MENTZ integrates on-demand service FLEX in the district of Munich
If you travel by public transport in the countryside, you must have a lot of patience: Poor connections, infrequent departures, complicated routes. The district of Munich, together with the Munich Transport Association (MVV), is now once again improving public transport services with on-demand services.
More and more transport associations are closing existing gaps in mobility provision with such on-demand services. In the southern district of Munich, a total of seven minibusses serve around 250 entry and exit points when normal public transport is not available.
The pilot project FLEX, funded by the Free State of Bavaria for an initial period of two years, has now gone into test operation. The main new feature is that the new MVV app and other digital information media of the MVV suggest journeys with FLEX when there are no suitable (or only significantly more inconvenient and thus less attractive) connections using the public transport system. Journey requests and bookings for FLEX can then – after one-time registration – also be made seamlessly via the new MVV app.
“Within 15 to 20 minutes after booking, one of the minibusses will be there to pick up the passenger. The vehicles run without a timetable; the departure time and route are determined by the wishes of the user. An algorithm combines travel requests with similar routes, which is called pooling. This reduces detours and saves unnecessary journeys. At the same time, an improved utilization of the vehicles is achieved and the best possible connection to the public transport system in the suburban area is guaranteed,” says a press release from the district of Munich.
“Thanks to a new EFA module, the integration of on-demand services into an existing journey planner is convenient and easy to use for our customers. With our MaaS app Gullivr, which MVV also uses for its passengers, we offer the right app for all mobility services: Bus, train, but also sharing services and on-demand transport,” emphasizes Managing Director Christoph Mentz.
Since on-demand services have to be extremely flexible and do not follow a strict line, their journey calculation must also be correspondingly adaptable.The algorithm we developed for the MVV test area does exactly this flexible calculation depending on the number of passengers and the desired route.