The needs-based Dial-a-Ride services (AST and ALT) have been part of the local public transport system in Holzminden for over ten years. The call-bus trips supplement the public transport service at times when there is less traffic and in the late evening hours. Until now, passengers have been able to request a ride by phone. Now, a new, barrier-free app from ioki is also available for booking.
The app “AST/ALT Holzminden” contains the timetables of the Dial-a-Ride services Holzminden. The booking of the trip and payment by credit card can be made conveniently with a click. The app then displays the status of the ordered trip and the location of the booked vehicle. In the app, users can specify whether a wheelchair must fit in the vehicle. In terms of accessibility, the app has a voiceover, i.e. a read-aloud function, as well as dynamic font sizes. This makes the Dial-a-Ride services much easier for passengers to use and, thanks to digitalisation, more comprehensible than before.
The call collection taxi takes passengers from the city back to the towns in the district later in the evening. The call line taxi runs all day in the entire district according to the bus schedule to supplement the local public transport system. Trips can be booked from 4:30 a.m. to 0:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday. The service thus covers mobility needs around the clock. Journeys must be booked at least 60 minutes before the start of the journey, and the ioki app offers the option of reserving a journey as early as 14 days in advance. Both offers are integrated into the tariff, only the AST is subject to a convenience surcharge.
“Mobility, climate protection and digitization are important topics for me. It’s great that Holzminden is a pioneer in the digitalisation of Dial-a-Ride services with the new app for the AST and ALT services. Based on the usage data, we can further develop and improve the services,” says District Administrator Michael Schünemann.
For the new service, Regionalbus Braunschweig is relying on platform technology from DB subsidiary ioki. It offers three components: The app for the passenger, with which the booking can be conveniently made and tracked. The administration tool, the so-called control center, enables Regionalbus Braunschweig to monitor the transport services provided as well as manage ongoing operations. And with the vehicle app, the driving personnel receive their own application that displays all relevant information about the driving job. The intelligent algorithm takes a ridepooling approach, forming carpools between passengers with similar origins and destinations. This ensures efficient utilization of vehicle capacity and thus helps protect the climate. However, this mechanism can also be paused at short notice to comply with distance rules.
“With the new platform and the passenger app from ioki, we are taking a big step toward digitizing call-bus services. We are making it easier for our passengers to use the service and making our operations more efficient. If the system proves successful, we will expand it to other call-bus services in our transport area in the future,” says Alexander Siems, branch manager of Regionalbus Braunschweig.
The new “AST/ALT Holzminden” app is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Booking by phone remains possible.