Ke’op, on-demand public transit in Pessac, Mérignac and Le Haillan

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Since 7 September, residents of Pessac, Mérignac and Le Haillan, on the outskirts of Bordeaux, have been able to see black vans stamped KE’OP in their streets. Launched by Keolis, this new service on the Bordeaux metropolis offers shared transport on demand. A way to propose a different and complementary mode of transport “in common” and complementary to the services already in place.

A simple, on-demand transport offer

Equipped with the app on their smartphones, passengers can book their journey in advance or ask for a driver at the last minute.

Active between 9am and 9pm, KE’OP offers a unique offer, unsurprisingly of price fluctuations, as opposed to the VTC system which varies its prices according to the traffic. So you can make the journey you want on the serviced area for 5 euros.

The area in question represents about fifty square kilometres on the Metropole, outside Bordeaux. It covers the cities of Pessac, Mérignac and Le Haillan and serves key locations such as university campuses, the airport and hospitals.

Passengers wishing to travel to Bordeaux or other municipalities not served by this test service have the option of choosing a bus or tram station as their final destination. This new service, inspired by the uberisation of our lifestyles and new economic models, is therefore not intended to replace the traditional transport routes. It offers a complementarity to the existing public transport network on Bordeaux, itself already operated by Keolis.

An economic model based on the occupancy rate of vans

Comprised of a fleet of 7 Mercedes-Benz V-Class vans in circulation, the KE’OP service will be offered on the dedicated app as long as the drivers are less than 15 minutes from where you want to be picked up. To be cost-effective, this service relies on the volume of transport so that vehicles are occupied as much as possible for as many kilometres as possible.

Each van has 8 seats, 7 of which are for passengers. To optimize routes and occupancy rates, the app uses an algorithm that calculates routes based on the collection points. So you can join the route of a van already en route and share a stretch of road with other passengers in the same area. The technology used was developed by the American start-up Via, of which Keolis owns shares. It allows the calculation of journeys in real time, and the continuous optimization of the service.

At present, KE’OP remains a highly competitive initiative by players such as Uber (a fleet of about 300 vehicles on Bordeaux), Yep Drive (nearly 90 vehicles), Allocab and LeCab. Nevertheless, its differentiated business model, based on the concept of the shared route, makes it possible to offer a bespoke transport service quickly significantly cheaper than the competition.

Bordeaux, beta metropolis in France

KE’OP is currently the subject of an 18-month experiment. If this minimalist test phase proves successful, the custom-made van service could be open to new areas and increase the density of vehicles in circulation.

Already installed in Australia and the United States by Keolis, this system proved viable, quickly adopted by the populations concerned. Its installation on Bordeaux is a first in France and will notably allow to know whether the model can be applied to the French market and therefore to other cities concerned by the concerns of congestion, pollution and overload of public transport.

This solution comes at a time when, in addition to traffic problems, the increase in the price of diesel is not just a happy one.

Candice CIBOIS – Bordeaux Business

Bordeaux Metropole, A new on-demand transport service

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