Public transport and the effective automation of processes

Public transport has developed through numerous technical leaps: From stagecoaches pulled by horses in the wild west to the luxury steam trains of the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul. Not to mention the new magnetic levitation trains in Japan that run at 603 km/h. But today, the leaps are taken not only by extreme luxury and speed. The real superpower of our time is called data. Used right it leads to more innovative and more effective public transport for all people worldwide. Welcome to jump aboard the data train. We’ll start with fundamental business value and quickly move on to the next level.


Step 1: Feed the organization with better data and get better results

So, what’s happened is we’ve gone from horse-driven to data-driven. It has advantages. Your first goal in data-driven work is to apprehend the ability to discover new facts and insights that help your organization to make better decisions for public transport. You start with collecting, sorting, and carefully validating the organization’s data. When you’re sure that everything’s correct and reliable, you use your BI tool to make your validated data available and useable in the form of reports and analyses within the organization. Your contribution has already been performed way faster and more efficiently than manual work in this first step. You might well have saved months or more. Speaking of efficiency, here are your three most important focus areas in step 1:

  • Punctuality follow-up
  • Travel numbers follow-up
  • Sales follow-up

In this article, you get a detailed review of everything you need to keep in mind in step 1. Don’t miss it.


Step 2. Let your data roll up their sleeves and do more of the hard work

Everybody knows what it’s like in rush hour traffic, but what can we do about it? Quite a lot, thanks to data. In step two, your data start working for you by introducing automation that super effectively optimizes work processes. The goal is to boost productivity by lessening manual work that technology can do faster and more accurately. It’s like getting off the horse and riding into the future. This type of optimization has three business wins:

  • It decreases the cost of public transport
  • It increases reliability in travel production
  • It soars customer satisfaction among commuters

Moreover, it frees time so skilled employees can focus on more qualified and fulfilling tasks. All in all, it’s a win for society.


Example: Optimize timetables

One example of automation is to optimize timetables based on your collected data. You do it by pairing travel numbers at different times of the day with which customer segments they belong. Data, software, AI, and algorithms are crucial to get the best results. The optimization lets you manage and adapt trip frequency based on different situations faster and more accurately when needed. More buses and trains make rush hour commuting much smoother and more effective at the right place and at the right time. And fewer almost empty buses and trains on low traffic hours saves much money. Getting as many people as possible from A to B every day, happy and content with the trip is an artform – and data make it possible. Here are hearts to win and public funds to save.


Example: Automate segmenting

Data helps you, smoothly and easily, to even out traveling during the day. It lets you target and attract commuters from different customer segments to travel on less busy hours. In a manual process, segmenting on an individual level takes much time. In an optimized process, it happens automatically, based on travel patterns. You have data, you know whom to reach, and you can target efforts in a very accurate and cost-effective way. For instance, you can offer discounts during low traffic in-between morning and evening rush hours, like a happy hour. Or you can nudge travelers in the right direction in other creative ways to even out traveling during the day. Efforts like these do a lot for customer satisfaction throughout public transport. And that’s what we want to arrive at – a public transport that’s effective, reliable, and attractive for everybody.

In this client case, you see how to create optimized public transport through advanced analytics.


In the next article…

In the next article, we’ll tell you more about what you can do with automation:

  • How you from your computer can discover ongoing ticket fraud on a bus or train somewhere in the public transport network and quickly direct fare inspectors to the exact right vehicle.
  • How you from your computer can discover anomalies in travel patterns such as a sudden big crowd aboard a train or bus at a normally unbusy time and direct personnel to discreetly check up on it.


Want to read more?

Feel free to deep dive into our client cases, guides, and blog articles that are available on our knowledge hub.
You can also follow us on LinkedIn to get tips and tricks that will help you along the way in your data-driven journey.


About the author

Gustav Hallberg is a business developer who enjoys working at the intersection of people, business & technology. He is helping digitally progressive organizations within the public transport sector on their journeys towards becoming more data-driven.


Gustav Hallberg

Business Developer Public Transport

+46 70 145 80 68