The addition of simulations to CitySwift’s Evolve module allows bus operators to analyse the predicted impact of various runtimes
Operators can compare the trade-offs for different sets of runtimes in a risk-free, digital environment
Imagine being able to find the optimal outcome for your bus network, balancing trade-offs like cost and punctuality, with just a few clicks instead of risky on-the-road experimentation. CitySwift, the public transport data platform, has made this possible with the addition of predictive simulations and scenario planning to its popular Evolve module.
CitySwift Simulations is an industry-first, allowing bus operators to predict the impact of changes to the network ahead of time, in a matter of minutes. It can help them to understand the performance versus resource trade-offs of different runtimes instead of treating passengers as guinea pigs.
Change is the only constant in this industry – there’s different mobility patterns – and to alleviate any risk, you want to know the impact of changes before you make them, where possible
“Testing something on the road is incredibly inefficient,” explains Alan Farrelly, CCO and co-founder of CitySwift. “We are in an environment now where we have a greater focus than ever on the passenger. It’s something we should always have had, but it has been impossible without access to data. Change is the only constant in this industry – there’s different mobility patterns – and to alleviate any risk, you want to know the impact of changes before you make them, where possible.”
The addition of simulations to CitySwift’s Evolve module allows operators to analyse the predicted impact of various sets of AI- generated runtimes on their network. They can input a set of runtimes and the simulation will reveal the resulting punctuality and PVR (peak vehicle requirement). It will also estimate the cost of these ‘what if’ scenarios.
This enables operators to compare the trade-offs between performance and resource measurement for different sets of runtimes in a risk-free, digital environment. CitySwift generates runtimes by analysing and redistributing excess time in the network, making the most out of available assets.
It makes it much easier for operators to find the optimum balance between the needs of passengers, shareholders and local authorities. From CitySwift’s perspective, these simulations are the product of tireless innovation by the Galway-based company.
This is just the beginning for CitySwift’s innovation roadmap … 75% of our resources go into research and development
“This is just the beginning for CitySwift’s innovation roadmap,” says Farrelly. “75% of our resources go into research and development. We are focused on creating more and more value for bus networks by enabling them to leverage data in their everyday operations and decision making.”
The result is great expertise in getting the most from public transport data.
“Analytics for analytics sake is worthless,” he adds. “You need to be able to apply data and insights to the real world, and make changes on the road that work. That’s the big differentiator for us.”
Farrelly believes that the Simulations module is a game-changer for the bus industry, both in the UK and elsewhere. The feedback from a beta launch with existing clients has been “phenomenal”. He says that the current way of doing things is held together by schedulers who are “geniuses … but they are getting rarer and rarer. We need to find ways to support them and save them time”.
He continues: “Bus operators can’t be sure what the performance is like before they put it on the road, and they have to sit there and look at it for three months to six months before they can change it. When you think about the pain that causes to every single stakeholder. You have passengers really unhappy, shareholders really unhappy, and local authorities really unhappy.”
You need scenario planning. The industry needs more predictive analytics. This is only really the cusp of what is possible
“It’s nothing short of extraordinary when you take a step back. You need scenario planning. The industry needs more predictive analytics. This is only really the cusp of what is possible.
“Analytics is only level 1. Simulations and scenario planning is the future, and I think it’s really going to be ‘what else can we simulate?’ We can simulate endless what-if scenarios across different parts of the network. It’s going to be powerful for the industry and the results will really benefit operators, passengers, and the public sector in equal measure.”
FIND OUT MORE: www.cityswift.com
This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.
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