Demand Analysis and Willingness to Use of Passengers of Flexible Public Mobility Concepts

Demand Analysis and Willingness to Use of Passengers of Flexible Public Mobility Concepts


Kathrin Viergutz, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Florian Brinkmann, German Aerospace Center (DLR)


This contribution describes the acceptance of the properties of Mobility on Demand Systems by passengers and derives knowledge about the usability of flexible mobility concepts. The aim is to determine the conditions under which MODS could be used.


Today's road users no longer rely on a means of transport, but often prefer to use a wide range of complementary means of transport. The so-called multimodal user combines the transport options available to him according to his current requirements. At the same time, there is a growing demand for flexibility and individualisation of transport from the perspective of road users. Therefore, public transportation is currently experiencing a shift from the supply-oriented operation that is rigidly defined by schedules and route plans as well as fixed stops to a flexible, individually retrievable transport system, especially in the urban context. Such a flexible transport system is smoothly integrated into the everyday life of the users by means of its need-centered orientation, thus enabling the need-driven and spontaneously adaptable use of public transport.
The term Mobility on Demand Systems (MODS) describes responsive traffic systems, which react dynamically to specific and spontaneous transport demand of passengers. Currently there is a large number of global pilot projects in which such demand-driven systems are tested in an urban context. In doing so, these systems differ in part in terms of their temporal and spatial flexibility, their degree of utilization and spontaneity, the cardinality and operation of their access options and other characteristics.

Conventional public transport systems have predominantly ex-ante constructed timetables. These target timetables indicate the time at which the stations that are located in the traffic network along defined routes are operated. In order to adapt the traffic offer to a variable demand, deviations from these defined stops, routes and operating times can be altered. This is referred to as demand-responsive transport. Various levels of flexibility in the supply are possible. Users of traffic system with a high level of flexibility can determine the start and destination points of their journey as well as the desired departure or arrival time within a certain operating area and within certain operating times as far as possible. For the passengers, the door-to-door features of a demand bus result in a higher level of comfort in the sense of a mobility on demand. Such a system is similar to common taxi systems ‒ with the difference that there are other passengers in the vehicle who have a similar route and get on and off during the journey.
Mobility on Demand systems are unfamiliar to passengers. This is why it is difficult to assess their own willingness to use these flexible mobility concepts. For this reason, a passenger survey was carried out with the aim of exploring the acceptance of the properties of MODS ‒ without informing the participants that the study is investigating MODS. The results of this study are presented in this conference contribution.
Among other things, the question is asked whether the participants prefer direct connections instead of connections, where they have to change. Another question is the importance of short walks to stations. In addition, the study deals with the acquisition of insights about the willingness to share a taxi with other persons - and under what conditions this would be the case. The evaluated study makes a valuable contribution to the research of passenger requirements for flexible mobility concepts.


Association for European Transport