In which regions in the Saarland can on-demand services support public transport in a promising way? This question was investigated by ioki, a Deutsche Bahn company, on behalf of the Saarland Ministry for the Environment, Climate, Mobility, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. It is the first analysis in Germany to identify potential on-demand areas for an entire federal state. Within the framework of this pre-study, a total of about 50 areas in the Saarland Transport Association were identified in which on-demand services could make public transport more attractive for passengers. With this comprehensive analysis, Saarland is a pioneer on the way to simpler and more attractive public transport.
The interdisciplinary mobility analytics and consulting team of ioki GmbH analysed more than 3 million trips for the pre-study. As a decisive criterion, the travel time was compared with car, bus and train as well as on-demand transport. The conclusion: public transport is the most attractive means of transport for about 15 percent of all journeys. But for 75 percent of all journeys made by Saarlanders, there is currently no attractive alternative to the car. In the about 50 areas identified, on-demand transport could be particularly effective in bringing passengers to existing stops on the regular bus and rail network. The addition of on-demand services to the current public transport system alone could shift a further 10 percent of all journeys from the private car to local transport.
Closing public transport gaps in rural areas
The Saarland Minister for Mobility, Petra Berg, sees a great opportunity in the introduction of a demand-responsive form of transport: “With the potential study, we have identified gaps in coverage in Saarland. We are providing those responsible for public transport at the municipal level with a basis for planning, which they can use to decide where public transport can benefit most from on-demand mobility. With this preliminary work, we want to make a contribution to putting the first on-demand transports on the road in Saarland in the next two years.”
“Public transport supplemented by on-demand services becomes attractive when the services are easily and quickly accessible,” says Benjamin Pfeifer, Chief Commercial Officer and part of the ioki management team. “This is where we can support cities and municipalities with our expertise in analysing mobility needs and later in the concrete implementation of on-demand transport.”
The results of the data-based preliminary analysis are to help public transport authorities, cities and municipalities to improve local transport services for passengers through new on-demand services. The results were already presented to more than 60 interested transport and mobility experts in the Saarland in July. In the meantime, the ministry published a funding guideline for on-demand transport in order to promote efficient and sustainable public transport in Saarland. The final report is available on the website of the Saarland Ministry for the Environment, Climate, Mobility, Agriculture and Consumer Protection: LINK.