The public procurement for the delivery of the solution was conducted by a group of public transport authorities, led by Pärnu city and county. Ridango will, according to the contract, further develop already existing public transport ticketing system by adding necessary features and functionalities for demand-responsive transport

The new on-demand service will be launched in stages, starting from Autumn 2020 and with final delivery in Spring 2021. The solution will feature new convenient customer interfaces – web portal and mobile app, but also several solution-specific functionalities, like automatic route and task planning etc. 
 
I think that the time has come to treat social and public transport on the same basis. In our view, social transport is a basic demand-responsive public transport. At the same time, we understand public transport in the sense of organized transport in the society, but not as transport, where it is necessary to travel together in bulk,” said Andrus Kärpuk, director of Pärnu PTA. 

Other regions, included in the project, are currently in a process of procuring operators for social transport bus service and will launch the service gradually.  

“It is an important step for us”, says Argo Verk, the Head of Sales of Ridango“The need for cost efficiency in provision of social transport service, but also in normal public transport for rural areas, is increasing, and we are very happy to take our ticketing solution to a next level, by adding necessary functionalities for demand-responsive transport”, he continues. 

What is demand-responsive transport (DRT), and why is it important? 

Urbanization has inevitably created peripheral areas in specific regions and left people living there without access to public transport, because it would not be economically reasonable for operators to provide the service. Nevertheless, there are still people in these areas, for whom public transportation is the only way to reach critical services, often located tens of kilometers away from where they live. 

Another important aspect is social transport, also known as paratransit. It is an obligation of local authorities to provide transport service for people unable to independently use or access public transport, because of their health condition.  

DRT helps to relieve these problems by providing service, which is not dependent on a specific fixed bus route or schedule. 

For the public transport operator, the on-demand service helps increasing efficiency by dispatching the vehicle with right seating capacity. It also offers detailed monitoring capabilities for the authorities and makes the service provision more transparent. 

In the future, it is envisaged that the DRT will spread across Estonia and will be fully integrated with ordinary public transport.