By Johanna Taskinen, Kyyti Group Founder & CPO
Simulations conducted in four Finnish municipalities (Lapua, Janakkala, Hämeenlinna and Hattula), show that the expansion and development of demand responsive public transportation in rural municipalities can improve mobility for all user groups.
The ongoing deterioration of rural mobility services and the constant increase in statutory passenger transport costs for municipalities is an unsustainable equation. As most rural inhabitants use a private car as the primary means to getting around, taxi services are hardly ever used, which results in fewer and fewer companies offering them. Short supply leads to a situation where if a taxi is needed, the availability is scarce which makes a taxi an expensive and unreliable option for any travel.
In Finnish rural areas, taxi use is currently almost exclusively related to publicly supported statutory trips, such as school transportation and paratransit trips required by the Disability Services and Social Welfare Act. Due to demographic change, the number and cost of paratransit trips is constantly increasing. As municipal budgets are not expected to increase in the near future, the funding directed to organising open public transport services is not sufficient to have a working transit system anymore.
Efficient and user friendly passenger transport services in rural municipalities are only possible by properly investing in demand responsive public transportation. DRT is a way to revitalize public transport in sparsely populated areas where there is currently no real alternative to private car ownership due to poor service level. Simulation results presented in the linked article suggest that with little to no extra cost, using demand responsive services is a way to provide rural inhabitants a public transport service with an unsurpassed customer experience and can add real value to overall public offerings.
Simulating different scenarios for the municipality’s local context can provide a low-cost confirmation to decide on the implementation. There are huge potential gains in improving the mobility possibilities equally for all.
This blog is a summary of a White Paper published on Kyyti Group’s Resources page. You can read the full text via this link.