hen Juraj Atlas, together with Martin Hausenblas and Ondřej Krátký, were planning to launch the Liftago online platform in 2012, the driving force behind this was — besides creating a functional business — to relieve city centers of congestion. Liftago is doing well today, adding package transport to the mix of their services, and Juraj Atlas wants to go even further. His new project is called Mileus.
How will the new digital platform work and what will it bring? Juraj Atlas, with his passion, can discuss this for hours. To put it simply, Mileus wants to combine public transport in real time with guaranteed connection to individual transportation services, such as ride-hailing or taxi. Or even simpler: You start your ride using public transportation, and where public transport service coverage ends or its quality diminishes, a taxi will take over and get you in front of your destination. Mileus, integrated into your chosen ride-hailing or taxi application, will help you find and select the taxi before or during your public transport ride. Thanks to the technology, the taxi will already be waiting for you at the suggested public transport stop.
Mileus aims to decrease the number of cars in city centers, increase the comfort of public transport for suburban residents, and of course, also have a positive impact on the environment.
“There is no doubt that our cities are overloaded with car traffic. But so far there was no functional solution,” says Juraj Atlas. “Mileus has a goal of moving inefficient individual car traffic to the city outskirts and motivating people to use shared transport to travel around the city — in peak times especially public transport. In areas further away from congested urban centers, they will be able to use cars in the form of more convenient ride-hailing or taxi services.”
Project Mileus has begun testing technical models, and the service should reach Prague residents in a pilot during the first quarter of 2020. Large European capitals such as Paris and London have already shown interest in the technology. Each city has a different transport infrastructure and Mileus adapts to their needs. According to Atlas, negotiations on platform integration began in Paris last October and will continue in London this February.
In the first phase, the platform will focus on last-mile transportation in the evening hours, and in the next phases, Mileus will also tackle connecting different modes of transport throughout the whole day. Atlas suggests that providing residents with a faster and more convenient way to get home from work at a reasonable price (lower than standard taxi journeys) will motivate them to leave their own car at home in the morning.
At the same time, automated interconnection with public transport should facilitate the operation of individual transport services and vehicle sharing and carpooling on the outskirts of cities where this has not yet been very profitable for the operators.
“Individual transport service operators and shared transport organizers are not forced by anything to serve the less profitable suburbs. Our digital platform will provide them with greater demand in the areas outside the city centre, higher order frequency, and therefore higher revenues, without enticing passengers away from public transport. One day, a taxi in its various future forms will become part of integrated public transport. Because without public transportation, it’s not possible to build sustainable transport on a long-term basis and raise the standard of living for all residents of large cities,” explains Juraj Atlas on how to ensure that carriers have an incentive to join the system.