11 Jul 2016

CHANGING THE PUBLIC TRANSIT MODEL WITH TECH INTEGRATION

As technology continues to grow and become a necessity for agencies, transit contractors are looking for the most practical applications, says a recent story in the American journal Metro. The rise of transportation apps and data management software is helping customers get the service they need and agencies learn more about their business.

Transit agencies are shifting from the traditional bus-only model to a multimodal system that cuts costs and expands service. However, these changes can be difficult for agencies to navigate on their own.

Keolis offers bus, coach, tram, bike share, parking, paratransit, carsharing, carpooling, river shuttle and automated metro services. It is also the largest light rail operator worldwide. The company’s focus is to offer multimodal mobility solutions that are simple, efficient, fluid, and most importantly, safe for their passengers, employees and the communities they serve.

The company has partnered with moovit, a transit app that collects crowd-sourced user data to provide real-time information for a more accurate trip-planning service. It also uses this data to provide transit agencies with more accurate information about their services, including customer feedback.

McDonald Transit, which started in 1972, focuses on community-specific solutions. Although it became an affiliate of Paris-based RATP Dev in 2009, 47% of the company is still employee-owned and their headquarters remains in Fort Worth, Texas.

Transdev offers a variety of services, including commuter rail, streetcars, ferries, fixed-route buses, paratransit, taxis, shuttles, black car services and retail.

The company has spent the past couple of years investing heavily in technology, opting to acquire tech companies rather than forming partnerships or developing in-house.

One of their apps is Split, a D.C.-based ridesharing service that matches up riders travelling along the same route for a low base price. Unlike its competitors, the service uses employees instead of independent contractors. Transdev is currently working with the  Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority in Tampa, Fla. to apply this same concept to public transit. 

Of course, apps aren’t the only way technology changes transit. It is noted that autonomous vehicles are becoming a reality within five years. It’s much closer than people realize.

   



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