September 21, 2022
Swiftly Inc. and iris have partnered to integrate real-time crowding and historical ridership data with the Swiftly Connected Transit Platform. Transit agencies can now connect raw data from iris IRMA brand Automatic Passenger Counters (APCs) with the Swiftly platform to centralize ridership information in a single cloud-based system of record for transit data.
This partnership benefits transit agencies with more accurate ridership data, faster time to value, a flexible deployment model, easily accessible data, and avoiding the need for additional onboard hardware.
“We were able to deploy iris APCs and integrate ridership data with the Swiftly Connected Transit Platform in only a few weeks, where in the past a similar project may have taken months. Our staff can now analyze ridership data within the Swiftly web application to help inform decisions on how we can adjust stops and routes to best serve the most riders possible,” said Lamar Hobbs, Transit Program Administrator at Bayway.
Empowering riders and agency staff with accurate ridership data
By generating real-time and historic ridership data through the Connected Transit Platform, Swiftly empowers riders and agency staff to make informed decisions and forecasts based on accurate and available ridership information. iris APCs mount overhead on the bus and rely on time-of-flight technology to detect passengers boarding and alighting buses, resulting in more accurate ridership counts than legacy solutions.
The Swiftly platform ingests ridership data from iris IRMA sensors onboard an agency’s fleet and produces real-time crowding information as part of the agency’s GTFS-rt feed, making the data available to any passenger-facing endpoints and third-party applications. Riders can automatically view crowding conditions through agency-owned channels or third-party applications such as Transit and Google Maps, enabling them to ride with confidence.
Agency staff rely on accurate passenger counts for a variety of critical functions. Real-time crowding information visible within the Swiftly web application allows operations staff to adjust service in real-time to alleviate crowded vehicles. Agencies can use historical ridership data to inform changes and improvements at the stop or route level, optimize long-term planning and resource distribution, and communicate with elected officials and the public. Ridership information also plays an important role in National Transit Database reporting, and data from Swiftly and iris can help automate manual passenger tallies.
“The partnership between iris and Swiftly helps enable our approach to technology based on flexibility, agility, and open data standards,” says Josh Drucker, Assistant General Manager of Operations at RTA Maryland. “Having ridership information within the Connected Transit Platform helps us evaluate transit infrastructure.”
A new model for gathering and analyzing ridership data
The partnership between Swiftly and iris marks an evolution in the way transit agencies gather, share, and analyze ridership data. Rather than leverage an expensive onboard computer or vehicle logic unit (VLU), the cloud-based architecture instead relies on iris IRMA brand sensors transmitting raw ridership data to Swiftly software through an onboard commodity internet router and open data standards. Data processing then happens in the cloud through Swiftly’s Connected Transit Platform, where data can be shared with riders through a public GTFS-rt feed, analyzed by agency staff in the Swiftly web application, and downloaded as local files for further reporting. The impacts for transit agencies are better economics, faster time-to-value, flexible deployments, and data easily available for internal tools and external services.
“We’re excited to partner with iris on a novel, truly cloud-based approach to transit ridership information that delivers better accuracy, more easily accessible data, and faster time to value compared to legacy solutions,” said Jonny Simkin, CEO and co-founder at Swiftly. “By partnering with leading hardware providers such as iris, Swiftly provides transit agencies with a comprehensive solution to manage operations through the Connected Transit Platform.”
“Time-of-flight technology is a robust and consistent way to detect passengers. It is very effective in small, confined and moving spaces, like transit door ways,” said Nguvi Kahiha, Head of iris Inc. North America.
Swiftly, the first Connected Transit Platform, helps transit agencies improve their service reliability, passenger information, and operational efficiency. Today, over 125 transit agencies in 8 countries worldwide – including Los Angeles Metro, Philadelphia’s SEPTA, Boston’s MBTA, and Washington DC’s WMATA – partner with Swiftly to improve on-time performance by up to 40% and increase passenger information accuracy by up to 50%. The result is increased ridership, fewer passenger complaints, and more reliable transit operations. The platform is now used by over 7,000 transit agency professionals and impacts billions of passenger trips per year. For more information, visit goswift.ly