New Zealand’s largest public transportation agency is optimising operations across its network with the Optibus cloud-based planning and scheduling platform.
Auckland Transport (AT), the largest public transportation agency in New Zealand, is optimising its operations and efficiency with the cloud-based planning and scheduling platform, Optibus.
The agency’s transportation network provides more than 90 million passenger trips per year and its services span trains, ferries and cycling as well as buses, the city’s primary mode of transportation.
Auckland’s population is projected to grow 30 per cent by the early 2030s and the region as a whole is projected to account for about half of the entire country’s population growth between 2018 and 2048.
Improving the city’s public transportation system to accommodate that growth has become a priority for Auckland Council and the New Zealand Government.
To optimise the city’s public transportation network and attain the highest level of ridership possible, Auckland Transport needed an advanced planning and vehicle scheduling solution that:
- enabled fast collaboration within and between their planning and scheduling teams
- facilitated data imports and exports and validation
- optimised their route planning and scheduling abilities
- visualised the impact of service changes on operations.
Optibus makes use of artificial intelligence to help agencies modernise their transit planning and scheduling functions. Using the platform, Auckland Transport is able to have its entire network planning and service performance teams online, using advanced optimisation tools, simultaneously.
The platform integrates with various data protocols, including the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) that enables public transit agency data to be easily imported and used in a variety of applications. Optibus claims to integrate data using a “single-click” import and export experience.
Optibus’ Planning module is based on Google Maps, which enables Auckland Transport to access the most current city maps. Planners can also draw on the map where they want their route to go, and Optibus’ system will then create a route with all the stops and reflect this in the timetable.
Users can edit their maps by overriding defaults provided by Google Maps. For example, they can draw a route on a road or in a development that does not currently exist on Google Maps, but that will be constructed in the future. The tool is ideal for creating services in cities that are rapidly changing due to urban development and growth.
Improving the city’s public transportation system to accommodate that growth has become a priority for Auckland Council and the New Zealand Government
Auckland Transport wanted to easily understand how network planning, timeplan, and route changes, including adding new stops to an existing route, adjusting route shape and distance, and editing travel times, would impact peak vehicle requirement (PVR) efficiency, vehicle schedules, and other metrics. The Optibus’ dashboard visualises how network changes affect services and the overall operation, from PVR and vehicle and crew efficiency to cost, duties, blocks, overtime hours, and more.
Using Optibus’ rapid scenario creation, Auckland Transport can also create multiple planning and scheduling scenarios and assess the outcome of each, side-by-side, on the platform’s user-friendly dashboard. This enables Auckland Transport to make data-driven decisions that should result in higher quality services.