System for Advanced Management of Public transport Operations

Following on from the successful SAMPO project, SAMPLUS demonstrated and evaluated Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) services using telematics technologies.

The overall aim of SAMPLUS was to demonstrate and evaluate Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) services using telematics technologies. SAMPLUS involved undertaking major demonstrations of telematics-based DRT services at five sites in four different EU member states (Belgium, Finland, Italy, Sweden). The five demonstration sites covered a variety of socio-economic characteristics, four of them continuing from the SAMPO project that immediately preceded SAMPLUS. In addition, feasibility studies were conducted in two UK, one Irish and one Finnish site.

Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) means transport services provided "on-demand" to passengers, with fleets of public transport vehicles being scheduled to pick up and drop off people in accordance with their needs.

Over the last few years, the ability of DRT concepts to provide efficient and viable transport services has been greatly improved by the use of intelligent transport systems using telematics. State-of-the-art DRT systems and services provide new opportunities to address many of the travel problems that face the European citizen now and that will arise in the future. Dispersed or low demand in rural and suburban areas means that regular bus services are not always economically viable. Equally, the transport needs of disabled and elderly people may not be fully or economically met by some existing public or community transport services.

MTC, Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications of Finland (FI)

ATAF, PT Company Firenze (IT)

City of Gothenburg (SE)

De Lijn, Flanders PT Company (BE)

ETTS, European Transport and Telematics Systems, Dublin (IR)

Logistik Centrum VAST AB (SE)

Lund University (SE)

MemEx srl (IT)

Mobisoft Oy (SF)

Municipality of Tuusula (SF)

PAMBO Bus Cooperative (IR)

PLANit Sweden AB (SE)


Telia AB (SE)

Town of Seinajoki (SF)

TTR, Transport and Travel Research Ltd, Oxford (UK)

TORG, University of Newcastle (UK)

Tritel, Brussels (BE)

Viatek Oy, Tampere (SF)

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The main results and achievements of SAMPLUS can be categorised into four areas - demonstration systems, evaluation results, assessment of market potential and guidelines.

Five main demonstration systems were in operation at the end of SAMPLUS. These are continuing in full operation and are an excellent showcase for telematics-based DRT in Europe.

The evaluation activities in SAMPLUS focussed on indicators in the areas of economic viability, service provision and technical performance. In all of these areas the SAMPLUS demonstrators showed very good results.

The wider market for telematics-based DRT services has been explored. Detailed guidelines were developed during SAMPLUS to provide suggestions for those who wish to plan, develop and implement DRT service concepts in the future. These are widely available to interested organisations through the SAMPLUS Website.

The demonstrated benefits of telematics-based DRT to the public transport operator or municipal authority include reduction of operating costs in comparison with alternative means of meeting transport needs.

The main benefits to the community concern improved accessibility.

Telematics-based DRT can be used to serve a wider geographic area than a conventional public transport service that only operates on a specific route. It can also offer possibilities to travel at times of day that would not be available with a conventional service. The quality of service is higher.

The conclusion is that the SAMPLUS project has significantly advanced the state-of-the-art in telematics-based demand-responsive transport services. In particular, it has provided a large-scale extended evaluation of telematics-based DRT approaches, which were shown to have significant advantages in terms of transport service provision over more established techniques.

Consideration of whether telematics-based DRT systems and services are economically worthwhile requires judgements to be made that view the monetised and non-monetised benefits (e.g. improved accessibility) against the net costs. At all SAMPLUS demonstration sites, the local judgements are that the investment has been amply justified and the DRT systems and services will not only continue to operate but in some cases will be further expanded and developed. In determining applicability to different national markets, the key factors concern the regulatory framework in operation and the economic situation.

All consortium members plan to exploit the results of SAMPLUS in a number of key areas, including establishing new and expanded telematics-based DRT services and continuing with technical enhancement of systems.

Marco Boero

Marco Gorini

Know how - Mobility


EC Programme

Grant agreement
N° ...

Start date

21 months



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