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May 17, 2021

Improving the Passenger Experience Through Data: Webinar Recap

Surbi Luhadia

Swiftly’s latest webinar, Improving the Passenger Experience Through Data, uncovered how authorities in Sweden are applying insights from the Open Data Portal (TrafikLab) to improve the passenger experience and route efficiency. Marta Zamanillo, Swiftly’s Senior Sales Engineer in Europe, caught up with Samtrafiken and three authorities—Skånetrafiken in Region Skåne, Region Värmland in Värmland County, and X-trafik in Gävleborg—to hear how transport providers are leveraging Swiftly’s modules and an open data infrastructure to improve collaboration and better serve passengers. 

How Samtrafiken gathers data and publishes through Trafiklab (The Open Data Portal)

Samtrafiken serves as an industry liaison between the 60 private and public operators across Sweden and collects data related to ticketing, ridership, journey planning, and payment. Launched by Samtrafiken in 2012, TrafikLab is the public-facing gateway for all things data and collects both static- and real-time data interlaced with other variables such as walking patterns. 

“We have close and frequent collaboration with partners on a daily basis,” says Håkan Östlund, Partner Manager at Samtrafiken. TrafikLab became the industry’s trusted tool by monitoring data quality and using standardized formats, such as NOPTIS (The Nordic Public Transit Interface Standard) and GTFS across operators. Östlund adds that using one model and structure that authorities are comfortable with improves data aggregation. 

How authorities are transforming data into insights and visualisations into actions 

Once TrafikLab publishes the data, Skånetrafiken, Region Värmland, and X-trafik leverage Swiftly to transform the data into actionable insights. Swiftly consumes the GTFS and GTFS-RT provided by TrafikLab to compare the actual vehicle location in real time against the schedule and can analyse this delta to improve the punctuality and reliability of the routes. 

“Live Operations helps us see strange driving patterns and how the traffic is moving so that Customer Service can quickly see the vehicle, route, and trip in different views and answer the customers calling in,” says Robert Eriksson, Database and GIS Administrator at X-trafik. Eriksson explained how the connection between Swiftly’s Live Operations, GPS Playback, and Speed Map are instrumental in pinpointing disruptions, which X-trafik can then document and send to the city. 

“Before Swiftly, I would spend half a day per bus line gathering data, but now I can gather everything with just a few clicks,” said Carl West, Traffic Planner from Region Värmland. West utilises Swiftly’s On-Time Performance module for quick health checks of the entire system and to focus on parts of the route that need additional attention. 

Anastasia Malmros, Development Manager at Skånetrafiken, spoke about the issues facing transport leaders today; how the ultimate goal of increasing ridership and improving the passenger experience is dependent on reliable timetables. Our speakers discussed how they can leverage data from Swiftly to adjust timetables, shaving off minutes from each route. When aggregated, these minutes add up to hours saved and significant cost reductions. Especially as traffic patterns fluctuate, these authorities have benefited from using Swiftly to quickly and easily create reliable timetables.

How data tools and portals can improve innovation and collaboration

Our three panelists from Skånetrafiken, Region Värmland, and X-trafik all described the cost and resource savings they’ve enjoyed by leveraging what TrafikLab and Swiftly have created instead of developing their own data tools in house.  At Skånetrafiken, Malmros and her team haven’t had to gather data manually anymore. Data is readily available through Swiftly, saving time and enabling them to respond faster to an ever-changing transportation world.

Open data also breeds innovation. With a free portal that is available to everyone across the Swedish transportation landscape, authorities are now empowered to release their data without the overhead of managing the data. As Östlund puts it, “The innovation increases with open data on a national platform like TrafikLab and it is a one-stop-stop for developers.” 

“In Sweden collaboration is important and we collaborate with our operators and municipalities. But in order to do this effectively, we all need to look at the same data,” says Malmros. By looking at the same data and a single Swiftly dashboard, administrators across the network — whether they be planners, operators, or customer service providers — can have informed conversations and make joint decisions.

 

Want to hear more about how Swiftly is working with Swedish Public Transport Authorities? Watch the full webinar recording here

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