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In Appenzell in eastern Switzerland, the PubliCar Appenzell digital call-a-bus is now in operation and will take passengers to their destinations on flexible routes. The existing service – a call-based on-demand service – will thus be further developed but will remain an integral part of local public transport in the region thanks to its deep integration into the local tariff system. PostAuto, Switzerland’s leading public transport company, is bringing the mobility service to Appenzell and the surrounding area in cooperation with ioki, the Deutsche Bahn (DB) business unit for innovative mobility solutions.
PubliCar Appenzell has already been serving the year-round inhabited area in the inner part of the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden for around twenty years. In 2019 PubliCar Appenzell was used by over 34,000 passengers. Up to now, however, the service could only be booked by telephone. Now the range of services is being expanded to include a smartphone app. This makes Appenzell the first PubliCar area in Switzerland to use the app.
A total of three PubliCar vehicles operate in Appenzell without a fixed timetable or lines. Passengers with similar routes are automatically bundled into carpools using an algorithm and transported together. Ridepooling allows vehicles to be used to their full capacity and relieves the burden on roads and the environment. Passengers can now also book the demand-responsive transport (DRT) service conveniently via smartphone app. In addition, there is still the possibility of requesting PubliCar Appenzell by telephone. In addition to immediate orders at short notice, the on-demand service can also be booked in advance for a specific date. The service area has also been expanded: The service is now available to the population of the Göbsi, Strahlholz and Mehlersweid/Hägni areas. It can be used with valid public transport tickets of the national tariff and the tariff association OSTWIND, plus a PubliCar surcharge of CHF 5.00 per person and ride. This is a useful addition to the existing public transport system in and around Appenzell. The door-to-door shuttles provide residents and hiking tourists with mobility on demand.
ioki CEO Dr. Michael Barillère-Scholz on the project start: “Through our Deutsche Bahn DNA and numerous ongoing projects in the DACH region as well as at an European level, we can draw on a wealth of experience. We are pleased that we are now bringing smart mobility solutions to the road in Switzerland with the PubliCar app developed by ioki in cooperation with PostAuto, thus complementing and strengthening existing transport services”.