The Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) applied a newly developed price and cost modelling tool, particularly designed for the analysis of demand-responsive transport (DRT). The tool allows users to model the feasability of the integration of current DRT services into an existing infrastructure.
Background & Objectives
Municipalities across Europe have been facing fiscal challenges since the financial crisis of 2008/2009. In the City of Glasgow the social community transport services in particular had to be re-evaluated with respect to existing resources. The key challenge was to continue the existing service while at the same time reducing the costs. In order to achieve this, an instrument which supports a full understanding of cost parameters was required.
Instead of paying overtime to council workers using Glasgow City Council vehicles, the integration of evening and weekend services run by community transport organisations seemed the most promising means of reducing operating costs while continuing services. In order to test the feasability of this approach, a newly delevoped evaluation tool was applied in Glasgow: the so-called ICMA amobilife Price and Cost Model. This was developed within the EU-funded mobility project ICMA amobilife in order to enable its users (transport providers) to develop a detailed understanding of the key cost parameters of DRT transport from both an end-user perspective and a provider perspective prior to a service being implemented. Users could then ascertain the level of potential impacts that the scheme would have on costs and revenue streams.>In the Glasgow case, SPT made use of the tool in order to fine tune each component cost to reflect current and future costs. Furthermore, it allowed SPT to monitor the performance of services in a consistent manner. The recent fuel price increases could be monitored and predictive reports on future impacts could be prepared to assist management decision making. However, without reliable information and analysis of the cost parameters of existing services and the integration of these, the solution in Glasgow could never have been implemented.
The result of this action was the integration of the social community transport and the use of existing SPT travel dispatch centre for all DRT services in Glasgow. With savings of about 40% of the operating costs during the first year, the benefits have been even higher than initially predicted. Encouraged by these savings, the City Council of Glasgow and SPT intesified their cooperation. In Spring 2011 SPT took over the dispatching and scheduling of all of the Council's Social Service Transport Services. This success was possible due to the application of the ICMA amobiife Price and Cost Model and its detailed analysis of current operating costs of all transport services. In addition, the Glasgow Social Work Voluntary Club transport project, which started on the basis of the implemented approach, has been awarded with the Scortiish National Transport Award 2011 in the category "Transport and Excellence". Currently the cost and price modelling tool is being tested by the City of Genk and traffiQ, the local public transport authority of Frankfurt.