The key conditions for the implementation of this activity was the support of Krakow’s politicians, the involvement of the PT operator in Krakow (MPK) and a positive approach towards the new idea within the target group. It was also necessary to find a good example of such a practice in Europe. In this case it was the “Azienda Mobilita e Infrastructura de Genova S.p.A” (the “Agency for Mobility and Infrastructure in Genoa”) and a company responsible for providing DRT software (Softeco Sismat).
The implementation of flexible transport services in Krakow required a gradual and smooth realization of the following goals: choosing a DRT service availability area, creating a corporate identification system for the services, defining the service model with respect to business, operational and social dimensions, DRT software adaptation, training and implementation, the establishment of a Transport Dispatch Center (TDC) as well as conducting a communication and marketing campaign targeted to all stakeholders.
The communication and marketing campaign for promoting the new activity focused on two main groups of stakeholders: District Councils (local decision makers) and inhabitants of the target area.
The campaign included the following: direct meetings with the mentioned stakeholders, press releases, production and distribution of leaflets, posters and gadgets, information on the Internet, articles in local newspapers and magazines, short programs and interviews on local TV channels.
All promotional materials were prepared in accordance with the TELE-BUS corporate identification system including green and blue colours for buses and bus stops and a new soft shape for the latter ones.
As political support was crucial for this activity, the Mayor of Krakow and the City Council were involved in the implementation from the very beginning. The participation of the local public transport company MPK was obvious.
DRT is a service with fixed stop points but flexible routes and timetables. The service operates every day and during defined hours. The daily operating DRT service is managed by the Transport Dispatch Center – part of the MPK organizational structure.
DRT clients contact dispatchers by phone using a special free line dedicated only to DRT services. Dispatchers collect the information from passengers and put data into the system. Then the system plans routes and output information is given to TELE-BUS drivers.
The only limitation from the passengers’ point of view is the fact that an order must be placed at least 30 minutes before the planned start of the trip. The communication between TDC and drivers is based on mobile phones and private radio network.
The activity is popular among inhabitants and is running in a successful way now , although there was quite serious reluctance among citizens before the activity was launched.
Besides, a preliminarily DRT service was created to replace existing lines that were ineffective from an economic and environmental point of view. Unfortunately, the inhabitants' opposition was so strong that DRT exists along with the rest of the bus lines.
However, the area of the DRT service will be extended in the future and in this region DRT will replace the existing ineffective lines.