10 February 2020 (Oslo, Norway) — This week, Spare - the mobility platform transforming transit worldwide - expanded on the successful partnership with Ruter, tripling the current amount of service zones, to power efficient, elderly transport services for the city of Oslo, Norway. This service expansion follows the success of the service so far and shows the increasing demand for innovative, on-demand transportation services for senior citizens to tackle social isolation.

Many riders now utilize the RAT service as their primary transportation. We now have 9 operation vehicles and support a larger service area that covers a larger percentage of the senior population.

“We're really excited to expand the Ruter service, we've seen a really great uptick for demand in the RAT service and want to continue helping Oslo meet their goals of building an age-friendly city.” said Kristoffer Vik Hansen, CEO of Spare.

In September 2017, Ruter launched the Ruter Aldersvennlig Transport (RAT), a shared door-to-door transportation service for people aged 67+. After a few years of relying on legacy paratransit software, Ruter switched to using Spare Platform as they were looking to scale their service and needed to drastically modernize the way in which RAT was run.

Senior transportation has become a critical piece of Oslo's transit infrastructure and forms the backbone of new initiatives to build an age-friendly city. In May of 2014, the Oslo City Government became the first city in Norway to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. By partnering with Spare, Ruter has been able to leverage Spare’s advanced scheduling and dispatching algorithms to expand on their existing transportation offerings and operate efficient, shared, on-demand mobility services at scale for the senior community in the Oslo area.

When originally planning the RAT service using Spare Realize, Spare's planning and simulation tool, our team noticed ‘transit deserts’ – places where not all people have easy access to transit. The map below highlights areas where rides are frequently requested, yet there are multiple areas where seniors with mobility issues struggle to access public transit (black lines) when walking is required. RAT solves this problem with an on-demand door-to-door service.

Oslo transit data heat map depicting "transit deserts"

The early success of the RAT service is really promising and showcases how versatile microtransit is a as a solution to mobility challenges. While microtransit is known for solving first-mile/last-mile transportation and underperforming fixed routes, RAT demonstrates how the service of this type can be used to provide accessible transportation to the senior population of Oslo, connecting people with their communities.

The RAT service has substantially transformed the way senior citizens move in their communities. Further, RAT has reduced demand for the city's existing paratransit service and enabled it to cater to others requiring more specialized assistance.

The services is loved by seniors in Oslo because it helps facilitate new relationships between those in the senior community. Illustration: City of Oslo

With Oslo's goal of becoming an age-friendly city convenient mobility options were essential to help avoid social isolation amongst seniors. The impressive uptake of RAT suggests riders are socializing and moving around their neighbourhoods more easily than before. Since Spare partnered with Ruter, over 50% of trips have been pooled between riders who may not have known each other. This is proving very popular because it forges a sense of community cohesion and reduces loneliness for for riders of the service.

Trusted across four continents and counting, Spare Platform enables cities and transportation operators to plan, launch, operate, and analyze the next generation of mobility services quickly and effectively, including integrated on-demand and fixed route transit systems. Some of the world's largest cities are using Spare Platform as a core piece of the city’s transportation infrastructure to build next generation transit and paratransit systems - like Dallas, Texas, which was named APTA's most innovative transit system in North America for 2019. To learn more about Spare, visit https://sparelabs.com

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