OWL Verkehr GmbH’s Detmold public transport advice service

Acceptance, booking, coordination, awarding contracts and accounting in demand-responsive transport

About OWL Verkehr GmbH

Vehicles: 120
Services: 98
Network length (km): approx. 750,000
Principal tasks: The acceptance, booking, coordination and accounting of demandresponsive transport; timetables and fare information; ticket sales and advice on group travel
Trapeze product: T.DiMo



The organisation
OWL Verkehr GmbH is the service company for over 20 bus, light rail and rail transport companies that coordinates public transport in Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Germany. It coordinates the district fare system and acts as an interface between transport companies, passengers and public transport authorities. In addition to the main office in Bielefeld, Germany, OWL Verkehr runs public transport advice services in Detmold and Minden.

As well as personalised customer advice, the public transport advice service in Detmold also offers timetable and fare information over the phone and records customer suggestions. It also has a call centre that deals with the acceptance, booking and coordination of demand-responsive unscheduled and scheduled transport services in the region. OWL Verkehr also offers this service throughout Germany.


The challenge
Before 2006, all demand-responsive OWL Verkehr transport services were still independently accepted, booked and coordinated by the individual transport companies. Transport companies’ requirements, cost pressure and the many new opportunities in the field of demand-responsive transport meant that a new, common solution was required. The new system had to be web-enabled and able to process all demand-responsive modes of transport offered. The system also had to deliver automatic, verifiable and transparent accounting of trips booked.


The solution
In its search for a solution, OWL Verkehr came across the Trapeze T.DiMo system.


Trapeze took care of the entire technical implementation process. Timetable information was transferred using existing interfaces, and because of the system’s intuitive nature, employees only needed a day to familiarise themselves with the system. “We were very happy with both the implementation of the system and employee training. Everything was taken care of quickly,” says Christel Schlingmann, head of OWL Verkehr’s Detmold public transport advice service.


In practice
Since 2006, Trapeze’s T.DiMo system has been used in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe district’s public transport advice service and that of other districts for accepting, booking, coordinating and issuing orders to travel service providers and in the accounting of demand-driven transport services. Millions of trips are booked, coordinated and processed in the system every year.

Ms Schlingmann says that employees are well supported by the software. Particularly valued is the route optimisation, which, wherever possible, links trips together when recording trip requests. This leads to a higher vehicle occupancy rate and therefore better cost recovery. Another function that provides support to trained employees is the fact that the timetable is stored in the system. A suggested trip can be calculated instantly and the departure time, trip duration and price notified to the customer. Another particularly valued feature in terms of recording journey requests is the fact that saved customer data is accessed automatically. In a click, the trip is booked.

In terms of improving the reliability of transport, employees can monitor on screen whether the trip information has been received by the taxi staff simply and effectively. This makes the process of making any reminder calls easier. Accounting too is now clear and simple. Christel Schlingmann explains: “Previously, the distance had to be entered manually by the transport provider for calculation purposes. This is no longer necessary thanks to a routing tool that calculates distances automatically. This rules out accounting errors. The system calculates accounts quickly and accurately, considering the contractual terms and fare income. The data is then included in statistics, analyses and budgets.


Bottom line
Since its introduction in OWL Verkehr’s Detmold public transport advice service, the functionality of the Trapeze System has won over its users. Passengers reach their destinations on time more often and transport is more reliable overall. This improved organisation meant work processes could be optimised, significantly reducing costs.  

Thanks to clearer and simpler accounting, trip costs in some transport areas have been reduced by up to 8%. Furthermore, fare income has increased by up to 20%.

“The system has fully met the expectations of OWL Verkehr and the transport companies involved.”

“Using T.DiMo, we were able to be optimise the work processes of OWL Verkehr’s public transport advice service. This meant we could significantly reduce our costs.”

Christel Schlingmann, head of OWL Verkehr GmbH’s Detmold public transport advice service