Karlstadsbuss Nära, Demand-Responsive Transport service in Karlstad in Sweden
Following a simulation phase, a new Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) service pilot will be launched in Karlstad in December 2021. It will connect the peri-urban neighbourhoods of Karstad with the structural Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network. The DRT service will rely on digital solutions developed and provided by Padam Mobility. It will be operated by Keolis Sweden under the flagship of Karlstadsbuss.
The city’s existing main public transport network currently consists of nine fixed lines connecting the outskirt areas with Karlstad’s city centre. Karlstadsbuss, Karlstad’s local transport authority, sought a more intelligent and more effective public transport service that would not only satisfy the mobility needs of all the inhabitants of the province of Värmland but at the same time would be profitable from a financial point of view.
Therefore, Keolis Sweden and Padam Mobility were commissioned to establish an attractive DRT service that would optimally complement the existing transport network. For this upcoming pilot, a test area in the outskirts of Karlstad was selected to be served by the new DRT: Mjölnartorpet, which connects to the larger area Kronoparken and the shopping area Välsviken.
The service aims to transport users to transport hubs following a “feeder” logic to provide them with a seamless and comfortable mobility experience.
This allows them to master the “first or last mile” conveniently and without time constraints, eliminating the need for an individual vehicle.
The service, which will operate under the name Karlstadsbuss Nära, brings decisive advantages for the launch in December 2021: the simulation phase that has already been completed, enables Padam Mobility and Keolis Sweden to better assess how resources ought to be deployed on the basis of the data collected. Based on existing information, potential risks (such as financial liabilities, coordination with the existing network and other high-risk factors) can be minimised.
During the pilot phase, the DRT fleet will be gradually increased from one to two vehicles. The permanent service monitoring and evaluation will facilitate its scaling decisively. In the long term, this will also allow to identify fixed lines which from an economic point of view would be more efficient to become on-demand lines.
Thanks to the partnership between Padam Mobility and Keolis Sweden, Karlstadsbuss and its users will benefit from a high-tech, on-demand solution that guarantees easy and reliable operation. If the one-year pilot proves successful, the service will be extended to other areas.