Public transport at your fingertips.

Welcome to a new article about the future of public transport. It’s time to climb up to the third level of the value stairway: Servitization. It’s about making your data-drivenness into better services. As mentioned before, the industry has developed through many technical leaps and the giant leap of our time is data. Rightly used, data leads to smarter and more effective public transport for everybody. The best part is that travelers are more than happy to help – you just need to give them the opportunity. The way to do it is servitization, but it could just as well be called simplicity. In this article, we share our experiences from level three with you.

Stairway to sustainable business value. In this article, we focus on the third level. Welcome up.


Step by step to the biggest possible business value for public transport

  • In the first step, you make data the basis for decision-making to boost the organization’s performance. The result is lower cost and higher productivity.
  • In the second step, you use data, automation, and process automation to create new capabilities. The results are even better than in step one, and effectiveness and efficiency rise.

A lot is going on at this level.

  • In the third step – servitization – you let your customers in and allow them to do part of the job themselves. This collaborative approach is becoming more common in Nordic countries, particularly in public transport and banking. Thanks to digital banks, on the web or in mobile apps, customers hardly ever need to visit a physical bank branch. Digitalization makes it easier for everybody, and the customers are now contributing to their customer satisfaction. All aboard, going into the future. Let’s look at three recent examples in public transport:

1.How you let passengers do your job and get rapidly rising customer satisfaction in return

Historically, travelers had to go to a ticket vendor to buy tickets. But with a modern, data-driven ticketing system with cloud technology, they can stay on the couch and get them from a mobile app. They can also do their trip planning in the app. They see interactive maps and get real-time information on how many minutes to next departure, how long it takes to walk to the nearest stop, and how much time they get to change vehicles five stops onwards. In 2015–2016, we helped our client Skånetrafiken to create a new ticketing system that paved the way for a new mobile app. Three years later, customer satisfaction had gone from 46% to 76%. You can read the client case here. It’s an inspiring story.

2. How you in advance help commuters to choose vehicles so they won’t stand packed like sardines in the middle of a pandemic or sit utterly alone in a bus in the middle of the night

In step two, the organization develops superhuman capabilities. In step three, you share these with your customers. Not least to promote safety. With the app, they can beforehand see how many people there are on the next bus or train and decide whether to get aboard or choose another alternative. The solution is called predictive occupancy. We created a solution like this for Skånetrafiken during the pandemic, and it went live on their website and in the mobile app in early 2021. Everybody that makes a trip search now gets information on predictive occupancy for the vehicle in question, for a specific point in time and travel leg. If you’re like us and enjoy technical solutions, you can read the client case here and learn more about the background to the advanced analytics methods here.

3. How you smoothly see that all passengers get home when their rush hour train has stopped somewhere in the countryside between stations and right before a fallen tree

Sometimes nature hands you a challenge. For example, a storm might cut down a tree over the tracks, right when everybody is going home after a long day’s work. Typical. Luckily, thanks to data, you can quickly and easily solve a problem like this. Let’s say you have four hours to get all the hundreds of passengers home. First, they check in with their mobile via a QR-code on the information screens. Now you know how many they are and where they want to go. The system checks available buses and, if needed, also from partners and taxis. The system works in an optimized process that calculates the best and most cost-effective way to get everybody home as soon as possible. Every passenger receives a message on their mobile about getting home. A GPS beacon between the bus driver’s mobile and each passenger’s mobile directs the trip to suitable destinations. The driver and the passengers see each other on a map in the app, so it’s easy to know when all are aboard the right bus or taxi before the trip home starts. Digital collaboration between passengers, organization, and drivers gets everyone home. With the help of data, everyone does their part of the job. This is what your new superpowers are for.

At the end of this main article, you get a more detailed description of the sequence of events.


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 Hektor

Business Developer Mobility

+46 70 145 80 68