Liftango boosts transit agency confidence with on-demand and fixed-route transport integration

Posted: 3 March 2022 | | No comments yet

Liftango has unveiled Project FRODO, a rule-based integration method for improving the utilisation of fixed-route and demand-responsive vehicles.

Liftango bus

By configuring matching rules, Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) and microtransit operators can now specify conditions where passengers are shown existing fixed-route bus schedules from all services within the area. The integration increases confidence for operators that patronage will be maintained on existing services and helps to promote public transit use across the entire network.

Demand-Responsive Transport typically operates within a broader transport network. Meaning that there can be different modes of transportation, all competing to service the same passenger. The problem arises when a DRT or on-demand service attracts passengers that can otherwise travel on an efficient and reliable fixed-route (traditional) public transport option. Whilst DRT offers a greater level of convenience to the passenger versus a fixed-route option, it potentially undermines the positive impact that existing fixed-routes services have whilst placing unnecessary demand on DRT services. 

FRODO stands for Fixed Route On-Demand Options and is a proprietary rule-based system developed by Liftango, allowing DRT operators to integrate their service into the broader network. By doing so, if a passenger makes a pickup request on a DRT service and matches specific criteria, the fixed-route public transport service is prioritised over the DRT service. 

Whilst DRT is said to be a convenient and reliable mode of transport, it must also serve the greater purpose of providing equitable transportation options for passengers. Meaning that those who can travel on traditional public transport should continue doing so. This leaves greater DRT capacity for those that rely solely on DRT due to its unique ability to service them.

Ben Gilligan, Area Director at East Yorkshire Buses, said: “We see the introduction of the fixed-route integration as a stepping stone to providing more equitable transportation options in our region. It allows us to continue to provide more ways to increase patronage across the entire transport network and gives our passengers the confidence that they will always have an option.”

The system works by configuring a matching criteria that will trigger a response when a passenger makes a trip request. If the passenger can safely and conveniently utilise an existing fixed-route service, it will display as a trip option. For the operator, setup is easy – a matching criterion gets set across four main configurable parameters: distance, availability, accessibility and time.

David Mawhinney, Head of Liftango Europe, said: “Whilst we have always said that convenience is a significant factor in driving the uptake of DRT, transport equity is the primary driver behind this feature release. By integrating with existing services within the transport network, we can ensure that DRT gets used by passengers who need better access to transport.”

About Liftango

Liftango provides cities, organisations and fleet operators with the knowledge to positively impact people’s lives by improving access to shared, connected and sustainable transportation. The company’s technology makes the best use of vehicle capacity whilst giving passengers the freedom to travel in the way that they want to.

Together, Liftango helps:

  • Cities to evolve into smart cities
  • Transit agencies to create better public bus systems
  • Private bus operators to digitalise their services to become more efficient
  • Corporates to create sustainable and scalable mobility solutions for their staff
  • Property developers to design sites for future mobility solutions and reduce parking.

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