A new flexible bus service managed by the local public transport operator. The first two services have been launched in spring 2002 in two residential urban areas. At the beginning of 2004, a new service will be launched.
Genoa (650.000 inhabitants) is an Italian city stretched between the Mediterranean sea and mountains with a comparatively long and narrow coastline stretching from east to west.
The DRINBUS is the first dial-a-ride public transport service launched in Genoa. It is a flexible Demand Responsive Transport Service that AMT (public transport company in Genoa) has experimentally started in April 2002 in two Genoa areas. The service and the call center are operative all days, except Sundays and holidays, from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm.
The new service, flexible in time and space, is built to meet users needs. It represents almost a door-to-door public service: a high number of bus stops are disseminated in the service areas, and the distance between them is generally no more than 200 m. Users can choose where to begin their journey and where to finish it, and can also choose the starting or arrival time without waiting times. They can make a reservation contacting the call centre, where an operator inserts the demand into the software that automatically suggests some solutions compatible with request. The system elaborates, on the basis of received requests and available vehicles, the optimised itineraries and timetable. Reservation for the same day must be made 30 minutes at least before the departure.
DRINBUS is an added value service; it certainly offers a higher quality in comparison with a traditional public transport service, so it has for users a very favourable fare: onboard it is possible to use urban network tickets or weekly/monthly/yearly pass, integrated with a little supplement (only 0.50 €) usable for the whole day. This supplement can be bought directly on board. The reservation call is free.
DRINBUS represents a particular DRTS application as it serves hilly urban areas, highly populated but not served by public transport for accessibility problems.>The first year results are very encouraging: the new service is appreciated by every kind of citizens: students, housewives, workers, elderly persons. Sometimes DRINBUS has substituted car in citizen's customs. Actually 250 passengers per day use the service and the registered users are more than 1.000.
After one year of operation, the results of the service are very encouraging: the new service is appreciated by every kind of citizens. Following numerous requests, DRINBUS has been already extended to other neighbouring areas (July 2002-July 2003). Moreover, in 2004, a new service will replace two normal actually traditionally fixed routes.
Since its implementation in April 2002, the percentage of residents in the Drin Bus served areas who use their cars everyday has dropped 4%, and the number of people who never use a car has increased 13%. Drin Bus ridership has been increasing by 5-13% per year in different neighborhoods. In 2004, Drin Bus expanded to serve the Bolzaneto area, replacing two existing bus lines and extending the service area previously covered by the traditional bus routes.
Data from the first several years of operation show that the operating costs of the Drin Bus service are similar to previous traditional fixed-route bus services, but the Drin Bus has an increased number of passengers and revenue. Additionally, environmental cost/benefit analyses of the Drin Bus program indicate an estimated savings of €34,500 per year due to decreased environmental impact.
Further information:<a data-cke-saved-href="http://" href="http://" http:="" www.connectedurbandevelopment.org="" pdf="" sust_ii="" drin_bus.pdf"=""> http://www.connectedurbandevelopment.org/pdf/sust_ii/drin_bus.pdf