Introducing Telematics Technologies into the Provision of Demand Responsive Transport Services (DRTS)
MORGAN L E, Transport and Travel Research and NELSON J D, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Demand Responsive Transport Services (DRTS) are a means of providing immediate response transport services "on demand" from the passengers. DRTS are undertaken on a variety of modes including buses, coaches, taxis and invataxis (speeiaUy equipped vehicles
Demand Responsive Transport Services (DRTS) are a means of providing immediate response transport services "on demand" from the passengers. DRTS are undertaken on a variety of modes including buses, coaches, taxis and invataxis (speeiaUy equipped vehicles for mobility impaired people).
DRTS is by no means a new concept. It was first investigated during the late sixties, giving origin to a first generation of applications, largely based upon manual scheduling and advanced booking. Subsequently, interest in the concept diminished, but it is now regaining the attention of public transport operators and local authorities alike due to two principle factors:
1. Lifestyle and land use changes in many urban and rural areas have resulted in a change in travel needs, in terms of origins, destinations and departure times. Increasingly, small communities are demanding adequate mobility levels as they see their ability to attract or even retain their citizens being eroded. The growing numbers of elderly, disabled and other special groups who demand full integration within the activities of their communities has also created a strong set of travel needs. It is often not viable to meet these demands for travel via conventional scheduled public transport services, and DRTS is seen as a potential solution to resolving this mobility problem.
2. Technological developments have meant that it is now possible to implement and operate improved, cost effective telematies-based DRTS through improvements to procedures for passenger reservation, vehicle allocation and route optimisation. Systems have been developed based upon organisation of DRTS via Travel Dispatch Centres (TDC's) which use booking and reservation systems to dynamieaUy assign passengers to vehicles and optimize the routes. Vehicles require location systems in order to provide real-time information on the status and location of the fleet for the route optimising software.
Association for European Transport