Demand responsive transport
Demand Responsive Transport or Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT) or Demand Responsive Service or Dial-a-ride or Flexible Transport Services is "an advanced, user-oriented form of public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

 characterised by flexible routing and scheduling of small/medium vehicles operating in shared-ride mode between pick-up and drop-off locations according to passengers needs". In many areas DRT is instead known as DART, or Dial-a-Ride Transit.

DRT systems provide a public transport service in rural areas or areas of low passenger demand, where a regular bus service may not be as viable. As such, DRT schemes for may be fully or partially funded by the local transit authority, as providers of socially necessary transport. As such, operators of DRT schemes may be selected by public tendering
Public Service Obligation
In transport, public service obligation or PSO is an arrangement in which a governing body or other authority offers an auction for subsidies, permit the winning company a monopoly to operate a specified service of public transport for a specified period of time for the given subsidy...

. Other schemes may be partially or fully self-funded as community centred not for profit social enterprise
Social enterprise
A social enterprise is an organization that applies business strategies to achieving philanthropic goals. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit....

s (such as a Community interest company
Community interest company
A community interest company is a new type of company introduced by the United Kingdom government in 2005 under the Companies Act 2004, designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good...

 in the UK).

DRT schemes may also be provided by private companies for commercial reasons; some conventional bus operating companies have set up DRT-style airport bus
Airport bus
An airport bus, or airport shuttle bus or airport shuttle is a bus or coach used to transport people to/from, or within airports. These vehicles will usually be equipped with larger luggage space, and incorporate special branding....

 services, which compete with larger private hire airport shuttle companies.

Differences from other modes of transport

  • Regular transit bus
    Transit bus
    A transit bus , also known as a commuter bus, city bus, or public bus, is a bus used for short-distance public transport purposes...

     routes: DRT employs flexible routes and schedules
  • Shuttle bus
    A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

     services: DRT departure and arrival points are not necessarily fixed
  • Deviated Fixed Route Service: Transit service that operates along a fixed alignment or path at generally fixed times, but may deviate from the route alignment to collect or drop off passengers who have requested the deviation
  • Paratransit
    Paratransit is an alternative mode of flexible passenger transportation that does not follow fixed routes or schedules. Typically mini-buses are used to provide paratransit service, but also share taxis and jitneys are important providers....

    : DRT is available to the general public, whereas paratransit is available to pre-qualified user bases, especially for people with disabilities and the elderly
  • Share taxi
    Share taxi
    A share taxi is a mode of transport that falls between taxis and conventional buses. These informal vehicles for hire are found throughout the world. They are smaller than buses, and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, usually leaving when all seats are filled...

    s: DRT is pre-booked in advance, whereas share taxis are operated on an ad-hoc basis
  • Taxicab
    A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

    s: DRT generally carries more people, and passengers may have less control over their journey on the principle of DRT being a shared system as opposed to an exclusive vehicle for hire
    Vehicle for hire
    thumb|190px|[[Taxicab]]s in [[New York City]]thumb|190px|right|[[Cycle rickshaw|Velotaxi]] in [[New York City]]A vehicle for hire is a vehicle providing shared transportation, which transports one or more passengers between locations of the passengers' choice .Vehicles for hire can be distinguished...

    . Additionally, journeys may divert en-route for new bookings.

Mode of operation

A DRT service will be restricted to a defined operating zone, within which journeys must start and finish. Journeys may be completely free form, or accommodated onto skeleton routes and schedules, varied as required. As such, users will be given a specified pick-up point and a time window for collection. Some DRT systems may have defined termini
Bus terminus
A bus terminus is a designated place where a bus or coach starts or ends its scheduled route. The terminus is the designated place that a timetable is timed from. Termini can be located at bus stations, interchanges, bus garages or simple bus stops. Termini can both start and stop at the same...

, at one or both ends of a route, such as an urban centre, airport or transport interchange, for onward connections.

DRT systems require passengers to request a journey by booking with a central dispatcher
Dispatchers are communications personnel responsible for receiving and transmitting pure and reliable messages, tracking vehicles and equipment, and recording other important information...

 who determines the journey options available given the users' location and destination.

DRT systems take advantage of fleet telematics
Fleet Telematics System
A Fleet Telematics System allows the information exchange between a commercial vehicle fleet and their central authority, i.e., the dispatching office. A FTS typically consists of mobile Vehicle Systems and a stationary Fleet Communication System...

 technology in the form of vehicle location systems, scheduling and dispatching software and hand-held/in vehicle computing.

Vehicles used for DRT services will generally be small minibus
A minibus or minicoach is a passenger carrying motor vehicle that is designed to carry more people than a multi-purpose vehicle or minivan, but fewer people than a full-size bus. In the United Kingdom, the word "minibus" is used to describe any full-sized passenger carrying van. Minibuses have a...

es, reflecting the low ridership, but also allowing the service to provided as near a door to door service as practical, by being able to use residential streets.

Simulations of health and environmental effects

For a model of a hypothetical large-scale demand-responsive public transport system for the Helsinki metropolitan area, simulation results published in 2005 demonstrated that “in an urban area with one million inhabitants, trip aggregation could reduce the health, environmental, and other detrimental impacts of car traffic typically by 50–70%, and if implemented could attract about half of the car passengers, and within a broad operational range would require no public subsidies”.


DRT schemes may require new or amended legislation, or special dispensation, to operate, as they do not meet the traditional licensing model of authorised bus transport providers or licensed taxicab operators. The status has caused controversy between bus and taxi operators when the DRT service picks up passengers without pre-booking, due to the licensing issues. Issues may also arise surrounding tax and fuel subsidy for DRT services.

United States

The large majority from 1,500 rural systems in the US provides demand-response service; there are
also about 400 urban DRT systems.
  • Demand-Responsive Van Service, Grand Teton National Park
    Grand Teton National Park
    Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park located in northwestern Wyoming, U.S. The Park consists of approximately and includes the major peaks of the long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. Only south of Yellowstone...

  • Demand-Response Shuttle, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
    Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
    Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a US National Wildlife Refuge located in the southern part of San Francisco Bay, California. The Refuge headquarters and visitor center is located in the Baylands district of Fremont, next to Coyote Hills Regional Park, in Alameda County. ...

  • Demand-Responsive Transit, Redwood National and State Parks
    Redwood National and State Parks
    The Redwood National and State Parks are located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks , the combined RNSP contain...

  • Finley Service, Ben Franklin Transit, Tri-Cities, Washington
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    The Tri-Cities is a mid-sized metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washington, consisting of three neighboring cities: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. The cities are located at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers in the semi-arid region of...

  • CARTA Flex-Route Zones, portions of Charleston SC
  • Dial-a-Ride Transit, King County Transit, Washington State

Germany and Austria

In Germany speaking countries are many isolated systems:
Anruflinienfahrt (ALF), Anruf-Linien-Dienst (ALD), Anruflinienbus, Anruflinientaxi (ALT, alita), Anrufbus, Rufbus, „Ruf-mich-Bus“, Linienbedarfstaxi(LBT), „Taxibus“, „Linientaxi“, „Bedarfsbus“, Anruftaxi, RuftaxiAnruf-Buslinien und -Sammeltaxis. More info can be found in :de:ÖPNV-Sonderformen


United Kingdom

Under the existing UK bus operating regulations of 1986, some DRT schemes were operating, allowed by the fact they had a core start and finish point, and a published schedule. For England and Wales in 2004, the regulations concerning bus service registration and application of bus operating grants were amended, to allow registration of fully flexible pre-booked DRT services. Some services such as LinkUp only pick up passengers at 'meeting points', but can set down at the passengers destination.
  • Cango
    Cango is a demand responsive transport bus operator in Hampshire, UK, owned by Hampshire County Council. The services operate in the localities around main towns, using Optare Solo and Optare Alero buses.-Background:Cango services do not use set routes...

    Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

  • Connect2Wiltshire
    Connect2Wiltshire is a demand responsive transport network in southern Wiltshire operating in many places including Calne, Kennet Valley, Mere, the Vale of Pewsey, Wootton Bassett, Malmesbury and the Woodford & Wylye Valleys....

    Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

  • LinkUp
    LinkUp was a demand responsive transport system in Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom. The service was funded and coordinated by Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive. The service replaced the smaller scale U-Call which replaced the yet smaller Western Links...

     (Tyne & Wear)
  • CallConnect (Lincolnshire
    Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

  • Ring'n'Ride (Strathclyde
    right|thumb|the former Strathclyde regionStrathclyde was one of nine former local government regions of Scotland created by the Local Government Act 1973 and abolished in 1996 by the Local Government etc Act 1994...

  • Nippy Bus
    Nippy Bus
    Nippy Bus is a privately owned company that operate a number of bus services around Somerset, England. It operates local town services in Yeovil under contract to the County Council as well as rural services. An ex-London Transport Routemaster bus is available for private hire work...

    The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

  • Demand Responsive Transport (Aberfoyle
    Aberfoyle is a village in the region of Stirling, Scotland, northwest of Glasgow.The town is situated on the River Forth at the base of Craigmore...



  • SmartLink, Demand Responsive Transport service in Blue Mountains
    City of Blue Mountains
    The City of Blue Mountains is a local government area of New South Wales, Australia, governed by the Blue Mountains City Council. The city is located in the Blue Mountains range west of Sydney.-Demographics:...

  • PocketRide , a door-to-door DRT system being developed in Ballarat, Victoria
    Ballarat, Victoria
    Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth...

  • Kan-go, Demand Responsive Transport service in Hervey Bay, Queensland
  • Kan-go, Demand Responsive Transport service in Toowoomba (Rangeville), Queensland
  • FTS - Flexible Transport System, Demand Responsive Transport service connecting airport passengers to hotels in Melbourne, Victoria.


  • Dial-a-Ride Transit, Winnipeg Transit
    Winnipeg Transit
    Winnipeg Transit is the public transit agency in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is a bus-only operator.The Winnipeg Street Railway operated a horse car operation from 1882 to 1894...

    , replaces regular fixed transit route service in three neighbourhoods during low-use hours and provides door-to-door transit service in one inner-city neighbourhood during daytime hours.


Following some pioneering DRT schemes implemented in the eighties, in Italy a new generation of applications have been launched and are in operation starting from mid nineties. Current schemes are provided in urban and peri-urban areas as well as in rural communities. Operated by different kind of organisations (Public Transport companies, private service providers) such schemes are offered either as intermediate collective transport services for generic users or as schemes for specific user groups. DRT schemes are operated in major cities like Rome, Milan, Genoa, Florence, as well as in several mid- to small-size towns such as Alessandria, Aosta, Cremona, Livorno, Mantova, Parma, Empoli, Siena, Sarzana.
  • AllôBus and AllôNuit, Demand Responsive Transport service in Aosta/Aoste
    Aosta is the principal city of the bilingual Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, north-northwest of Turin. It is situated near the Italian entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, at the confluence of the Buthier and the Dora Baltea, and at the junction of the Great and Little St. Bernard routes...

  • DrinBus, Demand Responsive Transport service in Genoa
    Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

  • PersonalBus, Demand Responsive Transport service in Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • ProntoBus, Demand Responsive Transport service in Livorno
    Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

     and Sarzana
    Sarzana is a town and comune in the Province of La Spezia, of Liguria, Italy, 15 km east of Spezia, on the railway to Pisa, at the point where the railway to Parma diverges to the north...

  • EccoBus, Demand Responsive Transport service in Alessandria
    -Monuments:* The Citadel * The church of Santa Maria di Castello * The church of Santa Maria del Carmine * Palazzo Ghilini * Università del Piemonte Orientale-Museums:* The Marengo Battle Museum...

  • StradiBus, Demand Responsive Transport service in Cremona
    Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

  • Radiobus, Demand Responsive Transport service in Milano


The first ever demand responsive transport scheme in Poland - called Tele-Bus - is operated since 2007 in Krakow
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 by MPK, the local public transport company (see also Tramways in Krakow
Tramways in Kraków
Tramways in Kraków are a tramway system in Kraków, Poland. It is operated since 1882. There are 25 ordinary and 2 supporting lines with a total length of . The total system length for the end of 2008 was , including a tram tunnel with two underground stops....

). Some information about the scheme can be found on the relevant pages of MPK web site as well as in a short video.


See Flexibus' web page (in DE and FR).

Czech Republic

There is recognized only one public city DRT system - Radiobus - and one rural DRT system - operated by DHD - in the Czech Republic. Legislation still does not support public DRT system (year 2010). For more information see :cs:poptávková doprava (in Czech).


"Radiobus" is a kind of city transit system. It is operated like line bus transport and has a regular timetable, but every ride is held only when somebody confirms by telephone or by internet that it wll be used and only the needed part of the route will operate. In the Czech Republic, several local lines in Rychnov nad Kněžnou
Rychnov nad Knežnou
Rychnov nad Kněžnou is a town in the Hradec Králové Region of the Czech Republic. It has around 12,000 inhabitants.This is a small town, with a sprinkling of other small towns in the vicinity. The nearest big city is Hradec Králové which is about 32 km to the west...

 (since 2003) and Týniště nad Orlicí
Týnište nad Orlicí
Týniště nad Orlicí is a town in the Hradec Králové Region of the Czech Republic. It has around 6,300 inhabitants.Villages Křivice, Petrovice, Petrovičky, Rašovice and Štěpánovsko are administrative parts of Týniště nad Orlicí.-External links:*...

 (since 2004) have been operated this way by "Audis Bus" company in some times of the day. The Czech legislation does not consider this either as public transport or a taxi. The operator AudisBus states that this way of transport was inspired by similar ones in the Netherlands.

Rural DRT system operated by DHD

This system works complementarily to regular Transit bus
Transit bus
A transit bus , also known as a commuter bus, city bus, or public bus, is a bus used for short-distance public transport purposes...

es in the area about 1200 km2 close to Prague for more than 600 regular passengers commuting to work. The system is financed by the major employers and passenger contribution. The DHD company provides booking and organization, however, the transport is implemented by several local trasport companies. DHD is now trying to extent this system as an alternative to the less effective and expensive (however easier to use) rural public transport with fixed timetables.

See also

  • Paratransit
    Paratransit is an alternative mode of flexible passenger transportation that does not follow fixed routes or schedules. Typically mini-buses are used to provide paratransit service, but also share taxis and jitneys are important providers....

  • Hail and Ride
    Hail and ride
    Hail and Ride is a concept in public transport in the United Kingdom. Generally, it refers to boarding or alighting a mode of public transport by signalling the driver or conductor that one wishes to board/alight, rather than the more...

  • Share taxi
    Share taxi
    A share taxi is a mode of transport that falls between taxis and conventional buses. These informal vehicles for hire are found throughout the world. They are smaller than buses, and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, usually leaving when all seats are filled...

  • Connect project including Library of documents related to DRT
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