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5 clever smart transit examples you can copy – guilt free

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Ruben van der Zwan
CEO & Co-Founder
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Smart_Transit_Praque.jpgStealing is bad. Getting inspired, on the other hand, is always a good thing. Especially when it comes to smart transit, finding out how others do it can be really helpful. Wherever there are people, there are transit providers that look for new and better ways to deploy data, so they can make their services more customer-friendly and cut out on costs. It’s unlikely they’ll take a plane to conquer your tracks and steal your travelers, so why not pay attention and learn from them? In this blog, I get you started by discussing five smart transit examples from all around the world. Enjoy the ride!

Why do I need smart transit examples?

Smart transit can be summarized in three keywords: safety, communications and reliability. That’s great news to your customers, that benefit from better rider experience, speed and convenience. But what do you get out of it? When you read the smart transit examples below, you’ll soon find out that smart transit comes with more than happy and loyal customers (which is already a big deal). Smart transit helps you in making your processes more efficient, by saving you out on time and costs for maintenance, scheduling and crisis management.

Example 1. Move to the cloud like SBB

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) manages a rail network of around 3,000 kilometers, more than 800 stations, 430 million passengers and 53 million tons of transported goods. Needless to say they’re processing tons of data every day. To make data exchange go faster and smoother, SBB decided to take their IT systems to the cloud. Now that their databases, applications and infrastructure services are easily accessible by all stakeholders, it has become easier to predict peak hours and take timely measures, and to streamline schedules of passenger trains and freight trains.

Example 2. Reserve parking spots for frequent travelers like Sound Transit

Travelers usually don’t stick with one transportation mode: people combine trains with cars, cars with buses and buses with bicycles to get from A to B. Sound Transit, a public transit provider in Washington State, knows all about it. The agency has its own trains and buses, but also manages customer payment systems, track works and the construction of bridges and tunnels in the area. To make the journey of their passengers faster and more convenient, they give transit riders the option to reserve a parking spot at several train and bus stations. This makes is easier for travelers to combine different modes of transportation.

Example 3. Create a citywide sensor network like Dublin Bus

Back to Europe. Dublin Bus started working with Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) to provide travelers with personalized travel advice based on the current situation on the road. Dublin Bus is able to communicate delays, times of arrival and information on which buses will pass by which stop. They equipped bus stops with sensors, and buses with a GPS system, a radio and an onboard computer that reports their position to the central computer. The data they arrive from all this communicating is useful to optimize bus schedules and occupancy level per bus line.

Example 4. Make travelers feel safer like MARTA

It’s all very well providing travelers with real time information on bus schedules, delays and route changes: it gets even better when you can use technology to make people feel safer. This is why MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) created the MARTA See & Say app. Through this application, travelers that spot incidents or suspicious activities can get into direct contact with the transit police. The app enables two-way communications, so that travelers can exchange messages with the emergency services and provide them with additional information when asked. This not only helps the MARTA police to solve issues; it also makes travelers feel a whole lot safer.

Example 5. Introduce digital payment options like Seoul Metro

Asia, known for their copycat products and technologies, has been working hard to catch up on all of the Western developments in transit. Today, it’s safe to say they’re actually getting ahead. Take the subway in Seoul, that completely banished cash and has travelers pay with their smartphone. As the subway provider also developed apps to provide them with real-time information on time schedules, travelers can now plan, schedule, reserve and pay for their journey through one single device.

…so, what do you think? Did these smart transit examples inspire you to start working on your own transit strategy? Leave a comment and let me know!

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