5 Benefits of Using Automatic Vehicle Location in Public Transit

5 Benefits of Using Automatic Vehicle Location in Public Transit

14:29 17 December in Uncategorized

Technology and innovation play a critical role in improving the transportation industry. Solutions like Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems are among the most important technological advancements that support greater efficiency and enhanced fleet and route management. Composed of two parts: AVL uses GPS signals from satellites or towers to triangulate and communicate vehicle locations to a central location. The vehicle’s real-time location, speed, direction, and stop information are displayed on a map and relayed to the back office or dispatcher.   

AVL-adoption is on the rise, leading to widespread use in the public transit industry to track fleets in the field. Before AVL systems, transit companies were left in the dark about bus and driver locations. Now, with an AVL-enabled fleet, transit supervisors can quickly identify bus locations and gain insight into driver habits to better understand and respond to delays, service disruptions, route durations, and more. Let’s explore the benefits of AVL in public transit.

Five Benefits of AVL

  1. Understand Transit Travel and Wait Times

Despite moves to add flashy upgrades to public transit vehicles, riders are apparently not too interested. According to a recent survey, they’re actually looking for faster trips, more frequent service, and better reliability. They also value real-time arrival and departure information.

Data plays a critical role in understanding how improvements can be made to these areas to appeal to riders. AVL data can provide visibility into trip frequencies, travel times, and more. Combined with passenger counting solutions to track ridership patterns, public transit companies can maximize operational efficiency and influence changes to bus schedules that can impact wait times, travel times, and the overall rider experience.

2. Monitor Driver Performance

Fleet information including speed, direction, stops, and location are helpful in evaluating a driver’s on-time and safety performance. This data enables the transit company to hold them accountable and ensure that they adhere to company policies and standards. 

Holding driver’s accountable leads to mitigating risk and increasing safety ratings. That’s important when it comes to securing and renewing insurance policies like workers’ compensation and general liability policies, since safety ratings impact approvals and rates. Tracking driver data can also pinpoint areas where drivers need additional training.

3. Quickly Respond to Disruptions and Delays

Imagine if a bus breaks down. Years ago, a driver might have to call in the problem and give an approximate location in order to get help or even a replacement bus. Before the dawn of cell phones, that process would have included finding a phone to use. 

With AVL, a central dispatch can be alerted the minute there’s a breakdown and see the bus’ exact location, allowing them to deploy mechanical and backup support. AVL also allows them to keep riders updated on any delays. Additionally, if an accident occurs, the data collected by the AVL system can be used to gain insight into the driver’s speed and act as evidence for claims and incident reports.

4. Improved Rider Experience and Satisfaction

Location and travel data help keep riders updated in real-time on their routes and bus arrival times. Through internet-based live bus tracking, transit companies can incorporate this data into bus station displays and their website and phone apps to keep riders informed on estimated arrival times and delays. With real-time info, drivers can make decisions like determining the faster bus route or choosing to take an Uber if a bus is delayed. 

5. More Detailed and Reliable Reporting

Before AVL, your data was only as good as the people collecting it. Taking out the middleman, AVL systems can automatically collect fleet activity data, minimizing manual driver documentation related to trip durations, bus speed, stops, and more. This reporting informs on various aspects of public transit, including how to improve the customer experience, routes, route frequencies, and driver performance.

Improve Public Transit Operations with Automatic Vehicle Location

AVL is an essential component to maintaining public transit operations. Passio Technologies’ innovative AVL system works hand-in-hand with our Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD). This system gives transit operators the tools to safely run routes and communicate directly with central dispatch. Together, AVL and CAD provide central operations with the visibility, control, and communication needed to deliver efficient, high-quality service to riders. 

Regardless of your transit company’s size or type, our years of experience and innovative solutions aim to support better operations management while improving the overall rider experience. Contact us today to learn more about how AVL can enhance public transit service by tracking and monitoring fleet and driver performance.