The ParkShuttle is an electric driven autonomous shuttle service, which runs between metro station Kralingse Zoom in Rotterdam to business park Rivium in Capelle aan den IJssel. The system has 3 stops at Rivium (Rivium 1st, 2nd and 4th street) and an additional stop that serves both the residential area Fascinatio (Capelle aan den IJssel) as well as business park Brainpark III (Rotterdam). Since the end of 2006, the ParkShuttle has been operational every business day between 6 am and 9 pm, at 2½-minute intervals during rush hours, otherwise at least once every 6 minutes.
The route is dedicated to the system, but it does have ground level crossings with cars, cyclists and pedestrians. The route is double-lane, with the exception of the crossings at the Interstate A16 and Highway N210.
The system works like a horizontal elevator. A shuttle can be called at the stop and there is a button in the shuttle for each stop to indicate that you want to get off, like an elevator (easier than in a regular bus, where you have to pay attention when you press the button).
As of 2018 the route is 1800 metres long. There are 6 shuttles with the numbers 1-6 (administrative numbered 5801-5806). Every shuttle has 12 seats and 10 standees and drives on business days from 6 am till 9 pm. Outside rush hours, the shuttle drives with a frequency of at least once every 6 minutes, so that some vehicles can be charged.
The vehicle is fully automatic and follows a virtual route where the position is checked based on artificial reference points (small magnets in the road surface). The shuttles stop at fixed positions at the stations. Most stations are suitable for two shuttles behind each other. They are single-direction vehicles (front wheel steering) and the system features a turning loop at both ends of the route. There is an automatic charging station charging station at metro station Kralingse Zoom, where the batteries of the shuttles are charged every day.
The shuttles are known as line 500 according to the timetable, but that is not indicated on the shuttles. The shuttle was free of charge until the end of 2011, due to the lack of a ticket machine and a stamping machine, later called OV chip card reader OV-chipcard and the lack of any supervisors. Since the end of 2011, OV chip card readers have been installed at the stops. No paper tickets are sold and OV chip cards can only be bought at the Kralingse Zoom metro station (at the station itself, not the shuttle stop), so that passengers must have an OV chip card already when boarding other stops.
The client is the Metropolitan area Rotterdam-The Hague (MRDH) and the operator of the ParkShuttle is bus company Connexxion. The current vehicles have Connexxion green upholstery and are also Connexxion green on the outside.
The first version of the Parkshuttle ran from February 1999 to 1 January 2002, between Rotterdam and Capelle aan den IJssel. For ParkShuttle II the route was extended, the route became a dual lane and new vehicles were introduced with more transport capacity: ParkShuttle II can carry a maximum of 22 passengers. The system and the vehicles are supplied by 2getthere, where Spijkstaal  supplied the chassis and drive system and the design was made by Duvedec.
On 1 December 2006 ParkShuttle II was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. A day later the ParkShuttle was open to the public. Prior to that, concessionaire Connexxion had been granted a concession for the period 2006-2011. In 2011, after a new tender, the concession for a further period of 5 years was awarded to Connexxion. In 2016 the concession was extended by 2 years until December 2018.
Shortly after the system was put into operation, a collision occurred between two vehicles (without a driver) during start-up. The analysis of the incident showed that, after loss of communication at start-up of the system and after removal of the vehicle, an error was made by the supervisor as a result of which two other vehicles were allowed to enter the single lane section from different sides. The obstacle detection system did react, but could not prevent the collision. In addition, one vehicle was damaged by a fire in the storage of the vehicles.
After repairing the vehicles, the ParkShuttle has been running without any significant problems ever since.
During the period of April 2011 to December 2011, the system was out of service due to the construction of a parking garage at the Kralingse Zoom station. The ParkShuttle could not be used because the lane was blocked. A replacement bus service was used during this period. This bus service also runs in case of emergencies and drives on a lane next to the ParkShuttle.
The Metropolitan region Rotterdam-The Hague and the municipality of Capelle aan den IJssel undertook major maintenance on the existing ParkShuttle lane at the beginning of 2017.
On 7 March 2018 the MRDH granted Connexxion a new concession for 15 years, for the period December 2018 to December 2033. This concession includes an extension of the route, renewal of the fleet of shuttles and driving in mixed traffic on some parts of the route. The supplier of the system is again www.2getthere.eu 2getthere, who has worked together with the municipality of Capelle aan den IJssel for this purpose. Together they have submitted a proposal for the replacement and extension with the Marketplace for Infrastructure of the 'Verkeersonderneming', which was granted early 2017. With this, the 'Verkeersonderneming' is responsible for 50% of the costs of realization.
In 2019 the vehicles will be replaced and the route will be extended to the Nieuwe Maas, where passengers can change to the Waterbus at the Van Brienenoordbrug stop. The ParkShuttle will be a unique connection between the Waterbus and the metro network of Rotterdam. Also, with the re-development of the Rivium business park, where residency is allowed, the ParkShuttle offers residents access to public transport. On the new route, the ParkShuttle will autonomously drive on the public road. This will be the third generation of self-driving vehicles which can drive through mixed traffic. The vehicles are lighter than before, have air-conditioning and can drive in two directions, so no turning loops are needed.
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