Nemi is a young mobility startup based in Barcelona. They aim at improving mobility in low-density areas through their software solution for providing flexible public transport services. The project was born within the company Pildo Labs, in the framework of a European project funded by the GSA and the European Commission, called "Galileo 4 Mobility". Within this project, Pildo Labs was in charge of developing and implementing a platform for piloting an on-demand bus service in a small town of the metropolitan area of Barcelona. This endeavour marked a decisive moment for the team, specialised in urban mobility, and originated Nemi.
The team aims to, on one hand, improve existing public transport lines with very little demand which are very difficult to sustain and can't provide a convenient service, and, on the other hand, reach where regular public transport cannot by providing a viable solution for low-density areas.
Nemi provides a full-stack application which enables the operation of demand-responsive public transport services. The platform consists of a system back-end —which hosts the routing algorithm—, a mobile user app, a driver app, and a web back-office. The combination of these components allows citizens to book seats on vehicles which are operating different demand-responsive services by indicating origin, destination and time of their desired trip. The available options are shaped by the virtual stops and schedule previously defined with the competent public authority.
The demand-responsive transport services enabled by Nemi can significantly improve accessibility and social inclusion for citizens living in low-demand areas. Based on estimates for the national market (Spain), in the next two years thousands of users could be reached just by deploying new public transport services where they’re lacking and by complementing the existing ones with new schedules during low-demand hours, without taking into consideration the potential for completely replacing inefficient regular services. The public transport services operated with Nemi solution can also save kilometres travelled by avoiding covering areas where no one is hopping on or off the vehicle, thus reducing congestion, energy consumption and emissions of CO2 and air pollutants.
Meeting the host company, the Region of Puglia, contributed greatly to Nemi’s progress in the use of data for planning. For the first time, they were not facing the implementation of a service, the characteristics of which were already designed, but rather the planning of a transport service in response to a mobility challenge of a broader area.
With the available data, Nemi built two indexes based on the total number of trips by car and bus, and the percentage of this number that the trips by bus represent. Such indexes allowed them to rank each town on the list to find which ones had the biggest potential for replacing car trips in off-peak hours with trips on a flexible, more convenient, bus service enabled by Nemi’s solution. Then, a potential itinerary connecting them was drawn on a map. This was a preliminary exercise and the team has been working on other possibilities for conducting a pilot in Southern Salento.