How on-demand transport works

How on-demand transport works

Demand-responsive transports (DRT) are flexible, autonomous or driver-controlled services that transport passengers individually from their location to their desired destination. They ensure basic mobility services in urban and rural areas and enable people with limited mobility to participate more with the community.

From ridepooling to e-mobility: Terms & explanations

How can passengers' book on-demand services?

On-demand transport operates on request. Passengers simply order the shuttle service via app or phone – with the freedom to flexibly select the pick-up location, the desired destination and the time of travel. The transport is usually provided in electrically driven, accessible shuttles for up to 8 people.

What does ridepooling mean?

Instead of driving passengers individually, on-demand transport services bundle journeys. Passengers with similar routes are transported together in one vehicle and algorithm calculates the most efficient route. This enables higher vehicle occupancy and more mobility with less traffic.

What role does e-mobility play?

Most on-demand transports are electrically powered and are therefore making an important contribution to the mobility transition: They reduce CO₂ emissions, pollutants and traffic noise. This makes cities and communities more liveable again.

How can on-demand and fixed-route transport services be combined?

For seamless door-to-door journeys, on-demand transport needs to be integrated into regular bus and rail transport services. To ensure this, on-demand transport providers collaborate with cities, counties and other transport operators.

A glance at the current state

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In urban traffic

Germany's cities are under strain due to the traffic load. According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), public transport can increase its share of total transport performance by a third by 2030. This requires various multimodal mobility offers and cross-area planning. Less traffic jams, air and noise emissions, but more space: on-demand transport provides less load for city centres and create flexible connections on commuter routes.

Rural area

Germany's big cities are buzzing with mobility services, while in rural areas there are 55 million people that have no access to public mobility at all. Here, on-demand transport can fill existing gaps in provision or create public mobility where none existed before. Less than half of the stops in rural areas are served more than twice an hour. Only 5% of municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants have at least one on-demand or sharing service.

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What can on-demand transport achieve?

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Key role for the mobility turnaround

Only if significantly more people switch to public transport it will be possible to reduce transport emissions and achieve the climate targets set for 2030 in Germany. Public transport must therefore become more appealing: its comfort and flexibility must come as close to that of a private vehicle as possible, so that people are willing to give up their cars in return.

Meeting customer needs, acquiring passengers

There is a need for new public transportations that are specifically designed to meet the needs of customers. On-demand transport allows this by creating a connection between the car and the existing local public transport. In order to fulfil all the requirements of an attractive public transport system, the offerings of bus and rail are not sufficient.

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