De Lijn joins forces with Siemens for call-up bus service
A subsidiary of pubic transport company De Lijn wants to exploit the Flemish Mobility Center. It will, therefore, join forces with IT giant Siemens and the call center of Belgian businessman Christian Dumolin, and will become the most vital link of public transport in rural areas.
People living in the Flemish countryside will soon be able to order public transport by phone or via an app. The Flemish Mobility Center will get the assignment to provide tailor-made transport as of 2022. The offer consists of call-up bus services, shared cars, and taxis.
Tailor-made transport will become the lowest ‘layer’ of the ‘elementary accessibility’ concept the Flemish government wants to introduce on January 1st, 2022. While De Lijn will organize bus and tram connections on the large axes in towns, and between smaller cities and municipalities, local authorities will provide tailor-made transport in 15 transport regions.
De Lijn, however, also wants to have a finger in the pie in this ‘lower layer’. In a consortium with technology company Siemens and In2com, the call center of the Belgian businessman Christian Dumolin, De Lijn wants to compete for the exploitation of the Mobility Center. De Lijn, therefore, created a separate juridic entity called ‘dVORM’.
Thanks to the know-how of De Lijn, dVORM will take charge of the operational direction in a consortium named sMIND. In2com will manage the call center, while Siemens will supply the IT systems.
sMIND is not the only candidate, newspaper De Tijd was told. Also, the French IT consultant, Capgemini, submitted a file. A spokesperson could indeed confirm the company joined forces with three partners for it.
Still, the complexity of the project scared off some parties. The Mobility Center has to create an IT platform on which users can order rides or get travel information via an app, a website, or by phone. The Center has to be able to plan and dispatch all rides, but it also has to deal with clients and invoices.
The selected candidates have to submit their tenders in the coming weeks. In autumn, the Flemish Department for Mobility and Public Works (MOW) wants to assign the command for a period of five to eight years. The actual call-up bus service of De Lijn then will move over to the Mobility Center on January 1st, 2022, and in September, the transport of school children will be arranged.
The 50 employees of the call-up bus service have to move to the Mobility Center. De Lijn hopes that te new exploiter will take over the personnel via the collective bargaining agreement 32bis.