Demand Responsive Transport (DRT)

Software for the Integration of DRT into Trip Planning Systems

Demand Responsive Transport, DRT in short, could become a game changer for public transport. Operators are complementing their services with demand-responsive offers that help passengers to cover, for example, the first and last mile of their trips. They are an important link within intermodal transport chains which build the core of Mobility as a Service. Above all, when urban outskirts and suburbs are no longer served in the evening or at night, DRT offers a new alternative to the private car. Our French partner, Padam Mobility, explains the growing importance of DRT for public transport.

Interview with Grégoire Bonnat, CEO Padam Mobility

Grégoire, welcome to the family! How about a brief introduction to Padam?

Merci et bien sur: We founded Padam in 2014 and our first office was in a beautiful old apartment in the middle of Paris. Right from the start, our goal was to improve public transport through artificial intelligence. Padam’s software optimizes routes so that transport companies and cities can provide on-demand services in addition to their other operations, e.g. for the famous first and last mile. For example, a suburbanite can use the shuttle bus to the train station – a big plus for all non-city residents, with or without their own cars.

True – in major cities, public transport is usually very well developed. However, many DRT providers tend to compete with the established bus and train options. What differentiates the Padam philosophy from other solutions?

Precisely the fact that we do not strive to contribute to even more congestion in our cities! We do not want to compete with public transport, since it already carries passengers in a sustainable and climate-friendly way. Instead, we want microtransit to complement public transport and thus make the latter even more enticing. This includes off-peak services, feeders and fetcher for metros, and of course, supporting rural, sparsely populated areas with a level of service similar to that found inside big cities.

In your hometown of Paris as well as in Orléans, Padam Live is already in use, providing a complete package with apps for passengers, DRT drivers and the control center. What can your solution do?

From the transport companies’ point of view, we deliver a turnkey white label solution that is used under the respective brand. The dispatching of the DRT fleet is fully automated, while the drivers benefit from integrated navigation. Our intelligent routing algorithm lets them transport passengers as quickly as possible. From the customer's point of view, it is extremely convenient to book and pay for the DRT vehicle both in real time and in advance. We even support subscriptions! Of course, updates and notifications include the current traffic situation and will be delivered in real time as well. As a result, operators achieve an average of 96% satisfaction rate by using Padam Live as operating software.

With our HAFAS apps, we already offer intermodal routing across a wide variety of modes. What advantages do you see for the future when you consider Padam’s partnership with HaCon and Siemens?

For one thing, we have secured sufficient financing to further develop our solutions and strengthen our position in the booming DRT market. Of course this is an immense advantage for us! (laughs) Together with Siemens and HaCon, we offer operators and authorities a comprehensive operating system with DRT as an integral part of our Mobility as a Service solution. Passengers benefit from a comfortable mobility app that makes all transportation options easy to book, use and pay for. This is a great opportunity for public transport providers to save costs, expand their service areas, and ultimately enhance the passenger experience – in the true sense of the MaaS approach.

Thanks for the interview, Grégoire! We look forward to working with you in the future!