On-demand buses and shared services

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  • Germany


Demand-responsive transport services have been existing in formal as well as informal sector for a long time. The recent developments of communication and sensor technology have allowed such services to grow substantially in urban, sub-urban and rural areas. Demand responsive transport is a technology-driven shared transport service operated by a company with professional drivers with flexible schedule, and/or flexible stops and/or flexible routing. The key differentiation from traditional public transport is that services are provided as a response to demand from customers.

On-demand ridesharing offers the opportunity to enrich the traditional public transport offer and diversify the service portfolio, hence helping to attract new user groups who may currently be dependent on private vehicles. They are particularly useful where the cost of fixed route, fixed schedule services may be inordinately high in proportion to the demand such as sparsely populated areas or during odd times of the day. It can also be useful in first/last mile connectivity. For public transport operators, therefore, it could be a good opportunity to adopt new tools and new ways of working. Coordinating on-demand ride-sharing with scheduled public transport, for example through the pricing system or operational times, can result in a win-win proposition. This coordination is also key to keeping the sector relevant in context of the autonomous vehicle revolution. Furthermore, efficiently integrating on-demand ride-sharing options by building integrated mobility platforms such as MaaS would pave the way towards more sustainable urban mobility in the future in urban environment.

As there are multiple ways of delivering the on-demand ridesharing, there needs to be a “horses for courses” approach. The existing regulatory approach may also need to adapt. This training will contextualize such practices through a combination of theoretical and practical framework. The participants should be able to develop better understanding of the best practices, tools and solutions, as well as appraise themselves of the skill sets needed to put a similar framework in their organisation and cities.

This course is organised in collaboration with ViaVan and BVG who won the 2019 UITP Award 'Public and Urban Transport Strategy' for their outstanding on-demand service 'BerlKönig'. 

As a supplement to existing fixed-route services in Berlin, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and ViaVan have joined forces to launch a dynamic ride pooling transit service, creating routes in real time in response to rider demand. The project is the world’s largest on-demand offer by a public transport company, efficiently aggregating riders heading in the same direction. The 4-year pilot launched in September, 2018 with a fleet of 50 state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz vehicles and has quickly expanded to more than 150 vehicles, more than 50% of them being fully-electric.

Read more about the Award and the BerlKönig project here.

Objectives of the course

  • Broaden your knowledge and widen your perspective on demand responsive transport by learning and sharing experience with professional leaders
  • Understand the suitability of demand responsive transport within a public transport network and its scenarios
  • Better evaluate the approach taken by tech companies for optimizing ride-hailing and ridesharing services
  • Discuss the key ingredients for a successful deployment: from operational, infrastructure, technology and regulatory perspectives.
  • Get a hands-on experience by discussing during workshop the deployment of demand responsive vehicles
  • Learn from best practices in Asia, Africa, America and Europe

Who is it for?

  • Staff from bus and public transport planning departments
  • Strategy planners, mobility planners and land use planners
  • Professionals working on transport and urban policy
  • Professionals working for transport authorities and city governments, operators and consultancies
  • The course is suitable for participants from companies worldwide

A top level methodology

  • Get inspired by our trainers, understand the main concepts and learn from successful best practice
  • Participate in interactive plenary sessions with introductions by course leaders, presentations by trainers and open discussions with participants
  • Challenge your practical knowledge on maintenance and asset management  
  • Address the topic from an international perspective, enriched by different cultural approaches and points of views
  • Participate in workshops allowing you to apply to a concrete case the main principles and tools learned
  • Benefit from a unique exchange of knowledge and experience between professionals

UITP Training Programmes and all related processes are certified for ISO29990:2010 – the standard for learning services for non-formal education and training.

A good level of English is needed to attend this course.

Inspiring trainers

Our skillful trainers are international experts and professionals with extensive experience and knowledge in the field of on-demand buses and shared services.

Our lead trainer will be Xavier Tackoen, Managing Director at Espaces-Mobilités, Brussels, Belgium.




Xavier Tackoen, Managing Director at Espaces-Mobilités, Brussels, Belgium




Urban form and suitability of demand responsive transport

Within urban mobility options, demand responsive transport offers a space-efficient flexible service.  Looking at it from a public transport point of view, different applications can be envisioned:

  • Complementing the public transport offer in time: During operational times where the demand is too low for higher capacity transport options e.g. evening & night times, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Complementing the public transport offer in space: In certain low-density areas where demand is low, e.g. suburban or rural areas, industrial areas, etc.
  • Offering additional services: Either as a premium service or for special needs.
  • Replacement of inefficient public transport lines: Especially when low demand does not justify the use of large vehicles neither from an economical nor from and ecological point of view and aiming at providing better service for the customers.
  • Peak Shaving: Providing an intermediate door-to-door service during peak periods that could ease the pressure on trunk servicesThis module will also compare the strategy taken by tech companies deploying on-demand services with the strategy followed by public transport authorities and operators.


Design of a demand responsive system

What key elements need to be considered when designing a new system and service with demand responsive vehicles? From the fleet, to operational implications, infrastructure and technology, the deployment of the vehicles also depend on the chosen scenario that fit best. The use of simulation tools will be assessed and presented to demonstrate how on-demand services can support an existing public transport network. Simulation demonstrations will be presented by the best companies in the field. The following aspects will be presented and discussed through case studies:

  • Fleet, from cars and large SUVs to vans, shuttles and buses
  • Organisational and operating framework
  • Staffing
  • Stopping locations 
  • Routing optimisation
  • Technological infrastructure 

Case studies

Stuttgart, Paris (Ile de France), Lille, Berlin, Munich, Dallas, Singapore, etc. 


The workshop will consist of a hands-on experience allowing participants to work in small groups and discuss the suitability of a demand-responsive service in their cities. Which service would be the most adapted? In which one would you invest? Short simulations will be run using simulation tools. 

Informal drinks at German Christmas Market


Regulatory perspective towards on-demand transport

The way demand responsive vehicles will be deployed also widely depend on how the market is organised and regulated, whether open or regulated with the use (or not) of competitive tendering. What does it imply for the business model of the services? In a regulated environment, how would service be allocated or licenced, service levels defined, monitored and KPIs defined? What does it imply for subsidies?

Pricing and ticketing

Pricing and ticketing are key parameters in dictating the sustainability of demand-responsive transport services. Subsidy may or may not be provided depending on objectives of the city and its circumstances. Also, demand responsive transport is inherently a premium service where the cost of delivery would eventually be higher than regular public transport. How to measure demand for such services, people’s willingness to pay and then reflecting them into pricing and ticketing to offer a service that could become financially sustainable? Are there other opportunities to generate revenue beyond farebox revenues to offset the pressure on fares? How ticketing and fares of demand-responsive transport services need to be integrated into a MaaS approach, especially when bundling transport services into a subscription scheme? 

Analytics and predictive planning

Fundamentally, a modern DRT system operates on a digital backbone and relies heavily on IoT sensors, high-speed communication and super-fast processing of data. Unlike traditional public transport operations where decision making is largely manual, DRT operations runs mostly on rule-based algorithms or on machine-learning tools. What are these tools and how they could be leveraged in creating an efficient DRT system? Analytics is also essential in review, monitoring and regulatory control. The KPI frameworks and data repository management will be discussed.


Berlin Case Study and visit of BerlKönig facilities by VIA and BVG 

ViaVan and BVG won the 2019 UITP Award 'Public and Urban Transport Strategy' handed out during the Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm. 

As a supplement to existing fixed-route services in Berlin, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and ViaVan have joined forces to launch a dynamic ride pooling transit service, creating routes in real time in response to rider demand. The project is the world’s largest on-demand offer by a public transport company, efficiently aggregating riders heading in the same direction.

The 4-year pilot launched in September, 2018 with a fleet of 50 state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz vehicles and has quickly expanded to more than 150 vehicles, more than 50% of them being fully-electric.

Read more about the Award and the BerlKönig project here.


The course ends at 16.00 at the latest


19% VAT excluded

Until 12/11/2019

After 12/11/2019


820 €

1090 €

Member « developing nations »*

590 €

790 €


1190 €

1590 €

Non-member « developing nations »*

820 €

1090 €

Group UITP Member (4 or +)

760 €

Group UITP Member (4 or +) « developing nations »*

550 €

Group UITP non Member (4 or +)

1110 €

Group UITP non Member (4 or +) « developing nations »*

760 €

*Participants from developing nations benefit from a special discount. Check here the list of eligible countries.

To register a group of 4 persons of more from the same organisation, please contact us: sunita.kelecom@uitp.org - Tel: +32 2 663 66 57

Participation fees include:

  • Training instruction
  • Lunches and coffee breaks
  • Training material: all presentations and support documents. Access to all training material via UITP's electronic library, MyLibrary (after the training)

Groups generally consist of 25 participants and are limited to about 30 in order to increase the learning experience and interaction during the programme. Places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Terms and Conditions

Please download our Terms and Conditions here.

Contact Person

Sunita Kelecom, Training Assistant, UITP Centre for Training, sunita.kelecom@uitp.org, Tel: +32-2-663 66 57


Xavier Tackoen, Managing Director at Espaces-Mobilités, Brussels, Belgium



This programme is kindly hosted by BVG and ViaVan.

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