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Optimizing First-/Last-Mile Connections in Melbourne, Australia

The Challenge

Ventura is Victoria, Australia’s largest public transport provider, serving over 42 million riders annually. The agency has run a popular Teleride service in Rowville, a Melbourne suburb, for over 30 years. With a phone-based request and dispatch system, the service ran on three bus routes that had headways of 30 to 50 minutes on circular routes, making the service less convenient than Ventura would like. 

The management team sought a modern, on-demand microtransit solution that would provide better, more frequent service with decreased wait times to help increase ridership on the new service. The team also wanted to offer easier first-/last-mile connections to the train station and nearby mall. As part of the move towards better rider experiences, Ventura wanted to move away from manual booking and operations to a digitized, automated system.

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The Solution

Ventura branded their new on-demand service FlexiRide and selected Moovit to partner with on the project. FlexiRide uses a Moovit white label app, branded with Ventura’s logo and brand colors for a unique look and feel, with the FlexiRide service powered by Moovit On-Demand. 

Riders can use the FlexiRide app to book their on-demand ride, which takes them to or from one of two stops: Stud Park Shopping Centre or Ferntree Gully Station. The dynamically-routed transport system automatically assigns multiple riders heading in the same direction to a single, shared vehicle. The service, which has replaced the three fixed-line routes, helps solve the first-/last-mile challenge by getting passengers quickly and conveniently to their desired stop. 

With over 100 virtual stops located within the service area, FlexiRide passengers are always just a short distance from their pick-up point. Additionally, passengers with accessibility requirements are able to request a more tailored door-to-door service and all FlexiRide bookings can be scheduled up to a week in advance. 

Besides the on-demand service, the FlexiRide app allows users to plan all their public transport rides in Melbourne and surrounding areas, making the app a one-stop-shop for all Melbourne citizens’ urban mobility needs. FlexiRide app users now enjoy real-time arrival information, a Live Directions feature with step-by-step journey guidance, and service alerts to keep riders informed and up-to-date on transport disruptions, wherever they are in the city. 

Customers Say

Ventura has been searching for the right technology partners over the last three years and after investigating trials in other cities, we were comfortable with Moovit’s global reach and willingness to understand and cater to our passenger’s needs.

Managing Director
Ventura

Reasons for Choosing Moovit:

  • The ability to offer a full multimodal, real-time trip planner app that includes the on-demand service, allowing all Melbourne residents and tourists to enjoy easier journeys with the app
  • Moovit’s depth and breadth of transit data and expertise in public transport information management
  • Moovit’s swift and efficient design and service implementation
  • An easy path to future mobility solutions and AV technologies through Moovit’s close partnership with Mobileye

Results

Within a month of launch, the new FlexiRide service was seeing 100+ riders a day, with a greatly reduced 5-7 minutes of wait time and 15-20 minute total travel time. 

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About Ventura

Ventura is the largest privately owned bus company in Australia and has been providing Victoria with dependable, friendly, and sustainable bus services since 1924. Ventura has grown from a one-man, one-vehicle operator to a significant business with over 1500 employees. Ventura now carries more than 36 million customers across Melbourne each year.