In July 2021, a new pilot for demand-responsive transport (DRT) was launched in Saaremaa, Estonia. Saaremaa is the first local government in Estonia to develop a DRT service model to offer people more flexible transportation options based on their needs.
The aim of the pilot in Saaremaa is to develop, launch and, in the long run, connect a demand-responsive public transport model to conventional public transportation.
During the one-year trial period, Saaremaa residents and guests can contribute to the development of this service, as the service model is developed based on the passengers' behaviour and needs. The pilot will gather feedback from passengers and the service provider to identify the most suitable model for passengers and transport operators. Therefore, people are invited to actively use the new opportunity for their daily mobility needs and provide feedback.
The DRT service in Saaremaa does not use a fixed route. Instead, the system puts together a new route every day based on the passengers' current needs and based on the incoming orders. The ride is free for everyone, similar to the regular public bus system in Saaremaa.
Saaremaa pilot is developed in cooperation
with the Estonian Transport Administration, Modern Mobility and Toyota Baltic. Modern
Mobility offers to Saaremaa municipality the demand-responsive
transport software "VEDAS" which will be further developed based on
the feedback received from the passengers and the service provider. Saaremaa
pilot is part of the international project RESPONSE, which has been launched to
research and develop demand-driven transport solutions in the countries around
the Baltic Sea. The lead partner of the project funded by the Interreg Baltic
Sea Region is the Stockholm Environmental Institute Tallinn Center.