Data can be used in different ways to gather information including driver behaviour. The results can be used by the insurance industry to create customised insurance plans. Data can also be used for dynamic ticket pricing, estimating passenger load, planning road maintenance based on road conditions, trip planning and text analytics.
Planning & scheduling is one of the key aspects of the bus services. It requires data collection from various points to bring appropriate results. The key challenge is to implement the timetable based on software scenario. DIMTS, for example, is collecting data from various sources in Delhi and using www.trafficinfratech.com TrafficInfraTech / OCTOBER – NOVEMBER ’15 47 the data to improve its services. The data is collected at the centralised server in order to conduct furtheranalysis.
In Bangalore, the Traffic Police can provide the data related to road conditions – closure of roads, road repairs – updating consumers in real time and helping to make the operation of public transport smoother.
Delhi MetroRail Corporation is facing a challenge in achieving growth and maintaining existing ridership. The current network is 190km and will be expanded by 140km in Phase- III. In the last eight years, the ridership has increased by 188%. In order to serve the customer better, DMRC has implemented the latest tools to improve scheduling. The real time information on trains is not based on the schedule, but is given by using advanced tracking systems. DMRC is planning to use NFC to integrate fare collection system and promote a cashless economy. It has installed the latest IT tools for feeder buses, with fare integration as the next step.
Physical ticketing systems has many flaws. It is important to sell electronic tickets through various sources to combat fraud. Operators or authorities should not restrict the same to POS point at metro station. To control fraud in the system, there is a need for strong political commitment. Izmir, 12th largest city, had 10% paper ticket users but decided to renounce this in 2004. There was a saving of more than $16 million by implementing the new system. Mobile NFC is an option to stop fraud
Authorities should work together with operators and technology players to make the system economical, seamless and connected. It is equally important to analyse the data to improve the planning process and optimise the utilisation of assets. Technological innovations such as real-time travel information and on-line journey planners have made journeys by public transport smoother and easier. The industry should create forums to standardise technical specifications for equipment for accurate results. Cloud computing will bring more innovation in the transportation industry and all authorities and operators can share data in the cloud to learn from each other’s experience. Authorities should also use planning and scheduling software to achieve optimal utilisation of resources rather than just procuring new assets. Analysis of data is important to understand the changing demand pattern of consumers and to customise service accordingly.