A phase-based perspective on urban demand responsive transport: A case study of Viavan pilot in Helsinki Capital Region

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Despite decade-long efforts, real-time demand-responsive transport (DRT) services are still struggling to be a part of sustainable urban mobility systems. Among various approaches to understand the changing nature of DRT service, a longitudinal perspective has been found very effective. This study presents the case of an urban DRT pilot operated by Viavan in the Helsinki Capital Region, Finland. Research develops and implements a framework for longitudinal analysis, while drawing from the multi-level perspective (MLP) on sustainability transitions. DRT trip data is used to understand the service trajectory longitudinally over specific phases, delineated through key changes in service design. In addition, the framework uses three-level analysis of service parameters, to provide in-depth analysis in studying inter-phase and intra-phase changes. Case study approach also provides a comprehensive service area background and service implementation context to support the analysis. Results shows the complementary role of the urban DRT to fixed public transport services and points out certain challenges for efficient coordination. In addition, the analysis points towards a set of regime factors that should be considered for further understanding of the service trajectory. In practice, special emphasis should be paid on developing the mobility ecosystem and managerial practices. Future DRT case studies should develop additional frameworks, indicators and methods by drawing from sustainability transitions theory, to further understand service trajectories over time.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101123
JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
Early online date20 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Espoo
  • demand responsive service
  • emerging mobility technologies
  • flexible micro transit
  • on-demand transport service
  • urban transportation


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