June 15, 2023

Introducing Service Metrics by Stop

Surbi Luhadia
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Graphic of Swiftly's Download Center with Service Metrics by Stop export and service analysis visualization
June 15, 2023

Introducing Service Metrics by Stop

Surbi Luhadia
June 15, 2023

Introducing Service Metrics by Stop

Surbi Luhadia

Service Metrics by Stop now live in the Swiftly Download Center

Missing service is never the goal of transit agencies — but there is nothing quite as frustrating as wondering whether service was or wasn’t delivered. Agency staff and riders are equally left in the dark and operations teams may be unequipped to investigate service coverage. 

Agencies strive to deliver and record 100% of scheduled service. But as we know all too well, this is not always realistic or possible. When service isn't delivered, passengers might be left waiting for a bus and a single missed trip or ghost bus can threaten rider trust. Agencies are facing a platitude of challenges today — operator shortages, detours, and unexpected weather changes just to name a few — and these disruptions can all threaten reliable service. At Swiftly we know how vital it is to monitor the amount of service that was actually delivered, canceled, and unobserved. That’s why we are excited to launch our newest product, Service Metrics by Stop — a CSV export that enables agency staff to look at stop coverage holistically and pinpoint areas of potential data quality or service improvement. The export is highly flexible and can return a variety of stop statistics, such as determining the percentage of observed stops out of the total scheduled stops for each route in a given date range.

The Service Metrics by Stop export is available to agencies with access to Swiftly On-Time Performance, however only agencies with access to both On-Time Performance and Service Adjustments will be able to see “unexplained” service.

Here’s How it Works

Swiftly’s Service Metrics by Stop shows more granular data at a stop level and enables agencies to identify areas of concern for greater investigation. Agency staff can identify driving patterns and assess trends across the entire network and pinpoint whether certain routes, stops, vehicles are causing a greater percentage of unobserved service. This data can guide agency staff to areas in need of further investigation and to make system improvements.

The Service Metrics by Stop export showcases service coverage at the stop level broken down into three categories: 

1. Observed Service

These are stops for which an arrival and departure time is recorded. Agencies strive for 100% of observed service as this indicates 100% of delivered service, but this is not always the case . . .

2. Canceled Service

These are stops for which service was canceled and recorded via Swiftly Service Adjustments or Swiftly’s Bulk Cancellation API. Though service was undelivered, there is a record that changes to service have been communicated to agency staff and riders.

3. Unexplained Service

These are stops for which an arrival and departure was not observed or recorded and Swiftly and agency users are left without a clear picture as to why. It is important to note that unexplained service is essentially unobserved and could include service that was truly undelivered, or could include service that was delivered but was unrecorded. There are a lot of potential what ifs: a bus that just never showed up, an AVL outage meaning data was never sent to Swiftly, a trip that wasn’t served but never canceled in the GTFS-rt so the changes weren’t communicated to riders.

CSV exports enable agency staff to create custom visualizations or charts that can be leveraged for cross team collaboration. The data can be grouped by route, vehicle, or stop for agency staff to slice the data in multiple ways. 

Leveraging Swiftly’s Service Adjustments to reduce “unexplained” service

Service Metrics by Stop provides a comprehensive overview of your agency’s service delivery — but what is really powerful is how your agency can use this data to reduce “unexplained” missing service. Operations staff can proactively enter in trip modifications including detours or canceled trips or blocks into Swiftly Service Adjustments. For agencies with access to Swiftly’s Service Adjustments and Rider Alerts Integration, these changes of service can immediately be pushed to riders via 3rd party applications. 

How else Service Metrics by Stop can work for your agency

Improving Rider Experience
  • Agency staff can leverage Swiftly tools to ensure changes to service are communicated to riders. If canceled service or detours are properly logged in Service Adjustments, riders are not left in the dark and are able to make more informed transit decisions.
Contract Management
  • For agencies using third-party contractors to operator service, Service Metrics by Stop enables agency staff to track the service that contractors actually delivered versus any service that they may have missed. Agencies can leverage Swiftly’s data to evaluate which contractors are reliably performing and make any future data-driven decisions.
Supporting State/Local/NTD Reporting
  • Aggregating service delivery datasets for reporting is time consuming, manual, and prone to errors. Service Metrics by Stop streamlines the process of organizing multiple datasets and presents the metrics in easy-to-use formats.
Addressing bad stop locations
  • Service Metrics by Stop provides insights into instances of continual unobserved service, which could be an indication of a poor stop location or lack of GPS connectivity.
Assessing AVL Outages
  • Unobserved service may be an indication that an AVL outage occurred and service coverage was unrecorded.

Swiftly's Service Metrics by Stop is available to agencies with access to both Swiftly On-Time Performance and Swiftly Service Adjustments. Want to see how Swiftly’s Service Metrics by Stop can work for your agency? Reach out for a demo.

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