Vallirana: A small town with big mobility challenges


Vallirana (Spain)

Challenge area:

Future Mobility


Implementation period:


The Challenge

Life in Vallirana, a commuter town near Barcelona, comes with its own particular challenges. Infrequent public transport has left many of the town’s scattered population underserved and isolated. For some, a round trip to shops and essential services in the center can require military planning and half a day to complete. No wonder so many residents are dependent on their cars or others to get around.

Bus operator Soler i Sauret is battling on, doing their best to optimize services and cover as much ground as possible following funding cuts. But trying to keep everyone happy is pleasing no one, least of all the lone overworked bus driver. Patchy coverage and long wait times have led to a vicious circle of falling demand, revenue and supply that shows no sign of improving. Clearly, traditional transport planning isn’t working for Vallirana.

This was the situation when Shotl was called in to radically rethink suburban mobility for the town. The challenge was how to get Vallirana moving again without spending more.

The Solution

Shotl switched Vallirana’s bus lines to a combination of fixed-route-and-schedule at peak times and flexible on-demand the rest of the time. During on-demand hours, users can request pick-up and drop-off at any of the new stops that now cover the entire residential area, so nobody gets left behind.

We provided Soler i Sauret with a Passenger App, Driver App, Central Control Console, driver training, marketing materials and support. They provided the vehicle, driver and driver’s tablet and promoted services locally. Vallirana Town Council funded the service and provided a back-up phone line and staffed help points around town.

  • Passenger App allows users to book and pay for rides, get real-time pick-up and drop-off updates, and a personalized, flexible service that adapts to their needs, not the other way round.
  • Driver App alerts drivers to new bookings in real-time and directs them to dynamic pick- up and drop-off points. The Driver App can also be used to control on-board capacity.
  • Algorithms constantly optimize all passenger bookings and vehicles routes to provide the best possible service for all users.
  • Dashboard allows transport operators to set service parameters, monitor operations in real time via the Control Panel and get detailed data and analytics on user behavior, taking the guesswork out of getting it right.