On-demand transport responds to a wide variety of needs: as a means for picking up and transporting passengers to our main networks during peak hours; as a substitution for lines that are little used during off-peak hours; as a social welfare and local mobility service in peri-urban and rural areas with poor public transport services.
Our RATP Dev subsidiary operates the bus network for the Épernay – Pays de Champagne association of local councils, with 10 on-demand transport lines and 6 regular lines to better serve an area comprised of 21 local councils.
In Bristol, western England, our local subsidiary RATP Dev UK tested Slide, an on-demand public transport service that is midway between standard bus service and individual transport services during two years. An offshoot of our in-house entrepreneurship programme BOUGE!, and developed with the French start-up Padam, Slide proposes flexible transport services by minibus, with passengers contacting drivers via smartphone. The client indicates the departure point and destination, and the app suggests a pick-up point, calculating the optimal itinerary for the vehicle in real-time while taking into account requests from other passengers heading in the same direction.
By combining on-demand transport with partners in taxis or VTC chauffeur-driven cars, our booking centres are able to develop economical night services by using geolocalisation technology and mobile phone reservation services.
Self-driving shuttles: flexibility and adaptability for the “last kilometre”
Self-driving shuttles are attracting the interest of many cities and companies, initially for closed-site use. We have launched several tests in this field. Self-driving shuttles could be used to honour mobility requests that currently cannot be met (low-density areas, small traffic flows, first and last kilometres, etc.), and to imagine new forms of service. This is why RATP is heavily engaged in this field, as the coordinator of the self-driving vehicle segment of the NFI New France Industrial plan.
In Paris, Boulogne-sur-Mer (Hauts-de-France), Saclay (southwest suburb of Paris) and Austin, Texas (USA), we have launched several EZ10 self-driving shuttle experiments with the French start-up Easymile, in association with the local authorities and partners. The goal is always the same: to learn about passengers’ opinions of the service, and to collect information about performance, reliability and operational safety.
Following the success of the trial staged during the spring of 2017 on the bridge Charles-de-Gaulle (12th district in Paris), we launched, with Île-de-France Mobilités (the Organising Authority for public transport in the Paris-Île-de-France region) and the City of Paris, a 6-month test of a new autonomous shuttle between the station Château de Vincennes (metro line 1) and the Parc Floral de Paris (12th district in Paris).
Autonomous shuttles: a new experiment programme in the Bois de Vincennes with RATP
With Alstom, we have successfully tested an autonomous tramway garage at our Vitry-sur-Seine T7 depot in the Île-de-France region, before similar testing of an automated bus parking system.