New Optibus SaaS uses AI to improve on-time transit performance and prevent delays

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Israeli technology company Optibus, which is driving some of the most complex mass transit operations worldwide, has launched a new AI-driven Software as a Service (SaaS) system that will allow transit operators to greatly reduce delays and provide improved on-time service for passengers.

As new mobility alternatives gain traction worldwide, the expectations for improved service and quality are putting increased pressure on public transit providers. Timely performance is one of the mass transit industry’s key parameters when measuring reliable service.

Since transit providers typically see a direct correlation between their quality of service and increased ridership, many transit operators are focused on improving their on-time performance to meet passengers’ expectations.

Optibus’s new OnTime optimization system is a cloud-based SaaS platform that can be implemented by transit agencies in a matter of weeks. The company’s existing cloud platform is in use by leading transit providers in over 200 cities worldwide, helping them improve quality of service, increase efficiencies, save money, and streamline their operations.

With proprietary algorithms that analyze masses of data created during daily transit operations, the new Optibus OnTime service helps transit planners determine the combination of parameters that impact on-time performance, including rush hour traffic, driver behavior, and vehicle type.

The system collects and analyzes historical operational data from GPS systems and other external sources to detect potential delays and present alternative scenarios for scheduling changes and vehicle and labor resource allocation. The platform also identifies the cost implications of these changes to create a transit plan that is both cost effective and punctual, enabling transit planners to make better informed business decisions.

“Public transportation plays a crucial role in moving people throughout a city, but poor service is diverting passengers, especially millennials, to other transit means,” noted Amos Haggiag, co-founder and CEO of Optibus.

“Our OnTime system is uniquely positioned to break this pattern by predicting hindrances to timely performance and focusing on helping transit providers increase ridership, while avoiding penalties for the operators.”

Optibus CTO and co-founder Eitan Yanovksy explained, “Although the OnTime solution was initially designed to help transit operators improve efficiencies and streamline their operations, the passengers are those who will eventually benefit from its implementation.

“OnTime will enable planners to easily identify areas or routes with a high probability of delay, and easily decide how to improve the service before disruptions even start. This will reduce rider frustration and over time make the service increasingly efficient and reliable.”

Dirk Schniedermeier, CTO for Keolis Transit America, commented, “On-time performance is a top priority for our passengers, as well as our company. We are constantly looking for innovative solutions to improve our offerings and provide better passenger service.

“The public transportation market needs solutions such as Optibus OnTime, which helps to predict and optimize on-time performance. We value our partnership with Optibus and look forward to expanding it by using their newest OnTime solution to have a positive impact on our service.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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