Reliable, sustainable public transport – exactly when you need it
With on-demand services, Postbuses pick people up from wherever they are and transport them wherever they want to go. PostBus has over 25 years of experience in on-demand transport and has run a number of successful projects. Thanks to our broad experience with all types of on-demand service, we can offer tailor-made digital transport solutions – either in combination with scheduled services or as a pure on-demand service.
In addition to complete solutions, we also offer services and advice on all topics relating to on-demand transport. Because no city, mountain region or residential area is the same, and we know what matters. Thanks to this expertise, we can offer flexible transport solutions that are more sustainable, more economical and tailored to customer requirements.
Are you a municipal or cantonal representative who wants tailor-made public transport in your region? Contact us!
All the important questions about on-demand
What is on-demand transport?
On-demand solutions are mobility services in which Postbuses arrive when ordered by passengers. Collection can be arranged based on a timetable or specific stop or as a door-to-door service. On-demand solutions for the first and last mile, in sparsely populated areas and during off-peak hours are promising. Passengers specify their required journey via app or telephone. An algorithm calculates the optimum route to transport passengers to their destination. The system also compares incoming orders and attempts to merge customer journeys based on time and location. By pooling trips, PostBus can meet individual mobility requirements while also providing a more environmentally-friendly service, as unnecessary additional journeys are avoided.
How does on-demand transport differ from conventional scheduled services?
With conventional scheduled services, Postbuses follow a fixed timetable in order to transport a large number of passengers simultaneously. During rush hours in particular, scheduled services are a proven and practical mobility solution for transporting as many passengers as possible to their destinations. With on-demand transport, passengers order Postbuses via app or telephone, and the buses travel only when ordered. During off-peak hours, in sparsely populated areas or in mountain regions with fewer public transport connections, this solution is a useful supplement to scheduled services.
What types of on-demand solutions are there?
There are various types of on-demand transport. The most common are:
- On-demand scheduled services: this type of on-demand service is most similar to conventional scheduled services. Postbuses follow a fixed sequence of stops and a fixed timetable. However, passengers must reserve their journeys, and the buses travel only if a request has been registered in advance.
- “Sequential” corridor transport: with this type of on-demand service, Postbuses follow a fixed sequence of stops or stopping points and a fixed timetable. A stopping point is a “virtual stop”: these are stops that can only be seen on the app. Passengers must reserve their journeys, and the buses travel only if a request has been registered in advance.
- “Selective” corridor transport: with this type of service, Postbuses have a fixed direction of travel but no fixed sequence of stops and stopping points (virtual stops). Passengers must reserve their journeys, and the buses travel only if a request has been registered in advance.
- Area transport: this is the on-demand method that differs most from conventional scheduled services: Postbuses do not follow a fixed direction of travel or any specific sequence of stops or stopping points. Passengers must reserve their journeys, and the buses travel only if a request has been registered in advance.
What types of on-demand service does PostBus offer?
PostBus offers on-demand solutions of all kinds. However, thanks to our experience and expertise, we can go a step further: we offer tailor-made transport solutions – whether as a pure on-demand service, as a combination of various types of on-demand services or as different types of on-demand services combined with traditional scheduled services.
What else does PostBus offer in terms of on-demand services?
PostBus offers not only complete solutions, but also advice and services relating to on-demand transport. These include:
- Digital on-demand systems such as apps
- Procurement and servicing of vehicles
- Trained PostBus drivers
- Training for drivers and back office
- Organization of service planning
- Marketing services and consulting (from designing individual logos such as the Kollibri on-demand icon through to complete campaigns)
How can I get on-demand services up and running in my region?
We offer demonstration services lasting several days or weeks. Thanks to our digital platform, we can implement this type of service for your region in a short space of time. If you are interested in receiving more information, we would be happy to create a detailed analysis for your deployment region. As an interested purchaser, you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or directly through your Key Account Manager. We would be happy to advise you.
Why choose an on-demand solution from PostBus?
PostBus has over 25 years of experience with all types of on-demand service. As no city, mountain region or residential area is the same, our mobility advisors analyse each query individually and put together a tailored solution. Thanks to this expertise, PostBus can offer flexible transport solutions that are more sustainable, more economical and tailored to customer requirements.
Are on-demand services subject to licensing and eligible for subsidies?
Yes, all types of on-demand services are subject to licensing and eligible for subsidies. This was set out in an industry report in 2021, which was co-authored by the FOT and FEDRO alongside the most significant stakeholders in Swiss public transport. PostBus is the proof: in Appenzell, Thusis and Vaud, the on-demand solution PubliCar is part of the regular transport contract.
What on-demand projects has PostBus run?
PostBus has the largest number of successfully completed projects in Switzerland. Various projects are currently under way or in preparation. In Appenzell, Thusis and Vaud, the on-demand solution PubliCar is even part of the regular transport contract. Here is a selection of the most important projects:
- Active on-demand transport:
- PubliCar Appenzell (area transport): Almost the entire Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden is served door-to-door during the day by up to three vehicles. Customers pay a convenience surcharge of 5 francs on their regular public transport ticket. More information at PubliCar Appenzell.
- PubliCar Vaud (area transport): At weekends, a public transport service with up to five vehicles is operated during off-peak times. Customers pay a convenience surcharge of 5 francs on their regular public transport ticket. More information at PubliCar Vaud.
- PubliCar Thusis (“sequential” corridor transport): Nine PostBus routes are merged in the evenings and served by three to four smaller vehicles. Customers pay the regular public transport fare. More information at PubliCar Thusis.
- Verzasca Mobile (area transport in a valley corridor): Two vehicles serve the Verzasca Valley door-to-door during the day. This includes journeys within the valley and from the valley to Tenero, Gordola and Riazzino and vice versa. The region is divided into three zones. Customers pay 5 francs per journey within one zone. More information at Verzasca Mobile.
- Completed projects:
- Kollibri Brig (area transport): From August 2020 to July 2021, customers in Brig-Glis were able to test an on-demand service running from 9 p.m. to midnight. PostBus teamed up with Taxi Aletsch to provide the service, which was very well received and proved an excellent supplement to scheduled services. More information at Kollibri Brig.
- Kollibri Brugg (area transport): The first on-demand public transport project in Switzerland. PostBus ran this service in the Brugg region for one year from October 2018, in conjunction with partners. Customers often used the service as a supplement to public transport and were very satisfied with it. More information at Kollibri Brugg.
- SmartShuttle Uvrier (area and autonomous transport): Two automated vehicles serve the Uvrier neighbourhood in Sion at 17 virtual stops during the day. It is one of the first projects in Switzerland to combine on-demand transport with automated shuttles.
On-demand in the media
- o Luzerner Zeitung: Interview with Christian Plüss (10 May 2022)
- o TVO/FM1: “The world’s smallest PostBus – the London taxi in Appenzell” (16 September 2021)
- o NZZ: “Postbuses to be ordered via app in future” (2 July 2020 Abo)
- o Aargauer Zeitung: “Ordering buses via app – PostBus wants to offer more flexible solutions in future” (2 July 2020)
- o Ticino News: “A London taxi will transport you in the Verzasca Valley” (15 July 2020)