PoolBus is a digital platform that enables the match between the needs of different travellers and the potential offering by integrated mobility services.
The PoolBus prototype has been developed in the framework of the SIMPLE (StrumentI e Modelli Per La mobilità sostenibilE) POR FESR 2014/2020 cluster project. The project pursues the following strategic objectives: increase of the technical-economic efficiency of the public transport network, in order to increase the service quality, flexibility and compliance with all user needs; promotion of alternative environment-friendly mobility systems with intermediate performances between public transport and private cars; rationalization of the transport network through better use of available resources, efficient use of the entire system and enhancing intermodal transport.
PoolBus is a digital platform capable of managing different means of transport operators, organizing and promoting shared transport alternatives. The aggregation and management of public, on-call and sharing services allows for a high capillarity, thus improving the availability of transport services in areas that lack efficient local public transport. The system is considered as an enabling factor for residents, commuters, visitors and tourists gaining access to areas otherwise reachable exclusively by private cars.
The study area for the experimentation was chosen among the most isolated and scarcely populated in the island: the Unions of Municipalities "Parte Montis" and "Alta Marmilla", included as an area subject to redevelopment in the 2014/20 Planning for the Internal Areas.
The SIMPLE project was granted a funding of € 365,000.00 total. PoolBus is one of two prototype developments and experimentations comprised in the project.
Evidence of success
Among the PoolBus strengths is the integration of widely-supported Open Source tools (Open Trip Planner, OR-Tools and Django), which are frequently updated and revised.
Furthermore, communication with transport companies highlighted the needs of areas with low demand, opening the dialogue for a more efficient organization of transport with the help of on demand services.
Although it has not yet been possible to complete the experimentation due to the pandemic, results obtained with virtual simulations are promising. The system is in fact capable of managing hundreds of requests per hour, many more than expected.
Potential for learning or transfer
Due to its orography, population and economy, Sardinia is an ideal breeding and testing ground for solutions related to smart resource management with hard constraints. PoolBus was born in such context, not uncommon among low-medium economic development areas. The proposed practice, both methodology and software, could be easily transferred to other regions and actors involved in the smart transportation development of remote or low-demand areas. The organization in charge, University of Cagliari, is proficient in
The PoolBus platform contributes to policy formulation for sustainable tourism mobility, towards smart destinations. The experience has been shared in the context of the DESTI-SMART Interreg project. Horarios do Funchal, partner of DESTI-SMART – Portugal, Madeira, NUTS 2: PT30, decided to base one of the Actions of its Action plan on the PoolBus solution.