Recent developments in Flexible Transport Services

John D Nelson, Steve Wright, Brian Masson, Giorgio Ambrosino, Aristotelis Naniopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on recent experiences in the evolution of Flexible Transport Services (FTS). It describes how previous manifestations of FTS provided dedicated solutions for special groups, often in parallel to the conventional public transport network, but highlights that in numerous countries across Europe there is now a discernable trend towards open access FTS providing services for the whole community and often feeding the conventional public transport network to provide wider access and opportunities. This is as a result of policies intended to mainstream services for people with disabilities and moves to tackle social exclusion amongst other groups while at the same time reducing the very high costs per trip associated with STS.

To meet these policies, and the higher expectations and different travel behaviours of citizens to-day, it is suggested that FTS will need to radically reposition itself in terms of scale, so that there is mass coverage and ability to function as a full transport mode. This will require breakthroughs in concepts; business models; organisational and operational models; and in supporting technologies. A proposed solution to this is the Flexible Agency for Collective Mobility Services (FAMS) which provides an organisational structure and business model for FTS that incorporates the required supporting technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
Issue number1
Early online date25 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • flexible transport services
  • demand responsive transport
  • flexible agency for collective mobility services


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