Hundreds of millions of people around the world rely on public transit daily. Yet, only a tiny proportion have access to accurate information on when and where the bus will arrive, and whether there are any disruptions to their service. Similarly, the majority of transit operators lack the same insights that would allow them to make better business decisions.
Lack of this data creates a vicious cycle. Riders, tired of wasting time as they wait for their bus to arrive, abandon public transit. In turn, private transport options are on the rise, increasing congestion and air pollution.
Until now, visualizing routes, and stops, as well as enabling real-time data for buses was complex and expensive. At enrouteQ, we simplify the process so transit operators can do it in three easy steps.
Step 1: Map it
One could assume that keeping track of bus stops, fixed routes and schedules would be an easy task. However, with rapid urbanization and population growth, new stops, routes and bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes emerge. In addition, individual and informal transit still account for the majority of trips made daily, driven by local demand and the need for a more flexible way of getting around.
With paper-based or low-digitalized processes, public transit operators and authorities are at significant disadvantage when it comes to understanding and leveraging the changing urban mobility landscape. As a result, static data quickly becomes outdated and inefficient.
Our Android COLLECTOR app automates the process. Bus drivers or data collectors, who simply ride the bus in a city, create a network map that is accurate down to the very meter. These maps include depots, terminals, routes, stops and hailing points. The route design that derives from mapping is key to deliver a high-quality real-time visualization of buses as well as accurate arrival times for riders. The newly created static data can easily be shared as we deliver it in open format (GTFS – General Transit Feed Specification).
Step 2: Connect it
To make buses come live on a map, we make use of GPS tracking devices (new or already installed) or our Android DRIVER app in the vehicles. Once these devices are linked to our cloud dashboard, accurate vehicle location is updated and visualized in real-time. Transit operators and authorities now have access to static and dynamic transit data. Routes, stops and vehicles are available for daily supervision and dispatch.
Transit operators now have access to insights on demand and performance. Operational deviations can be identified, measured and corrected. Operations management can easily re-route or take necessary actions to maintain the operation while keeping communication with drivers through our DRIVER app.
Step 3: Share it
Now transit operators can inform riders of service alerts, disruption and delays. All data generated is exported as open transit data according to GTFS standards, allowing passenger information to be shared with riders through own or third party channels.
For transit operators that wish to take an extra step in improving rider experience and transit service reliability, we offer our eQ Transit app. Riders can see buses location in real-time on a map with estimated time of arrival (ETA), as well as search for nearby stops and routes.
enrouteQ’s ambition and contribution to urban mobility
We bring value to riders. By creating open transit data we make it accessible to the rest of the mobility ecosystem for further use and innovation. We eliminate the barriers to free and secure flow of mobility data. We empower mobility service providers. We improve transit service and rider experience. Ultimately, we create a more equitable and sustainable mobility landscape.
How do we make this happen? By using the latest technology and modern software tools to scale our services. But more importantly, we bring a professional and dedicated team to support our users and we team up with local partners to secure every step of the journey.
About the Author
Magnus Stahlberg is the CEO of enrouteQ. He has more than 25 years of experience from the global public transport industry. In the mid 1990s, he established Arcontia, one of the world pioneer companies delivering contactless smart cards and mobile ticketing solutions. After a successful exit, he re-entered the industry in late 2018, with the ambition to once again be at the forefront of transforming public transit into a data driven space for as many bus operators and cities as possible.