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THE SECTOR VIEW: WYG


sector partners. However they are complex and challenging multi-stakeholder projects, particularly in the deregulated commercial bus market that operates across the UK outside of London. Te passengers’ appetite for high quality, live


bus information is clearly illustrated by the success of the City of Edinburgh/Lothian Buses BusTracker system, which WYG helped deliver. Tis project includes 730 buses, more than 400 street signs, bus priority and web and mobile services. App developers were given free access to the system data and have created a variety of successful products. Te BusTracker system now answers over 12 million live bus information queries per month. It is a highly valued, everyday part of bus travel in and around Edinburgh. Lothian Buses also embraced the potential of


the fleet management tools within the BusTracker system, and proactively manage their bus fleet from a dedicated control centre day and night, seven days a week. Tis allows them to intervene at an early stage when operational issues arise. Bus service alterations and diversions are then generated in real time on the BusTracker system, and the updated details are immediately available on the web and apps. Tis maintains the quality and reliability of the passenger information service during periods of network disruption, which is when the passenger needs it most. Our project with South East Scotland Passenger


Transport (SEStran) delivered a similar system to BusTracker, but included eight local authority partners, two major UK bus operators and numerous smaller operators. Tis presented considerable challenges at several stages of the process, including developing the system specification and stakeholder agreements, reliably and efficiently integrating large transport data feeds from various users, and maintaining the ongoing commitment and focus of such a large stakeholder group. Tese achievements were recognised at the UK Bus Awards 2015, where the Local Authority Transport Project of the Year prize was awarded to Bustracker SEStran. Te project also attempts to minimise


ongoing operational costs in difficult financial times. WYG and SEStran have developed an innovative off-network signing strategy which targets both public and private sectors. Bespoke signs carry client logos and branding, and mix live bus information with personalised content. Te aim is to deliver numerous low cost signs across a wide geographic area, while generating a revenue stream to support ongoing maintenance and, possibly, expand the system.


SMART TICKETING Smart ticketing is a huge area of interest in the public transport industry. For transport and city planners, it is a way of promoting an integrated, simpler and more accessible transport network through the delivery of multi-operator and multi- modal ticketing products. Transport operators recognise the benefits of reduced fraud, lower operating costs and potentially reduced boarding times at stops, while banks, card providers and


expertviewmagazine.com


Opposite and below: Smart ticketing in action


mobile network providers recognise the commercial value of the worldwide smart ticketing market. All parties recognise the opportunity to increase


their knowledge of network usage and individual customer habits and preferences, which in turn optimises the transport network, pricing and ticketing strategies. In addition, smart ticketing provides an opportunity to offer customers location based, time-limited and targeted products and services in conjunction with retail or marketing partners. From the customer perspective, smart ticketing offers a simpler transport journey with more flexible ticket options, increased security, and easier online payment options. However smart ticketing projects can involve


challenges. As with live bus information projects, they involve large stakeholder groups including public sector, transport operators, technology and financial service partners. At the same time technology, systems and customer aspirations continue to evolve. Tis presents project managers with a moving target and the need to provide flexible solutions, while keeping one eye on future development. No easy task within a committed scheme budget. Te legal and administrative structures governing


transport operations can also impact on delivery. For example the deregulated commercial bus network outside London has complicated and delayed the roll out of multi- operator smart card products in the rest of the UK. In many areas of the country, smart card ticketing has only been used to manage the national concessionary travel scheme. Nevertheless smart tickets


can be delivered across a range of ticketing media. Transport


for London has implemented cash-free buses, and now accepts Oyster smart cards, travel passes, contactless payment cards and a number of contactless mobile phone and tag systems across their entire transport network. Outside London, WYG have


delivered a smart card system and the UK’s first 2-D mobile phone-based bar code ticketing system for buses. Tis is a multi-operator system delivered on behalf of Hertfordshire’s


Intalink partnership. It was developed in conjunction with Init, Hertfordshire’s live bus information system provider, Corethree, a UK based provider of M-ticketing products and the University of Hertfordshire. To conclude, there are many different elements


to smart transport systems. WYG is also assisting Transport for London to develop smart freight solutions and road safety initiatives. It is clear that smart transport has huge potential to develop and grow. WYG has the experience and know-how to help achieve this.


EV For further information, email: stuart.maxwell@wyg.com EXPERTVIEW SPRING 2015 19


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