What happens when a Jersey-based technology business wants to work with a public transport provider and a government to make the lives of commuters easier? The answer is Track My Bus, as the Project Lead at C5 Alliance explains.
We’re in the problem-solving business. We like to look at the things we do day-in-day-out and consider why we do them and how they could be done better. One such observation was why people stand at bus stops, in all weather conditions, for so long. Surely there’s a way to know exactly when your bus is coming so you can turn up at the right place at exactly the right time?
Track My Bus is a mobile friendly website that’s now used by nearly a quarter of the population of Jersey each month which lets them see precisely where the bus they want to catch is at any given moment. It has all the other key public transport information that you’d expect, but this live tracking of individual buses is the game-changer in terms of the user experience.
The Sandbox Jersey testbed offers access to an infrastructure network which include all-island 4G mobile coverage and a user base that knows it can rely on speedy uploads and downloads so, in turn, can trust the technology.
There is a single main public bus service operator, LibertyBus, and a government keen to use technology to improve the lives of the people it serves. Digital Jersey was the conduit to linking these parties with us in order to find the best way to produce a solution.
LibertyBus’s fleet of 40 vehicles and its customer base of 4 million customer journeys annual make them the perfect small-scale operation to test and refine the technology that can then be deployed in much larger and more complicated environments.
The result is a modern, online solution that replaces the old text-based system, which required passengers to send an SMS with a bus stop-specific code, to find out (based on a pre-ordained schedule), when their bus was due. The switch to real time data led to a 45% year-on-year increase in usage of the bus service and a £13,200 reduction in costs to the government from the retirement of the legacy text system.
Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, said: “Sandbox Jersey is about maximising the opportunities a whole island’s infrastructure can offer – in this case transportation. The ability to work nimbly with key partners, in this case a transport provider and the government, means the process of concept to roll out can be fast, seamless and ready to scale elsewhere in the world.”