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  • ITS news
  • Ventura Launches New Demand Responsive Transport Service in Victoria

4 March 2021

Ventura Launches New Demand Responsive Transport Service in Victoria

ITS Australia

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Ventura, Victoria’s largest bus provider, has launched a new Demand Responsive Transport service and corresponding urban mobility app available to Rowville and Ferntree Gully residents. This is Ventura’s first Demand Responsive Transport service since its founding in 1924, and also the first transport service of its kind in metropolitan Melbourne. Locals from the eastern suburbs are able to use the FlexiRide app, available for free on iOS and Android, to plan their journeys and book Demand Responsive Transport rides to and from Ferntree Gully Station and Stud Park Shopping Centre. This offering has been created in partnership with Department of Transport Victoria and Moovit, an Intel company, a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and creator of the #1 urban mobility app.

Ventura currently operates Telebus, a phone-based request and dispatch system that relies on physical bus stops to pick up and drop off passengers and can result in relatively long wait times. As a way to modernize the service and shorten wait times, Ventura has replaced Telebus routes 7,8, and 9 with FlexiRide’s Demand-Responsive Transport service, bringing more convenient and efficient mobility to people traveling to one of two major hubs: Ferntree Gully Station and Stud Park Shopping Centre.

Ventura’s new service is made possible thanks to its partnership with Moovit, a global Mobility as a Service solutions company. The FlexiRide app is powered by Moovit’s White Label App solution, and FlexiRide’s Demand Responsive Transport service is powered by Moovit On-Demand solution, a dynamically-routed transport system that automatically assigns multiple passengers heading in the same direction to a shared vehicle.

The FlexiRide app:

  • Suggests the most efficient routes: Once a user launches the FlexiRide app and inputs their destination, FlexiRide will display the most convenient routes
  • Enables users to book FlexiRide: Users can select Transit On-Demand to book FlexiRide and travel from any virtual stop to one of two major hubs: Ferntree Gully Station or Stud Park Shopping Centre. Rides can also be booked in the opposite direction and travel from one of the two hubs back to any virtual stop within the zone
  • Directs passengers to a nearby pickup location: Once the ride is booked, riders receive guidance to a virtual bus stop within a short walking distance
  • Provides riders with real-time shuttle tracking:
    • While waiting for their ride, users can track the approaching vehicle in real-time and view its ETA
    • While riding, users can view the route on the map, as well as the estimated time to drop off
  • Enables future ride booking: Rides can be booked up to a week in advance

To pay for their ride, passengers can tap on with their Myki as they board the vehicle, just as they would do with any other service.

In addition to booking Demand Responsive rides, the FlexiRide app, powered by Moovit, combines official information from local transport agencies in Melbourne and the surrounding area as well as crowdsourced information to calculate the best route for each journey with urban mobility options like the bus, train, and tram. FlexiRide also provides real-time arrival information so users know exactly when their bus or train is arriving, a Live Directions feature with Get Off Alerts to provide step-by-step guidance for the entire journey, and Service Alerts so they can avoid disruptions and plan their journey accordingly.

FlexiRide also incorporates accessibility features, empowering people with disabilities to use public transportation with more assurance. The app is optimised with screen reading features for low vision users, including TalkBack/VoiceOver capabilities, identifies wheelchair-accessible routes and stations, and calculates step-free routes. FlexiRide’s app is also designed with optimised menus and buttons for those with hand-motor disabilities.

“Ventura has been searching for the right technology partners over the last three years and after investigating trials in other cities, we were comfortable with Moovit’s global reach and willingness to understand and cater for our passenger’s needs”, said Andrew Cornwall, Managing Director at Ventura.

“We are excited to partner with Ventura and Department of Transport Victoria to power the FlexiRide app and new service to provide Rowville and Ferntree Gully residents shorter wait times and a much smoother journey to the busiest transport hubs” said Yovav Meydad, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Moovit. “Complementary to traditional modes of transport, FlexiRide can help residents get around efficiently and conveniently without the need for a private vehicle.”

Moovit On-Demand leverages the power of big data analytics to help transport agencies, cities, and private companies plan and dispatch the most accurate and efficient demand responsive transport service. The solution combines the advantages of public transport with the benefits of demand responsive transport to introduce a mobility service that increases ridership, reduces congestion, and solves first/last-mile challenges.

The FlexRide app is available to download on the App Store and Google Play.

About Moovit

Moovit, an Intel company, is a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and the creator of the #1 urban mobility app. Moovit was acquired by Intel in 2020 to join forces with Mobileye and advance its MaaS strategy. Together, Moovit and Mobileye will accelerate the global adoption of autonomous transportation.

Moovit’s iOS, Android, and Web apps guide people in getting around town effectively and conveniently, using any mode of transport. Introduced in 2012 it now serves over 950 million users in more than 3,400 cities across 112 countries.
Moovit amasses up to six billion anonymous data points a day to add to the world’s largest repository of transit and urban mobility data. For governments, cities, transit agencies, and private companies, Moovit offers AI-powered MaaS solutions covering planning, operations, and optimization with proven value in reducing congestion, growing ridership, and increasing efficiency and asset utilization. Industry leaders such as Microsoft, Uber, and Cubic have partnered with Moovit to power their mobility offerings.

Moovit

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