Mobility, a key issue for cities and their residents
Public transport is an essential driver of the economy and the social life of medium sized cities, as well as being a means of preserving the quality of the city environment through reducing individual car usage. For a significant percentage of a city’s population, public transport is also crucially important. Of the approximately 30,000 people living in a given city centre, 3,500 adults will not own a car, the same number will live in a single car household, and a further 2,400 are adolescents and young adults.
Keolis’ analyses of traffic flows have revealed that, as in major cities, transport services must be finely tuned to meet the needs of a diverse range of passengers. In Quimper, a medium sized French city, only 38% of passengers with transport passes use them exclusively during peak periods. In Caen, France, 70% of travel takes place outside of peak times with 10% occurring over the summer break, 15% during smaller holidays and 15% on weekends. Lastly, in Nevers, France, 68% percent of passengers are considered to be occasional, or monthly, users or exceptional users, taking public transport once a year.
You can also readKeolis observatory of mobility trends
A made-to-measure approach
Keolis believes that issues around public transport require tailored responses that take into consideration a city’s future plans, geography, budget, and the lifestyles of its residents. This is a conviction that requires existing networks to be continuously assessed and adapted. After taking over operation of the Cote&Bus network in Beaune, France, in 2015, the Group developed a new transport offer. Services were adapted according to demand in residential areas and at certain times of day, and services to economically developing areas were improved. In order to limit a decrease in network patronage, the same approach was taken in Qimper, France, where Keolis chose to completely revise its QUB network timetable, introducing a standard service frequency on certain lines and increasing operating hours.
An extensive range of transport solutions for cities
Keolis has a large range of transport solutions available to public transport authorities that, when combined, allow for a flexible response to mobility needs that target each region’s individual needs. Examples include:
- Network designs based on main and support lines to meet passenger usage
- Pacing of lines: In Blois, France, the frequency of one bus line was reduced in order to better align with other services. Passengers found the service easier to use and passenger numbers increased by 15%
- Vehicles: From articulated buses to minibuses, in Vichy, France, larger buses are replaced with smaller vehicles outside of peak periods, reducing operating costs and pollution
- Transport on-demand: Services such as Resago and Flexo, suit residents that live far from city centres or near regular lines that travel outside of standard hours. These services are currently available in the French cities of Blois, Montluçon, Montargis, and Châteauroux
- Extended bike hire as seen in Tours and Blois, France
- Carpooling. Keolis is a partner of in Instant System, a company that develops solutions for integrating car sharing into cities’ transport offer.
Cities: fertile ground for innovation
For Keolis, innovations do not only benefit large cities. On the contrary, in 2017, the French cities of Montargis and Orléans made the complete range of functionalities offered by the Plan Book Ticket app available to passengers. Passengers’ entire trip can now be organised from their smartphone, from planning their journey through to purchasing and validating their tickets.