Smart Mobility

April 19, 2022

What does transport on-demand mean?

There are increasingly more acronyms related to mobility every day. Today, we'll discuss one of them called TOD, which stands for Transport on Demand

You might not be familiar with this term, but it's more common than you think, and chances are you've used this mode of transportation at some point

If you're wondering what on-demand transport means, where it's beneficial, and where it's typically employed, Meep will provide you with all the information you need to know about Transport on Demand. Stick around!"

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 arrangement offers benefits to both the service providers and users. Companies can optimize their budgets by reallocating resources to establish regular transport routes in previously unviable areas. Meanwhile, users benefit from this adaptable mode of transportation that caters to their needs. However, these features and descriptions may sound familiar. What do they resemble to us?

Today's transport on-demand

Yes, we could be discussing transportation modes like taxis or Uber, for instance. However, as mentioned earlier, on-demand transport initially had a completely different approach, focusing on areas other than big cities. Uber, for instance, is designed to cater to regions with high transportation demand. In such cases, individuals don't just depend on conventional transportation means; they also have access to a transport option that suits their requirements and busy schedules.

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 taxis 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 taxis or similar modes of transport, fares depend on the distance you want to travel. In the case of using Uber, you can specify the distance through their app and determine the price before availing of their services. However, costs may vary based on the time of day, service demand, 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

Tallinja, an example of on-demand transportation
Tallinja, an example of on-demand transportation

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!