Flexible Agency for Collective, Demand Responsive Mobility Services


FAMS was a Take-up/Trial IST project with the objectives of scaling up the technologies, service and business models currently adopted in Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) and supporting the evolution from single DRT applications towards the concept of a Flexible Agency for Collective Demand Responsive Mobility Services.

Including B2C and B2B web based solutions, the FAMS IT architecture provides the technological backbone for the operation of the FAMS Agency: the service centre providing improved access to demand responsive transport services for different user categories and improved communication and coordination facilities for Transport Operators wishing to implement demand responsive transport schemes.

FAMS trials are implemented in urban, peri-urban and rural areas in Florence (Italy) and the Angus Region (Scotland, UK).

The main vision supported in FAMS is that all actors of the DRT service chain, both the different transport operators and the different users groups, constitute a Virtual Community.

Through an appropriate  e-Business infrastructure, the member of the community will obtain several benefits including: knowledge sharing, improved access to information and services, improved travel service offer, enhanced management of the workflow between the customer and the transport service providers.

To this end, FAMS implements the concept of the Flexible Transport Agency, operating a Virtual/Extended Enterprise of transport operators. Despite the physical location of the operators, the different types of fleet, booking systems, services provided, etc., the Agency supports management of the entire service chain - from customer booking to service planning, monitoring and control - operating as unique entity, as "one operator with one fleet and one booking system", thus providing an effective response to the mobility needs of the different user groups.

The FAMS Agency operates in a multi Service Providers and multi User Categories context and provides a reference infrastructure, both technological and organisational, enabling the planning, management and coordination of flexible transport services in the application area.

Overall, based on the internet and portal technologies, the FAMS system includes a number of components and services:

  • a common FAMS Service Centre (TDC) sharing a number of services for planning, managing and monitoring the different type of flexible services.
    These include: shared route and service planning facilities, shared resource (vehicles) management, customer management repository, service information and data repository;
  • the e-Business services between the Agency's DRT management service components and the different actors involved in the DRT process chain, both operators and users, grouped in two different categories:
    • Business-to-Business (B2B) services, allowing interaction and teamwork among the different transport service providers co-operating through the Agency. Provided services will include: support to management of resources (vehicles) availability and sharing, request and delivery of trip orders and travel plans, notification of events (e.g. service modifications, expected events, etc.)
    • Business-to-Consumer (B2C) services, supporting access to information and services different associations, user groups, communities, etc. Provided services will include: remote service information, booking facilities for associations and user communities, inquiries and notifications, etc.
  • a communication network among the TDC and the vehicles operating the services, based on cellular technology - GSM and GPRS.

ATAF S.p.A. (IT)


Softeco Sismat SpA (IT)

Memex srl (IT)

ATF, Angus Transport Forum (GB)

Mobisoft Oy (FI)


University of Newcastle, TORG (GB) (subcontractor to ATF)

Access to the services provided by the FAMS Agency was ensured by the FAMS Portal, the main communication channel between the Agency and the different user categories, i.e. DRT service end-users, (B2C services) transport service providers or transport authorities (B2B services).

Overall, the FAMS Portal provided the following services and facilities:

  • B2C Services
    • Travel inquiry and information
    • Travel booking, modification, cancellation
    • Booking confirmation via email, SMS and web access
    • Customer claims and inquiries
    • Event notification
  • B2B Services
    • Access to planning and booking information
    • Management of DRT resources (vehicle availability schedules)
    • Access to statistics and service data
    • Claims and inquiries
    • Event notification
  • General Services
    • User profiling and management
    • General information, news
    • Events and calendaring
    • Discussion forums

The validation trials and test of FAMS and of the Flexible Mobility Agency concept were undertaken in two European sites:

  • Florence metropolitan area (Italy)
  • Angus Region (Scotland, UK)

The two trial sites are fundamentally different in nature: an urban and peri-urban environment in Florence, and a typical rural environment in Angus.

The FAMS trial site in Florence includes the city of Florence and the surrounding “Piana Fiornetina”, with the towns of Campi Bisenzio, Scandicci, Sesto Fiorentino and Calenzano, for a total area of about 500 Km2.

Mobility and collective transport services in the Florence metropolitan area are operated and co-ordinated by four main Private and Public Transport Companies: ATAF, Li-NEA, CAP and SITA.

Through the FAMS organisational and business model, the Agency operates as the unique reference interface for the users of intermediate transport in Florence and has the responsibility/task of co-ordinating the different operators and managing in real time a set of flexible services.

Angus is situated in the northeastern part of Scotland. It lies to the northeast of Edinburgh on the Firth of Tay and, in an area of 2,200 square kilometres, mountains, glens, rivers, rugged cliffs, seaside towns, market burghs, turreted castles and ancient relics stand side by side. The northern boundary of the coastal strip is marked by the settlements of Alyth, Kirriemuir and Brechin.

These settlements have good transport links on the coastal side but landward towards the Glens, public transport provision ranges from adequate to poor and even non-existent, particularly at the heads of the Glens.

The trial site in Angus, covering the rural area surrounding Alyth, Kirriemuir and Brechin, is new to DRT applications.

The main actor in the site is the Angus Transport Forum, with a membership of over 60 organisations, comprising of voluntary organisations, Community Councils, transport providers and residents of the area.

The aim of Angus is to create a co-ordination centre (Flexible Agency) to administer a rural DRT system. The centre is to take bookings for all residents and visitors wishing to access the rural areas of Angus surroundings Alyth, Kirriemuir and Brechin. The objective is to maximize the use of existing resources and provide the residents of the pilot area with the equal access to employment, training, childcare, health care and leisure activities.

Services have been designed to embrace the concepts of rural regeneration, social inclusion, sustainability and community planning.

Know how - Mobility


EC Programme

Grant agreement
N° 34347

Start date
March 2002

20 months

ATAF S.p.A. (IT)


FAMS project flyer (EN)