1. The Context
Pilot site characteristics
The Barcelona metropolitan region is an area of 636 km2 including 36 municipalities with a population of over 3.2 million. It is the largest metropolitan agglomeration in the western Mediterranean and generates half of Catalonia’s regional GDP. The mobility in the region has Barcelona as the main focal point, generating most daily trips on working days.
Beyond areas covered by regional train lines, commuters in peri-urban areas are offered public bus routes that service the nearest regional train stations.
2. The Challenge
Galileo set to solve local mobility issues
The peri-urban areas are proving problematic for urban planners and local authorities. On the one hand, existing bus lines have very little demand. On the other, citizens in other low-density (i.e. low-demand) areas are requesting more public transport coverage. Service on-demand could prove the solution. Not only because of increased efficiency, but also from the societal perspective.
Being a public service, AMB will need to regulate and control how trip requests are served. The administration will play the role of interface between the citizen user and the service operator:
- Manage the front-office to receive requests, manage confirmations, cancellations, etc.
- Manage the back-office with regard to operator, assigning it optimal routes to meet the requests received, control expeditions undertaken, km travelled, fare collection, etc. Therefore, the route computation will be done by AMB back-office system, developed within the frame of the project by Pildo.
3. The Technology
The components under development within the pilot are the following:
- Consumer: mobile app, website and also telephone. Users will need to register to the service before using them.
- Back-office: grouping of trip requests, optimal routing algorithm, collecting passenger trip data, incident management, block users who misuse the service (e.g. not showing up after requesting a trip).
- Equipment on board the bus: tablet for interaction with the driver, connected by Bluetooth to the Galileo For Mobility OBU.
- Payments: the vehicle must be equipped with a machine to validate existing integrated transport tickets (multi-modal). There is a proposal in Barcelona to replace magnetic tickets by contactless cards and mobile, planned for 2018. If the plans are already in effect, the mobile application might also include this payment option.
4. The Pilot
The pilot will take place in Cervelló, a small village in the Barcelona metropolitan region where a high percentage of commuters travel to central Barcelona on working days. The village is currently served by 4 bus lines that do not satisfy demand but are also inefficient in terms of cost. They will be replaced by 1 on-demand buses equipped with the project IT systems. If the pilot is successful, AMB will expand the service progressively across the full metropolitan region.