Transport can attract some users from car travel, and thus have benefits for congestion, the environment and safety. Conversely they may attract patronage from conventional public transport, thus reducing its viability.  Although there are several well documented schemes, the evidence from them tends to focus on growth in patronage rather than identifying the previous travel patterns of users.

Demand Responsive Transport is substantially more expensive than conventional public transport, and this is its principal barrier.  Governance and opposition from taxis and other competing services are more minor barriers. Demand Responsive Transport is principally appropriate for the lowest density areas and smaller towns.   


Demand Responsive Transport is an element of a wider set of services, often referred to as Paratransit.  Other authors have used the term Flexible Transport Services. We start by defining each of these.


The distinguishing feature between taxis and buses as forms of public transport is characterised by the level of “personal service” provided. Bus and rail services are provided for larger numbers of people, whereas taxi services provide an individual service with a more personal interaction between the driver and the user. Providing the middle ground in this service level spectrum lies paratransit (Rimmer, 1980; Bakker, 1999; Lave and Mathias, 2000). Rimmer (1980) defines paratransit as a “nebulous mass of transport organisations, technologies, and services that lie somewhere between conventional and personal transit in price and quality”.

Demand Responsive Transport

In this category of paratransit lies Demand Responsive Transport (DRT). Brake et al (2003) state that “DRT services provide transport on demand from passengers using fleets of vehicles scheduled to pick up and drop off people in accordance with their needs.” In the same vein, Logan (2005) echoing Raje et al (2003) mention that “DRT is an intermediate form of transport, somewhere between bus and taxi and covers a wide range of transport services ranging from less formal community transport through to area wide networks”. In a report by the Commission for Integrated Transport  (CfIT, 2008) in the UK, the following is given as the definition: “Any form of transport where day-to-day service provision is influenced by the demand of the users. In the UK these tend to be small-scale, for a defined region or specific community of people, and be door-to-door. ”  Enoch et al (2004 p20) sum this up succinctly; stating that “DRT is neither fish nor fowl” – it is neither taxi, nor minicab or bus”.

The varied definitions of DRT all focus on the distinguishing feature of DRT: DRT is specifically adapted (generally in its routing) to meet the demands of the users, and thus contrasts with conventional fixed route public transport services.  The concept of DRT has been in existence since the 1970s (see for example Higgins, 1976).However there has been renewed interest in the concept of DRT in recent years, as a means of meeting  the needs of increasingly dispersed populations and to provide viable public transport based alternatives.

Flexible Transport Services

As mentioned above, the distinction between DRT and conventional public transport is the distinction between the levels of personalisation in the service provided. Buses tend to operate a fixed route specified in advance while DRT services tend to provide close to door-to-door taxi like services. However this is not the only facet of flexibility as the following diagram in Figure 1 shows.

Figure 01
Figure 1: The Demand Responsiveness of Public Transport (Source: Brake et al 2007)

This has therefore led to the use of the more general term “Flexible Transport Services” (FTS; see Brake et al 2007). In the spectrum of flexibility, DRT is only one category of FTS. Other FTS include community and special needs transport as well as car sharing and car pooling schemes (Ferreira et al, 2007).

FTS is a subcategory of what Walker (2008) refers to as “purpose driven Public Transport”. To underscore this point, Ferreira et al (2007) point out that flexible transport is designed to be flexible, integrated and customer centric. The focus is on the customer (i.e. personalised transport).

Types of DRT service

DRT can also be classified (TRL, 1977) into its variants and service offerings:

  • Route
  • Stops
  • Schedule
  • Fare
  • Driver


With regard to the categorisation of the routings of DRT services, the following definitions are in common use (DfT (2002)).

  • Many to one: This routing pattern involves a vehicle picking up individual passengers from locations specified by them (perhaps their home), and taking them to a single destination – with the vehicle arriving either in accordance with a published timetable, or within a time window. This has the focus on bringing people to a fixed point (e.g. a bus or rail interchange or even a park and ride site).
  • One to Many: This is a routing pattern where passengers are picked up from a fixed boarding point and taken to disparate destinations, on demand.
  • Many to Many:  This is the routing which allows the service to pick up passengers from various locations, on demand, and taking them to disparate destinations (within a defined geographical area of operation), again on demand.

Enoch et al (2004) introduced some definitions regarding DRT operations which can be thought of as an “evolution” or growth model for DRT operations

  • Interchange DRT: DRT for the purpose of providing feeder links to conventional public transport.  
  • Network DRT: As part of an overall network of public transport service provision, DRT services are operated only at particular times or in particular routes or both.
  • Destination Specific DRT: similar to Interchange DRT but could encompass particular destinations such as airports, employment locations, health, shopping, social and leisure destinations.
  • Substitute DRT: DRT replaces conventional public transport.

At one end of the spectrum, DRT services can be fully flexible very much like a conventional taxi service. However, in practice, DRT services tend to follow a fixed route with deviations as requested by the passengers.


DRT services generally aim to provide a door to door service. At the same time, some services offer the ability of passengers to board and alight at conventional bus stops. With the advent of technology, it is also possible to request the service in real time for immediate travel at equipped bus stops.


The timing points of the DRT services could follow those of a conventional bus service with published frequencies. At the same time, they may operate only when there is sufficient customer demand.


Fares may be charged on an individual basis (as in a conventional bus services) or could be paid for on a group basis (in the case of shared taxi schemes)


The driver of the vehicle might be on a voluntary basis (e.g. DRT provided by charitable organisations or Community Transport organisations) or could be employees of the service provider.

Technology and Operation of DRT Services

As Figure 1 shows, the routes of conventional public transport are fixed in advance through standard scheduling methods. The type of vehicle and the number of drivers required to operate the service are well known ahead of time. However, in the case of DRT services, the entire process is different as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 02
Figure 2: Illustration of DRT Service and Operation 
Source: Mageean and Nelson (2003)

The user of the service contacts a dispatching centre to book a journey (the time limit for bookings varies considerably). Historically, the primary method of booking the DRT service was via the telephone. Using advances in transport telematics, it is possible also to book journeys via the internet and short messaging service (mobile phone sms) (Engels and Ambrosino (2003).

Booked journeys are assigned, via despatching systems which are very similar to those for private hire vehicle services except that vehicles are usually shared with other passengers. The vehicle type used for the journey may not be decided until the service is operated, although some small schemes may only have access to one or two minibuses, or for a community scheme run by volunteers, drivers’ own personal cars. Stops are usually determined only at the passenger’s request.

In the simplest DRT systems, scheduling (the process of assigning vehicles to each run and drivers to vehicles) may be done  manually by assigning vehicles to collect passengers (Enoch et al, 2004).

In more comprehensive operations computerised scheduling systems are employed. The issue of technology using the concept of transport telematics has been discussed in prior research (e.g. Ambrosini et al, 2003). Various research programmes funded by the European Commission (SAMPLUS (1999), FAMS (Ambrosini et al 2004) INVETE (2002))  marked the transition of DRT to its second phase. In this second phase, it was demonstrated that the application of the field of transport telematics to DRT was possible.

The main components of the Telematics based DRT system are:

  1. Travel Dispatch Centres (TDCs);
  2. Devices for users to access the DRT system;
  3. On-board units;      
  4. The communications network.

Telematics-based DRT systems are organised via TDCs using booking and reservation systems which assign passengers to vehicles and optimise the routes. Automated Vehicle Locationing (AVL) systems provide real-time information on the status and location of the fleet for the route optimising software.

The evidence suggests that technology can make the task of despatching vehicles and coordination much smoother and increase the reliability of the service.  However, the cost of technology may be prohibitive especially for initial operation.

Why introduce demand responsive transit?

The dominant settlement form of most Western towns and cities (outside the primary urban centres) tends to have low density land use, and therefore low demand for public transport. This makes traditional public transport offerings difficult and financially unsustainable for operators (Enoch et al 2004), and has contributed to a large reduction in bus use and accompanying increase in car ownership to cater to unsatisfied transport demands. This has led to a vicious cycle of reduction in patronage and increase in car ownership in both urban and rural areas (Mageeann and Nelson, 2003). This vicious cycle has led to the paradox of increased overall mobility but poorer access to facilities for those residents who do not have access to a car (CfIT, 2008).  DRT is principally aimed at providing alternatives to public transport services in such contexts, and in wholly rural areas.

The concept of DRT is not novel having been around since the 1970s. There was a surge of interest (especially in the US) in the 1970s with the earliest form of DRT known as Dial-A-Ride Transit. The important motivating factors for DRT at that time were relieving congestion by attracting drivers from cars, providing alternatives for the transport disadvantaged and complementing the existing scheduled rail and bus systems (Higgins, 1976). However early interest in the US in Dial-A-Ride Transit to alleviate declines in public transport patronage was reduced when Federal Urban Mass Transit Administration funding dried up.  Thus, in these early schemes, there were multiple objectives of congestion relief, improved accessibility and support for specific disadvantaged groups.

The 1990s saw a resurge of interest in DRT due to the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, requiring public transit agencies to provide complementary paratransit services for persons who are unable to use fixed-route services in their service area (Lave and Mathias, 2000; Westerlund, 2005; Diana et al 2007). This is in fact known as ADA Paratransit (KFH et al, 2008). In the UK, there has been some progress made at the local authority level to make vehicles and transport more accessible to disabled people following the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA; 1995), and some DRT ring and ride services cater specifically for people who are able to demonstrate need for such services. Other groups often targeted with similar specialist services include the elderly, young people and residents (often low-income) of areas poorly served by public transport.  

DRT has also been applied in an attempt to reduce the problem of rural accessibility. For example, CfIT (2008) recommended that central government should consider funding a large scale demonstration pilot of DRT with the aspiration that DRT “would be part of a coordinated approach to rural transport…..road based public transport  services would be designed to connect with each other and with train services” (CfIT,2008 p21). Likewise, the Irish Rural Link (a non profit national network of organisations and individuals campaigning for sustainable rural development in Ireland) has identified DRT as an instrument for enhancing accessibility and sustainability in rural parts of the Republic (Irish Rural Link, 2008).

Derek Halden Consultancy et al (2006) in their report for the Scottish Government suggest that DRT services may be classified into the following four categories as follows:

  • High value to agency services: These are services provided to meet the needs of particular public agencies such as social services (e.g. services in accordance with the ADA)
  • High care needs: These are services for e.g. non emergency patient transport and community transport usually restricted to a particular category of travellers e.g. for the elderly
  • Premium Value Services: These are services defined by the needs of reduced travel times, higher degree of customer care and often door-to-door access; examples of these include the Airport Shuttles in the US.
  • Best Value Public Transport: Greater flexibility in the provision of public transport can ensure better value where demand is insufficient for fixed route public transport.

In this review we focus principally on the last two categories.

The Markets for DRT

Following Enoch et al (2004) we can identify two segments of the market for DRT services.  The first group are captive users (those who do not have a car available for their journey) and the second group are choice users (those who use DRT even though they have a car available). Attraction of the first group supports the objectives of improved accessibility and social inclusion.  Attraction of the second may in addition contribute to congestion relief and environmental improvement.  Enoch et al (2004) found that:

  1. the factor most highly rated by both markets was certainty of arrival time
  2. the key distinction between the markets was that choice users prefer taxi like attributes (such as personalised and door-to-door service), while captive users required a basic means of reaching their destinations and carrying on with their activities
  3. price was an important variable for captive users but was much less so for choice users
  4. choice users found comfort to be an important quality attribute.

Demand impacts

The demand impacts depend on which market segments the DRT caters to. In general, because the objectives are social and more to do with improving accessibility, more trips are actually made as a result of DRT. A study (Corlink, 2003) published for the Corlink scheme (Cornwall England) mentions that 38% of the journeys made using the Corlink services would not have been made if the service did not exist. This raises two conflicting issues; the need to balance accessibility with the desire to reduce the travel from an environmental perspective. On the other hand, if the DRT scheme is successful in enticing choice users then there could potentially be a reduction in vehicle flows.

Responses and situations
Response Impact on vehicle kilometres by car Expected in situations
Some change in departure time may be required to fit in with DRT service availability, but this is unlikely to have any impacts.
Routes may be longer and more circuitous, especially for many-to-many services, resulting in more vehicle km than a direct journey, but the fact that journeys are shared between many users will mitigate this impact to some extent. I.e., if all users made individual direct journeys the total km travelled would be greater. Where a journey was previously suppressed there will be a net increase in vehicle kilometres. Where a DRT service reduces individual car use, vehicle kilometres will decrease.
Some changes in destination resulting in longer journeys may be required to fit in with the DRT service provided, but this is unlikely to have significant impacts.
A DRT designed to increase accessibility may increase the number of vehicle trips and therefore kilometres, but a service designed to reduce individual car use would have the opposite impact.
/ A service designed to reduce individual car use would result in a positive modal shift. A service designed to increase accessibility is more likely to release suppressed demand, but could result in abstraction from some public transport services.
It is unlikely that a DRT service, even one designed to reduce car use would be sufficient to prompt an individual to sell their car.
DRT services are unlikely to have any impact.
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Short and long run demand responses

Demand responses
Response - 1st year 2-4 years 5 years 10+ years

= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Supply impacts

There will be limited effects on the supply of road space. DRT helps to increase the supply of public transport. However, there is a concern that private operators may give up bus services that become financially less sustainable under competition from DRT.

Financing requirements

DRT schemes are generally expensive to operate (Enoch et al, 2004; Laws et al 2008). Some examples of the difference between the subsidy levels required for conventional fixed route services and for DRT services are shown in the table below.

  UK Services US (Los Angeles)
Average Subsidy for Conventional Fixed Route Bus Service Between £1 to £4 US$0.50
Average Subsidy for DRT Service Between £1 to £7 US$16
Source CfIT (2008) Khattak and Yim (2004)

Similar conclusions are reached by Enoch et al (2006) who, in their study of the Wigglybus scheme in Wiltshire UK, point out that the “least well performing conventional bus route still has a per passenger subsidy of around two-thirds that of the Pewsey Vale Wigglybus average despite both having similar passenger loads per vehicle trip.”

The level of subsidy required for DRT tends to be very high for two reasons:

  1. The low level of fare charged
  2. The high cost per passenger of the scheme.

The generally low level of fares charged is attributable to the historical focus of DRT on social inclusion (Enoch et al, 2004).

High costs per passenger may be associated with the Travel Despatch Centre and the hardware and software required.  The need to reduce these costs has led to the concept of a Flexible Mobility Agency (Ambrosini et al, 2004), which acts as a broker for all mobility services which encompass responsibilities for all public transport services rather than being limited to DRT.

DRT services are often established through start-up funds, such as the UK Bus Challenge Funds, and European Union schemeswhich give funding for an initial period for innovative services. However, there are few if any guarantees for follow on funding when the initial pump priming runs out (Brake et al, 2006). This has important implications for financial sustainability and continuity of service as well as the danger of “public disillusionment when a service that has become accepted is withdrawn due to lack of funds” (Brake et al 2006, p 5).

There are also instances of privately run volunteer based DRT services that utilise volunteers’ own vehicles, and operate with manual booking and dispatch systems that run at relatively low cost. However these generally serve niche markets, and continuity of service provision is not assured.

Expected impact on key policy objectives

The main focus of DRT is on provision for journeys that would not have otherwise been made due to accessibility problems. Those making such trips can be considered a captive market.  As noted, only by influencing the non-captive market can significant impacts be achieved on other policy objectives.

Contribution to objectives


Scale of contribution


  Small positive impacts may result from schemes that reduce car use, but it is unlikely there will be any significant reductions.
  Small positive impacts may accrue from community schemes that increase community activity.
  Small positive impacts may result from schemes that reduce car use, but it is unlikely there will be any significant reductions.
  For the individuals benefiting from a scheme designed to tackle accessibility problems impacts could be significant. Where these positive impacts accrue within the community there may be a net benefit for the community.
  For some individuals experiencing mobility problems, journeys by DRT may be safer.
  Where more journeys are made, especially to commercial destinations, there may be a small positive impact.
  Schemes are unlikely to generate any profit, and will require a subsidy.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected impact on problems

Contribution to alleviation of key problems


Scale of contribution



Reductions in personal car use may have a small positive impact.
Community impacts Schemes to tackle accessibility problems are likely to have a positive impact.
Environmental damage Reductions in personal car use may have a small positive impact.
Poor accessibility Significant benefits are likely for those using a scheme designed to tackle accessibility problems.
Social and geographical disadvantage A scheme designed to cater for groups experiencing such disadvantage may have significant benefits.
Accidents Reductions in personal car use may have a small positive impact.
Economic growth Where more journeys are made, especially to commercial destinations, there may be a small positive impact.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected winners and losers

The principal beneficiaries will be those for whom the DRT services are designed.  Should a DRT prove successful, it would improve public transport links and might increase the revenues for existing operators, who might in turn improve existing services. Conversely, if DRT competes with existing services, or adds to crowding on them, existing public transport users may suffer.

The other potential beneficiaries will be local shops and other facilities to which access is improved.

Winners and losers




Large scale freight and commercial traffic

No impact expected.

Small businesses

If demand for their services increases due to better accessibility.

High income car-users

No impact expected.
People with a low income Where a scheme is designed to tackle accessibility problems experienced by these individuals.
People with poor access to public transport Where a scheme is designed to tackle accessibility problems experienced by these individuals.
All existing public transport users / If services become more crowded or are withdrawn as a result of DRT. / If service improvements are made as a result of increased demand from DRT users.
People living adjacent to the area targeted If they can also travel into the area targeted to use the service.
People making high value, important journeys Little impact expected.
The average car user Little impact expected.
= Weakest possible benefit = Strongest possible positive benefit
= Weakest possible negative benefit = Strongest possible negative benefit
= Neither wins nor loses

Barriers to implementation

Scale of barriers
Barrier Scale Comment
Legal The legal framework required to operate DRT services will vary from one country to another. For example, prior to changes in the regulations in England, DRT services could not be registered as conventional bus services due to their demand responsiveness and operators were not entitled to certain fuel subsidies. In addition, legislation might affect the public liability insurance required and the resulting cost.
Finance Lack of commercial viability has always been an issue with DRT. Even in the successful schemes it is possible that funding may be cut off at short notice. Some simple community transport schemes might be less expensive to operate but these are limited to very niche markets.
Governance DRT schemes may involve collaboration between local government, private operators and the community sector.
Political acceptability There are few identifiable political barriers to the operation of such a scheme. Supporting it might improve political standing for some groups due to DRT promoting the social equity agenda.
Public and stakeholder acceptability There could be opposition from private taxi operators to shared taxi schemes as these could potentially reduce their livelihoods from providing the conventional premium single destination service.
Technical feasibility There are a few minor technical issues with the despatching service and optimisation of service provision.
= Minimal barrier = Most significant barrier

Case Study 1: Regiotaxi/Treintaxi (Netherlands)
Case Study 2: PubliCar, Switzerland

Case Study 1: Regiotaxi/Treintaxi (Netherlands)


Regiotaxi, the Netherlands taxi sharing scheme, first started out with the trials in  1989 by Netherlands State Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen NS). The primary objective of this scheme was to assist passengers who used the railway services to travel onwards through to their final destination. Hence this is referred to as the treintaxi. At the same time, interest throughout the Netherlands generated by the success of the treintaxi scheme has led to a range of other DRT services. The broader concept is known as the regiotaxi scheme.

Treintaxi is a national scheme and is available at 38 railway stations across the Netherlands. This is an example of a DRT scheme provided using conventional taxis with the main difference that the journey is shared with strangers. The service operates from 7am until the last train of the day although in major cities it operates 24 hours a day. As passengers alight from the trains, users who wish to make use of the treintaxi service join a treintaxi queue. If taxis are not available, then they can push a button at the booth to call for a taxi. Waiting times are usually in the region of ten to fifteen minutes.

Regiotaxi has taken over the provision of the treintaxi service described above in some provinces of the Netherlands (following the privatisation of NS (CfIT, 2008). In addition to serving the role previously played by treintaxi, Regiotaxi services have been developed to provide the only form of public transport service operating in areas with a low population density or low overall demand for public transport (Mott MacDonald, 2008a). Regiotaxi is operated as a shared taxi service without a fixed route and provides a door to door service. Users have to book their trips up to 60 minutes in advance and there is a focus on operating services in rural areas of the Netherlands.

There is growing evidence that Regiotaxi KAN is evolving into what Ambrosini et al (2004) describe as a Flexible Mobility Agency.  Due to their involvement with operators, they have been able to use vehicles of various sizes in response to vehicle loadings. In addition, there have been contracts with local municipalities to provide  specialised transport services to people with disabilities as well as commercial contracts with large employers in their area of operation.

Impacts on demand


In 1997, the number of journeys on the Treintaxi network was 3.8 million. This dropped to 2.6 million in 2002 and further decreased to 2.2 million in 2003. The reason for this can be explained partially by the rationalisation of the treintaxi network due to the privatisation of NS (MottMacDonald, 2008b).


Regiotaxi KAN which operates in theArnhem-Nijmegen Region of the Netherlands, 
made around 92,000 trips with more than 121,000 passengers in September 2002. (van Hamersveld (2003)). Regiotaxi Haagladen (which operates in the city of Den Haag and eight other municipalities surrounding it) made approximately 390,000 trips in 2005 (Mott MacDonald, 2008a). However we were unable to find information on what the users would have done in the absence of this shared taxi service.

Impacts on supply

There is some concern that some conventional bus services may be replaced by Regiotaxis in the future (Mott MacDonald, 2008a). If this were to occur in a deregulated environment, it might speed up the decline of public transport usage in rural areas.

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comments
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  The focus on improving rural accessibility is one of the main objectives of RegioTaxi. However no studies as far as we are aware have evaluated the impacts of this on the promotion of equity and social inclusion.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.

These schemes are generally expensive to operate and this has led to the network reorganisation of treintaxi services across the Netherlands.

As for RegioTaxi, overall public subsidy levels are approximately 55-60% of the cost of the average passenger journey (Mott MacDonald, 2008b).
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Case Study 2: PubliCar, Switzerland

The information in this Section is based primarily on Mott MacDonald (2008c).


These schemes allow the possibility of offering public transport services in medium to low density areas, including suburban areas as well as small towns and their surroundings in rural areas, where traditional public transport cannot satisfy the needs of travellers in a cost efficient way. The aim of the service is to offer a basic level of public transport in those regions where no regular, scheduled public transport service is feasible and where greater levels of flexibility are required. The service operates in 32 regions of Switzerland. The first service began operation as a trial in 1995.

Impacts on demand

For an example scheme (PubliCar Vaud) the number of users have increased from 4000 in 1996 when it was first introduced to 110,000 in 2005. The increase could be explained by the addition of new zones to this operation, as well as the implementation of a computerised booking system.

Impacts on supply

Some PubliCar services have been successfully transformed from DRT services to conventional bus services as they have gained commercial viability.  One of the Directors of the PubliCar Scheme quoted in Mott MacDonald (2008c) suggested that the success of the PublicCar Scheme could be judged by its “disappearance” i.e. “if PubliCar has a good level of patronage for some journeys, then a bus service can be created allowing for PubliCar to service other areas and residents.”

Other impacts

Surveys have indicated that some people are still hesitant about PubliCar as their bus has been removed and now they have to book in advance. In addition, young people who are entitled to free public transport now have to pay a premium for PubliCar. The counterargument from the service provider is that the premium service which is (almost) door to door provides peace of mind especially during the hours of darkness.

Contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Scale of contribution Comments
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  PubliCar guarantees a basic supply of public transport in rural areas where no regular, scheduled service is economically feasible. It ensures the basic transport needs for those people who are not able to or cannot afford private cars are met.
  Safety could have improved due to the door to door nature of the service.
  There is no evidence to make firm conclusions on this.
  The average cost per passenger is approximately 20 CHF. Hence the main challenge to PubliCar is getting the backing of the Cantons. While PubliCar is ready and able to deliver a service in various areas, it is up to the Canton to decide whether they want PubliCar and fund it.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Gaps and Weaknesses

It has been stated in the studies that DRT has promoted equity and social inclusion. However there is no empirical evidence to support anecdotal knowledge. In addition, it is not clear what these travellers would have done otherwise in the absence of DRT. In addition, it is not stated what proportion of passengers belong in the “captive” category of users or whether they had a car available for their journeys. Hence it becomes difficult to examine and understand the role that DRT can play in supporting modal shift and the consequent efficiency savings.

Expected contribution to objectives

Contribution to objectives
Objective Regiotaxi/Treintaxi (Netherlands) PubliCar, Switzerland
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Contribution to problems

Contribution to alleviation of key problems
Problem Regiotaxi/Treintaxi (Netherlands) PubliCar, Switzerland
Community impacts
Environmental damage
Poor accessibility
Social and geographic disadvantage
Economic growth
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Appropriate contexts

Appropriate area-types
Area type Suitability
City centre
Dense inner suburb
Medium density outer suburb
Less dense outer suburb
District centre
Small town
Tourist town
= Least suitable area type = Most suitable area type

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