The new express bus «KEXI» (short for: Landkreis Kelheim Express individually) starts operation in Kelheim, Lower Bavaria, Germany: The on-demand service complements the classic local public transport in the Kelheim district. Customers of the accessible express bus service are more independent of timetables and frequencies. This means more comfort and more mobility.
From July 1st, 2020, two minibuses will operate from Monday to Saturday between 6 am and 9 pm. Customers will be transported on demand and flexibly between the approximately 150 stops and on different routes depending on their destination. During the journey, other passengers with a similar destination can board the minibus. Ridepooling allows vehicles to be used to their full capacity and relieves the burden on the roads and the environment. The stops are located at maximum distances of 250 metres and thus offer a dense network.
Passengers can book the new DRT service conveniently via smartphone app. In addition, there is the possibility to request «KEXI» by phone via a mobility centre. Besides the immediate order, the express bus, which is barrier-free accessible via a wheelchair ramp, can also be booked in advance at a certain time and date. Thanks to the digital application, the stricter hygiene rules due to COVID-19 can also be implemented without any problems. The app currently automatically limits the number of passengers per vehicle to a maximum of four. In addition, passengers are also required to wear masks.
The service area of the new offer is divided into two zones and, as a pilot project, will initially only include the Kelheim city area with the Kelheimwinzer district (without incorporated municipalities) and the railway station in Saal a.d. Donau. However, «KEXI» is to be further expanded and in the long term will be available in the entire Kelheim district. The ticket prices are zone-related and amount to two or three euros per person and trip. Passengers can also get a free ride with the six-ride ticket, which is also available.
The pilot project in Kelheim is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Transport under the leadership of the Kelheim district. The express bus service is operated by Regionalbus Ostbayern GmbH (RBO). The on-demand platform was developed by ioki, the business unit of Deutsche Bahn (DB) for intelligent mobility solutions beyond rails.
For the optimal implementation of the new mobility offer in the Kelheim district and for the creation of a digital booking platform tailored to regional needs, an interface to the Wohin·Du·Willst-app developed by DB Regio Bus was created. From now on, the app will also display connections of the on-demand service «KEXI». In the future, the Wohin·Du·Willst-app will appear in the Kelheim district as an independent app of the Verkehrsgemeinschaft Landkreis Kelheim (VLK).
«Mobility is a high social good and important for the quality of life of every human being. With «KEXI», we are now providing a modern, flexible and efficient transport system in the Kelheim district, which allows everyone to get from A to B quickly and without long detours, and which also offers people without a car or driving license the possibility to be mobile at low cost. For the time being, «KEXI» is only a pilot project in a certain part of the district. In the long term, I would like to see demand-responsive mobility for all district citizens», says Martin Neumeyer, District Administrator of the Kelheim district.
«Our goal is to reduce the hurdles of the first and last mile with the help of demand-responsive mobility solutions such as the digital express bus and to bring customers individually to their destination. Not only in the city, but also in rural areas, people without their own car should be able to travel quickly and easily,» says Dr. Michael Barillère-Scholz, CEO of ioki.