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Optibus aims to increase public transit ridership with new release

Solution allows transit providers to get a view of the entire transit corridor at once and coordinate trip times that would benefit passengers travelling through the corridor.

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Optibus believes its multi-route planning capabilities will increase ridership of public transport
Optibus believes its multi-route planning capabilities will increase ridership of public transport

High-tech mobility platform provider, Optibus, has introduced a new set of multi-route planning capabilities within its cloud-native platform

 

The new capabilities enable transportation agencies and operators to plan multiple routes at the same time. According to Optibus, this makes it easier for them to prioritise passenger needs for a “reliable, frequent and high-quality bus service” while increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

 

Public transit ridership

 

The provider notes that public transit ridership is declining in most US metropolitan areas, especially major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

 

“The way to increase ridership is to improve transportation in ways that directly affect existing and potential passengers. Our multi-route planning capabilities empower transit providers to do exactly that,” said Amos Haggiag, CEO and co-founder, Optibus.

 

In addition to its primary competitor, the privately-owned car, buses must also face off against numerous additional mobility options, including car-hailing and ride-sharing options and micro-mobility vehicles such as electric bikes and scooters. Perhaps most insidious, though, is the feature of bus networks themselves that discourages ridership: namely, poor transit service, claims Optibus.

“Transportation providers are now able to catch up to the tech revolution sweeping through the mobility industry”

Optibus said with its multi-route planning, transit agencies and operators are able to rely on a solution to plan multiple routes at the same time. This allows transit providers to get a view of the entire transit corridor at once and coordinate trip times that would benefit passengers travelling through the corridor.

 

Use of Optibus’s multi-route planning capabilities would allow transportation agencies and operators to:

  • reduce bus bunching and wait time: one way to reduce bus bunching is by adjusting headways, the time interval between buses moving in the same direction. Schedulers can use the planning and scheduling software to adjust headways on one route at a time, or they can analyse arrival and departure times for all buses travelling through the same transit corridor and adjust the headways such that passengers will regularly have a bus available across different routes;
  • coordinate transfer points: if there is too much time between the first vehicle and the second, passengers can get frustrated having to wait too long. If there isn’t enough time, the frustration stems from either having to rush to make the connection or missing the connection altogether. These transfer points can be difficult to plan when viewing one route at a time, but become more clear when planning multiple routes in one timetable;
  • interline bus routes: while coordinating transfer points helps passengers make smoother transfers, interlining can be used to eliminate the need for transferring altogether on certain trips. Planning multiple routes in the timetable at the same time makes it easier to have buses interline, or switch from one route to another for select trips at a transfer point that both routes have in common. Optibus’s multi-route planning supports scheduling interlining buses in which the bus and driver switch routes as passengers stay on board. Passengers who would ordinarily need to transfer from one bus to the other at the transfer point can stay on the bus as it switches to a different route and arrive at their destination without needing to transfer buses.

“Transportation providers are now able to catch up to the tech revolution sweeping through the mobility industry by using advanced technology like machine learning and cloud computing to improve the quality of the mass transit operating in their cities,” added Haggiag. “And you know what happens when people are more satisfied with the quality of public transit? They increase their transit use.”

 

Optibus’s software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud-native planning and scheduling platform leverages artificial intelligence and algorithms with the aim of reducing labour, fuel and vehicle costs as well as improving passenger service and growing ridership for mass transportation operators and agencies.

 

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