The Department for Transport is sponsoring a number of UK local authorities to undertake Total Transport pilot studies. The aim of the fund is
to integrate transport services currently commissioned by different central and local government agencies and provided by different operators. This will allow existing resources to be allocated and co-ordinated more efficiently, resulting in services to passengers that are more effective at meeting their needs. (Link)
Commissioned services might include Home to School, SEN, Adult Social Care, Non-Emergency Patient Transport, Demand Responsive Transport and public bus services.
To meet the needs of these diverse passenger groups and fulfil the aims of the fund, a Total Transport solution needs more than one type of routing and scheduling engine.
Successful solutions will minimise the number of vehicles needed and then maximise their utilisation.
For example, reducing the number of vehicles needed may come from optimising delivery of school and SEN transport. Those vehicles can then be reused throughout the day for more effective, flexible services, such as Non-Emergency Patient Transport, Demand Responsive Transport and public services.
QRoutes is a low-cost specialist routing and scheduling engine for schools and SEN transport and is working with flexible transport routing & scheduling providers to create these Total Transport solutions.