THE SMACKER TOOLBOX

FOR DEMAND RESPONSIVE TRANSPORT SERVICE, BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE AND SMART MOBILITY PRACTICES

The legacy of the SMACKER project

Pilot actions and ETP followers

STEPS FOR SETTING UP A DRT

Key issues to be checked & recommendations

The first step for designing a successful and cost-effective service DRT is represented by the need for understanding and thoroughly analysing the key drivers of the mobility (Origin/Destination relations) and specific needs in terms of:
Places -> analysis area characteristics and its multimodal accessibility
People -> e.g. distinguishing between “premium” users and those without real alternatives, such as those living in low-accessibility areas and not in condition to use the car (e.g. youngsters, elderly etc.)
Activities -> Reasons for the trips
Policy context -> See D.T1.1.3 Review of policy level for rural and peripheral areas, including legal framework

A key success factor is involving an adequate number of stakeholders representing final users’ needs (see also D.T2.2.2. Stakeholders and users group involvement and D.T1.2.4. Methodology for stakeholders involvement and creation of Local Mobility Forum (LMF)), in order to carefully and concretely address the mobility demand of the territory (if necessary, even through direct surveys and interviews) and getting them actively involved (co-design). In this regard, a great deal is to be paid to nudging activities (see also D.T1.1.4. Review of behaviour change and nudging initiatives)

A key decision to be made is related to the approach being adopted, taking into account not only the specific mobility needs and issues being tackled but also how to properly and synergically framing the DRT within the overall multimodal public transport (PT) network and services. In general terms, the specific role played by a DRT can be associated to various operating models, such as:
Network: extending or partly replacing ‘traditional’ PT (temporally) periods/hours or (spatially) low-demand areas
Interchange: feeding (from a limited geographical area/basin) into ‘traditional’ PT hubs or lines
Destination-specific: addressing a specific point-of-interest (generator of demand, such as a hospital or other typologies of relevant
Substitute: fully replacing ‘traditional’ PT services in a certain geographical area

Unrealistic expectations about costs are a key potential factor hampering successful DRT implementation, especially when it is highly depending on the funding (in case made available for the start-up). In this purpose it is to consider that DRT, in spite the cost-effectiveness of their approach, are often called in for addressing challenging low-demand contexts (sometimes with a relevant social value to be acknowledged when providing accessibility to remote areas). Some relevant aspects to take in account, with reference to both first testing and long-term implementation, are:
Thoroughly estimating and monitoring costs of the service paying attention to their potential rise
Explore funding options, in case, taking into account to support the social value of the service and special addressed needs
Assessing the willingness to pay and the fare policy, also in relation with the specific characteristics of the service

Flexibility is a distinguishing characteristic of DRT service, which allows to implement cost-effective services tailored on the actual demand. However, there are various degree to which it can be applied. For instance, a simple theorical classification can distinguish between:
fixed itineraries with flexible timetables
fixed itineraries with deviations on demand
“many to many” flexible itineraries with predefined bus stops
“door-to-door” connections
The decision on which approach to be pursue must duly take into account available resources and it is related to important aspect in the operational planning including the fleet being used, the area/paths to be covered, as well as maximum wait times or journey times, etc. Last but not least, this choice must be checked against the provisions foreseen by each national legislation on public transport service.

A smooth and user-friendly process for getting the user on board is a fundamental driver for a successful DRT implementation. In this regard, ICT tools for booking services and providing related information represent a key success factorstrong>. On the other hand, the possibility of direct/human interaction, for instance, through a call centre still represent a relevant added value strong>(especially for certain users’ categories, as the elderly, which are less incline to digital tools). Moreover, the ICT instruments are also supportive of a thorough monitoring, which allows to progressively fine-tune the services being tested and implemented.

Insufficient marketing and awareness among potential users are a key potential factor hampering successful implementation. To this end, information should be made as accessible as possible, in order to allow catering for mobility needs of all categories (i.e. people with reduced mobility, elders, youngsters). To this end both ICT tools/app as well as more traditional communication campaign should be synergically carried out. Moreover, it is to carefully consider the necessary timeframe until citizens and tourists switch away from their cars in favour of a more sustainable mobility option.


GUIDELINES


EVENTS

USE CASES

Within the SMACKER Project 6 pilot actions and 10 ETP followers have elaborated on the DRT concept with reference to specific territorial/regional contexts within the Central Europe Programme area (see above). More information about each specific case are made available through the following table.

Title Country Brief Description Territorial context Main target users Available materials
Monghidoro - S. Benedetto Val di Sambro Italy DRT opportunities for improving accessibility of the hilly/mountainous area in Monghidoro and San Benedetto Val di Sambro municipalities in the southern part of the Metropolitan City of Bologna Hilly
Mountainous
Residents State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Castel D'Aiano Italy DRT opportunities for improving accessibility of the mountainous area of Castel D’Aiano municipality in the south-western part of the Metropolitan City of Bologna Mountainous Residents State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Sogliano al Rubicone Italy DRT opportunities for improving accessibility of the hilly area linking Sogliano al Rubicone setllements and neighbouring areas in Forlì-Cesena and Rimini provinces Hilly Residents
Tourists
State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Province of Padua Italy ETP services for enhancing sustainable accessibility of the Schiavonia hospital, representing the key reference hub for the whole Southern sanitary district of the province of Padua Periurban
Rural
Residents State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Gasteinertal Austria DRT for extending the PT services in the the Gastein Valley, a mountainous touristic area within the Salzburg region Mountainous Tourists State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Tyrol-Carinthia Austria DRT for extending the PT services in the Gailtal and Lesachtal mountainous touristic areas between Tyrol and Carinthia Mountainous Tourists State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Moravske Toplice Slovenia DRT as a solution for the first/last mile problem in the rural areas of the Moravske Toplice municipality in the Pomurje region, charactersied by remarkable spas, within a better integrated PT Periurban
Rural
Residents
Tourists
State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Maribor / Pohorje Slovenia Improving sustainable accesssibility to the touristic destinations in the Pohorje mountain range located in the Maribor area Mountainous Tourists State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Gdynia Poland DRT for connecting Szemud and Żukowo settlements with Tricity (Gdynia,Gdańsk and Sopot) metropolitan area main centers Periurban Residents State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Szombathely Hungary DRT solutions in Szombathely city for peripheral areas not served by conventional bus transport at low-use periods/hours (weekends, off-peak on working days). Periurban Residents State-of-the-Art
Action Plan
Bologna Italy Last mile connection for tourists/residents with a DRT service and information and communications technology (ICT) platform Mountainous Tourists
Residents
Needs & Planning
Gdynia Poland Mobility improvement in residential area through a last mile seamless service Suburban Residents
Commuters
Needs & Planning
Prague Czech Rep. Better connecting Prague and Central Bohemian region Suburban Residents Needs & Planning
Murska Sobota Slovenia DRT service based on a real time information system Flat Rural Tourists
Residents
Needs & Planning
Budapest Hungary App All-in-One for DRT Suburban Residents Needs & Planning
Osttirol Austria Integrated measures in improve passengers’ experience Mountainous
Rural
Commuters
Tourists
Residents
Needs & Planning