The aim of the on-demand bus pilot is to leverage a data-driven approach to improve the commuter experience and generate behaviour insights for future solutions.
Canada’s Edmonton International Airport (EIA) has teamed with Japanese telecommunications company NTT to jointly develop smart transportation projects.
Under the terms of the signed memorandum of understanding (MoU), the partners have agreed to pilot a digital on-demand bus service in and around EIA’s Airport City. The aim is to leverage a data-driven approach to improve the commuter experience and generate behaviour insights for future solutions.
The MoU includes involvement of the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (Join), and support from the Invest Alberta Corporation.
“Thanks to our collaboration with NTT and Join, we will be able to deliver smart transportation services and solutions related to on-demand service and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS),” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO, Edmonton International Airport.
“Enhancing passenger experience and improving social, environmental, and economic impacts are some of EIA’s strategic initiatives that we believe will be accelerated by this partnership with NTT and Join.”
By leveraging NTT’s smart solutions, the initial phase of the pilot will focus on on-demand ride-hailing, flexible bus routing, scheduling and occupancy. According to the partners, passengers will benefit from improved booking options with online booking via a mobile app and web portal.
The service will allow for a near door-to-door service with bus routes and schedules adjusting in real-time to best suit commuter convenience.
“Enhancing passenger experience and improving social, environmental, and economic impacts are some of EIA’s strategic initiatives that we believe will be accelerated by this partnership”
Drivers will access a dedicated driver application providing route guidance between virtual stops while enabling them to manage trips. Occupancy information will be calculated for administrators to manage the operation in real-time and predicted occupancy would provide insights into the number of riders expected at select virtual stops in the future.
The on-demand bus solution will be managed by a centralised smart transit central system that will allocate a shuttle to pick up passengers from their requested locations and then take them to their destinations via the best route calculated in real-time.
“We are very excited about this partnership with EIA and are honoured to see NTT Smart Solutions supporting their strategic objectives,” said Akira Shimada, senior executive vice president, NTT.
“By creating a smart transit system, we are also laying the foundation for other innovative services, such as on-demand autonomous shuttle solutions, that EIA and NTT will explore as part of our continuous investment in innovation and sustainability.”
“By creating a smart transit system, we are also laying the foundation for other innovative services, such as on-demand autonomous shuttle solutions”
Following the successful rollout of this initial pilot focused on five buses, EIA said it will consider expanding this service to other bus lines and service areas with the possibility of including customised functionalities and additional data sources, such as flight schedules.
Edmonton International Airport is a self-funded, not-for-profit corporation whose mandate is to drive economic prosperity for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. EIA is Canada’s fifth-busiest airport and serves 8.2 million passengers per year with non-stop service to 50 destinations worldwide.
Join is a Japanese government-private sponsored infrastructure investment fund company established in Japan in October 2014. Its aim is to encourage Japanese companies to utilise their accumulated knowledge, technology, and experience in the field of infrastructure to expand overseas.
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