Recent developments in Flexible Transport Services

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, policy - disability, mode - demand responsive transit, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - passenger information


Flexible Transport Services, Demand Responsive Transport, Flexible Agency for Collective Mobility Services


This paper focuses on recent experiences in the evolution of Flexible Transport Services (FTS). It describes how previous manifestations of FTS provided dedicated solutions for special groups, often in parallel to the conventional public transport network, but highlights that in numerous countries across Europe there is now a discernable trend towards open access FTS providing services for the whole community and often feeding the conventional public transport network to provide wider access and opportunities. This is as a result of policies intended to mainstream services for people with disabilities and moves to tackle social exclusion amongst other groups while at the same time reducing the very high costs per trip associated with STS. To meet these policies, and the higher expectations and different travel behaviours of citizens to-day, it is suggested that FTS will need to radically reposition itself in terms of scale, so that there is mass coverage and ability to function as a full transport mode. This will require breakthroughs in concepts; business models; organisational and operational models; and in supporting technologies. A proposed solution to this is the Flexible Agency for Collective Mobility Services (FAMS) which provides an organisational structure and business model for FTS that incorporates the required supporting technologies.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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