How Onboard Automation for Public Transit Saves Agencies Money
Onboard automation for public transit makes a lot of sense when considering the advantages. Automation tools empower customers, improve routes over time, reduce fuel consumption, carry out routine tasks to free up employees for other tasks, and ultimately save money. Intelligent transit technologies are revolutionizing the ways public transit systems engage with the public.
These technologies open up new opportunities for overall improvement, new revenue streams, and increased engagement with riders. Here are four ways onboard automation for public transit can bring your operations into the 21st century and save you money.
Rider App: Passio ™
The days of passengers waiting at a public bus stop and wondering, “Where’s my ride?” are over with Passio ™. This mobile app allows passengers to tap their intended destination on a map. Passio ™ then alerts them to their ride’s arrival time, the time to their destination, walking directions, and more. The app empowers customers by allowing them to edit routes and stops with zero miscommunications and without forcing them to call your customer service line. With Passio ™ riders can give feedback directly in the app, including reporting an incorrect ETA or other problems, without ever contacting customer service.
Real-time tracking from the app allows transit operations to fine-tune their routes over time if necessary. More efficient routes can translate into more satisfied customers and repeat riders, in addition to reducing fuel consumption.
LED Signage & Automatic Voice Announcements
You want your drivers to be as attentive and safety-minded as possible while they carry passengers along their routes. That’s why it makes sense to reduce the number of tasks they have to carry out while the bus is in motion. Automatic Voice Announcements (AVA) and onboard LED signage, both of which are controlled from Passio Navigator™, free up your drivers to carry out their most important job — getting from Point A to Point B without an accident! Less accidents mean less insurance claims, which translates to higher safety ratings and lower insurance rates.
Passio AVA is easy-to-use and intuitive software that makes voice announcements based on the geolocation of the bus. Benefits of pre-programmed automatic voice announcements include:
- Stop announcements
- Exact pronunciation (multi-language available)
- Text-to-speech, MP3 and .wav file format supported
- Announcement scheduling
- Variable radius stop
LED signage can also be pre-programmed in Passio Navigator™. The same types of information are automatically pushed by a wireless data transmission to each mobile LED data terminal on the vehicle.
Automated TV Screens
Digital advertising signs and TVs on public transit allow you to accomplish two things: Provide route updates and announcements in an easy-to-view format, and sell advertising space to third-party entities.
It’s likely that not every rider is going to have the Passio ™ app, so those individuals will not have access to route updates being pushed to their mobile phones. Digital screens can provide route updates, stop times, and locations, which are just as important to non-app users. The more information you can provide to your riders, the better their experience with your system.
The benefits of an additional revenue stream from digital advertising screens are fairly obvious. Public transit systems are expensive to operate, so the additional funds offset the cost of doing business. Advertisers also appreciate the demographic information that systems using onboard automation can provide them, to ensure they’re getting the most bang for their advertising buck.
Automated Passenger Counting
Passio Transit™ is one more onboard automation solution that relieves drivers from a manual task: counting passengers. Understanding passenger numbers on routes and during different times of day assists agencies in determining how to allocate their resources according to need, optimizing routes, frequency, and the number of drivers. Passio Transit™ offers multiple automated counting solutions:
- Automated Passenger Counting (APC). Passengers can utilize Passio Transit’s mobile data terminal system to record boarding and end times with minimal input from the driver.
- Passio Gateway. A Passio Gateway card allows passengers to swipe, tap, or scan at when they board. Transit operators can then access precise rider data from the Passio web portal.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Passio’s software can integrate with Edge Mobile Data terminals, which supports passenger counting tasks.
Passio’s mobile data terminals (MDTs) are rugged Android-based tablets that are built to withstand vibrations, water, and dust. The software compiles passenger data including their boarding times, departure times, routes, and passenger types. This data is compiled in Passio’s cloud service and is accessible through Passio Navigator™. The data can then be used by transit operators to track ridership patterns, as well as validate costs and budgets.
Passio Tech is dedicated to providing tech-based solutions for streamlining ridership, increasing safety, and improving fleet efficiency. Our onboard automation for public transit systems improves performance, increases customer satisfaction, and ultimately saves you money. To learn more about how Passio Tech can serve and improve your existing system, contact us.