New Zealand-based Tait Communications has completed the digital upgrade of Transport for London’s (TfL) surface fleet, fitting London’s 9,200 red buses with high-reliability digital radio communications.
A global developer and supplier of radio-based critical communications, Tait was chosen by TfL in March 2018 to replace the UK capital’s bus radio communications system with a new digital system. The project was successfully completed by Tait, on time and within budget, and covers the whole London bus network, which is made up of more than 650 contracted bus routes, providing more than two billion passenger journeys each year. The bus radio system provides high-reliability voice and data connections between all buses and TfL’s network of dispatch and control centers. The company achieved initial cutover to the new system in November 2018, with operational commencement a month later. Tait worked successfully with public transport software provider Trapeze ITS to ensure the entire fleet deployment was completed on time.
The Tait Unified Vehicle platform supplied to TfL is built with developing technologies in mind, enabling in-vehicle IP connectivity to future Intelligent Bus systems and additional communications. These include Wi-Fi and cellular alongside mobile radio, and the ability to run data applications to improve operational efficiency and service levels. Tait also supplied its EnableFleet device management system, which allowed automation of the transition from analogue to the new digital mobile radio platform. By automating the process of converting between the legacy device profiles to the new platform, and simultaneously generating a centralized management database for the devices, installation time was less than 20 minutes per vehicle. With a vehicle rollout rate peaking at 500 vehicles a month, it meant 9000 vehicles were able to be rolled out within six months.
The Tait system agreement supplied in TfL’s case also gives customers access to the extensive range of KPI (key performance indicator) reporting, monitoring and management services that the company has available from its global service management center, and on-site field services and service delivery management provided by Tait’s UK-based services team, which is on duty year-around, 24 hours a day.
Garry Diack, CEO of Tait Communications, said, “We place great value on our long-term relationship with Transport for London, so we’re delighted to have delivered fully on the trust placed in us.”