Transport operator Stagecoach says its Optibus software well enable buses to be planned more efficiently and therefore reduce CO2 emissions in the process.
Stagecoach, one of Britain’s biggest bus, coach and tram operators, has announced a major investment in new technology that will help plan the bus networks of the future to match the changes in how people travel coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The operator is planning to roll out its Optibus software platform, which uses a combination of artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and cloud computing to deliver smarter timetables and networks and keep up with the continually evolving demand for travel.
It will help deliver the most efficient timetables and rosters that offer customers both attractive frequencies and reliability. Stagecoach says it will also reduce CO2 emissions as buses can be planned more effectively.
Optibus’ rapid scenario creation will allow planners to identify different options for the most efficient and effective delivery of routes and timetables and quickly see the impact of any changes, enabling decisions to be made that put passengers at the forefront.
The technology will reportedly also help Stagecoach to roll out its new electric vehicles more quickly and more effectively by ensuring factors such as charging locations and charging times are included in the schedules.
“With our 40-year history of delivering innovation, it is crucial that we continue investing in the latest technology to provide the best services for our customers and to help attract new customers,” said Carla Stockton-Jones, UK Managing Director for Stagecoach.
“As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be able to respond to changing circumstances quickly and alter timetables and operations delivery to best suit the needs of our customers and communities.
“This major investment will give our planning teams the latest cutting-edge technology to help ensure that timetables can be planned faster and more easily.
“We are confident that as we come out of the pandemic, this new technology will help us to plan the bus networks of the future and ensure that buses continue to play a key role in the country’s recovery.”
Following pilots later this year, the Optibus platform will then be rolled out in a phased approach across the regions.
Optibus CEO and co-founder Amos Haggiag added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that cities and public transportation providers must be flexible and innovative to be able to adapt rapidly and reach informed, data-driven decisions that best serve residents’ changing travel needs.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Britain’s biggest bus operator to power a pandemic recovery that puts passenger needs at the forefront while transitioning to a zero-emission fleet – helping us all to breathe easier.”