Smart Mobility

April 19, 2022

What does transport on-demand mean?

There are more and more acronyms for mobility everyday, so this time we are going to talk about one of them called TOD or Transport on Demand. You may not know exactly what we are talking about, but it is more common than it seems and surely you have used this transport method at some point. If you have questions like: What does on-demand transport mean? Where is it profitable? Where is it usually used? Meep will tell you everything you need to know about transport on-demand . Stay with us!

What does transport on-demand mean?

Transport on-demand is a system designed mainly for those areas where the demand for public transport is very low. There are places where a regular public transport method is not established, because the demand is so low that it is not profitable. This type of transport is characterized by having an irregular service provision, based on demand, and it is also very flexible, since it adapts to the preferences of the users who request it. This is something that benefits both the companies that provide this service and the users. Companies take advantage of the benefits by repurposing their budget on establishing regular transport lines in areas where it would not be viable and, the users of this type of transport take advantage of the way in which it adapts to them. But, what do these characteristics and definitions sound like to us?

Today's transport on-demand

Yes, we could be talking about transport methods such as cabs, Uber or Cabify, for example.  As we mentioned a few moments ago, on-demand transport had a totally different approach, since it was not designed for big cities. An Uber or Cabify is designed for those areas where there is a lot of demand for transportation. In this case, these people, in addition to having their conventional transportation methods, have a type of transport that adapts to their needs and their busy lives.

Where is transport on-demand profitable?

Actually, this way of transport is profitable in both high and low density cities. This form of transportation is similar to cabs as it is a service that is not provided unless it is specifically requested by a user. Having this type of transport in rural areas, for example, is viable because the demand for fixed route bus services is typically not there. It is an efficient way to move people in rural areas. But it is equally viable in more populated and even crowded areas, due to its speed and adaptability to the needs of its users.

Benefits of transport on-demand

This type of transport has numerous advantages:

1. Improve traffic conditions

This is the main attribute of transport on-demand. The TOD helps to reduce traffic congestion, as combines passengers on the same mode of transport.

2. Prices

Typically, bus transport is paid for using inexpensive and subsidized tickets/multi-trip vouchers. On the other hand, for cabs or similar modes of transport, fares depend on the distance you want to travel.  In the case of an Uber or Cabify, you can indicate the distance from their app and know the price before making use of their services, however, costs can fluctuate depending on time of day, demand of services or location.

3. Book

The TOD, not having a regular line, requires prior reservation by users who want to use this service. This reservation can be made through an App, the Web or a phone number, depending on the situation or the city.

Tallinja, Transport on Demand success story

Developed by Meep ,Tallinja is a Malta Public Transport mobile app in operation since 2019 based on the MaaS (Mobility as a Service) concept. It aims to offer a wide range of transport available on the island for citizens and visitors to achieve a more connected and sustainable mobility. One of its functionalities is the on-demand public transport service, through which a user can reserve a seat on one of Malta Public Transport's premium buses by choosing the pick-up and drop-off point with the app. In real time, the user can book a seat and pay with a credit card without leaving the app, or make a reservation for a future journey on one of the shared premium buses.

If you want to know more about transport on-demand, do not hesitate to contact Meep and read our blog. Together we will achieve a greener mobility in our cities!