December 1, 2020

South Australian Public Transport Authority (SAPTA) uses Swiftly’s APIs to customize how it uses data

Sam Lewis
No items found.
SAPTA tailors historical data generated by Swiftly to gain more flexibility and control over analysis. Photo:
December 1, 2020

South Australian Public Transport Authority (SAPTA) uses Swiftly’s APIs to customize how it uses data

Sam Lewis
December 1, 2020

South Australian Public Transport Authority (SAPTA) uses Swiftly’s APIs to customize how it uses data

Sam Lewis

South Australian Public Transport Authority (SAPTA) is responsible for overseeing the provision of public transport services in metropolitan Adelaide, and it does so by contracting different bus service providers. The agency maintains strict Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with those providers to ensure that public transport services are consistent and reliable. Easily accessible data enables the SAPTA team to track performance, enhance service, and make changes that benefit passengers. Using Swiftly’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and Swiftly’s Run-Times module, the team can quickly and easily manipulate and combine historical data about their network to get a customized look at how the system is running.

At a glance

  • Swiftly’s APIs allow analysts to tailor historical data generated by Swiftly for more customized analysis.
  • It used to take planners two months to compile comprehensive reports. Now it takes three days.
  • SAPTA’s team now uses a sample size of 9,000 trips per day, encompassing 100% of trips for a holistic view of the system.
  • Planners were able to remove up to 16 minutes of slack from some long express trips using Swiftly.

Dealing with hard-to-access, incomplete data

The team at SAPTA prides itself on providing reliable public transport for South Australians. The agency employs different service providers to deliver bus services, and SAPTA takes a hands-on approach in managing them. Its analysts and planners give the providers feedback on where they can improve service and ensure that they are meeting the strict KPIs in their contracts.

But the teams at SAPTA were finding it challenging and time consuming to use their data. And the data they were able to access was incomplete.

SAPTA was relying on its ticketing system, which documents arrival times by location, as the primary data source. While the ticketing system gave them plenty of data to work with, it was challenging to use.

It gave the agency’s project analysts an incomplete picture of how buses were running day to day, which made it hard to understand how well their service providers were meeting KPIs.

The planning team was also struggling to use the data efficiently, making it challenging to find places in the schedule where they could make improvements.

Using Swiftly’s APIs to help service providers meet their goals

Swiftly’s APIs give SAPTA easier and more complete access to its system’s historical performance and leveraged that data to specific needs. SAPTA’s analysts are now able to combine that data with existing data from their ticketing system to create custom reports, allowing them to zero in on the KPIs that matter most to them.

Not only does Swiftly give the agency more flexibility and control over how it uses its own data, it also gives them more information to work with. Now the team has data on departure times as well as arrival times, giving them a better understanding of how buses travel on their routes.

And finally, Swiftly gives SAPTA’s analysts the ability to see data for every single trip — not just random checks.

The team uses Swiftly’s API every day to build reports and communicate with service providers on adhering to KPIs and providing reliable service for customers. SAPTA will run a query in a business intelligence tool, specify a parameter of data, and view the results with its own BI software. It blends the performance data set from its ticketing system with the data returned from Swiftly to ensure it has captured every single trip.

Cutting the slack to get riders back

Accessible and complete data has benefitted more than just operations. It has also helped SAPTA’s planners in assessing running times, dwell times, and more over longer time periods, to find areas where improvements can be made — and far faster than they could before.

“We were running reports looking at a two month period of data, twice a year. And that was probably a month’s worth of work to prepare. With Swiftly Run-Times, it takes us three days,” said Andrew Every, Bus Planning Lead at SAPTA.

Swiftly has also made it easy to communicate findings to service providers, giving everyone a single source of truth. “The good thing about Swiftly is we can run a report, and the service providers have access to Swiftly so they can run the same report, and we can look at the same information,” Mr Every said.

“Now we use Swiftly Run-Times to find places in the schedule that need adjustments, and get suggestions from Swiftly on how those adjustments should be made. With Swiftly, we had something clear and solid we could take to the service providers and suggest changes to reflect actual travel times.”

Reduced run-times also means more efficient services. “If we can remove excess time from timetables then these savings can be reinvested into better services,” says Mr Every.

Looking ahead to big improvements for South Adelaide’s transport

The SAPTA team is excited about the impact that Swiftly can have,

“Swiftly has been very proactive in adapting to our needs,” says Mr Every.

“Swiftly lets us see the system in detail and we can use that information to make public transport better for the passenger; they can get where they’re going faster. And it’s better for the provider because we’re giving them feedback — it adds up to much better service,” said Mr Every.

Interested in seeing how Swiftly APIs could work at your agency? Reach out to see a demo today.

You might also like

July 8, 2024

County Connection invests in a transit data foundation for the future

County Connections invested in more accurate data to improve schedule efficiency, avoid outages, and prepare for innovative future projects.
June 24, 2024

An interview with Bibiana McHugh: Talking 2005, the most important year in transit data

We sat down with Bibiana McHugh for a conversation on the origins of GTFS and where data standards are headed in the future.
June 13, 2024

Combining anecdotes with data for a complete picture of transit operations

Examining transit data under a microscope can identify larger trends. With Swiftly’s GPS Playback, agency staff can zoom in on any line or trip.
No items found.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.