Together with Rogaland county mobility provider Kolumbus, Geta and Spare have developed the practical solutions for the new public transport service HentMeg (Pick-Me-Up). Now the bus-on-demand service is on its way to seriously change the everyday life of residents in several Norwegian small towns.
The door-to-door service was recently launched in Kongsberg in Buskerud and is already available in Sauda in Rogaland and Bø in Telemark. Now Nordland county is also interested.
- Several counties have reported interest, and we will probably start one of these trials in the next six months. In addition, several Rogaland municipalities have shown great interest in HentMeg, says strategy and development manager for the mobility provider Kolumbus, Audun M. Solheim. The project is part of the EU project RESPONSE.
Future-oriented and successful project
The service will pick you up and transport you where you want within a closer geographically defined area. The trip costs the same as a bus ticket, and you will be picked up at the arranged time slot plus/minus 15 minutes. You will receive a notice by SMS shortly before the pick-up, including a more precise time. You can also track your booking online.
- It is very exciting to be a part of developing such a solution that is so future-orientated and positive as this. Together with Kolumbus we have found a good web solution that makes it easy and seamless to book the HentMeg transport. For new and innovative services, usability must be of the highest quality in order to be used. And HentMeg has been a great success, says Geta project manager Valdis Iljuconoks.
User-friendly web solution increases online bookings
Geta has built the website hentmeg.no from scratch on the publishing solution Episerver.
- Although we also offer ticket bookings over the phone, roughly 70 percent of our customers choose to book online. Many typical HentMeg users are older people who are often more comfortable with booking by phone. When they, despite of this, often choose to book online, it really tells us how simple and user-friendly the web solution we have developed is, says Audun M. Solheim.
Interconnects driving routes and passengers in real time
Spare have developed the brain of the system. It matches together driving routes with real-time passengers. Both Spare and Geta are now working with Kolumbus to further improve the user interface and algorithms. New functionality is being added continuously.
The main difference between HentMeg and traditional taxis is the back-end system. It processes multiple orders simultaneously and automatically and puts them together for maximum interconnection and efficient utilization of the vehicles. The bus can pick up other passengers on the road if they are traveling in the same direction. The service is made to compete with the car, not with environmentally friendly public transport.
- It is obviously interesting for several municipalities and counties to offer a bus service that is better for the environment, easy to use and cheaper to operate than the regular bus routes. We are eagerly awaiting the continuation, says Geta's project manager, Valdis Iljuconoks.