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First Bus to use AI to Ensure Timetables Remain Accurate

2 min

Image Credit: EDDIE, Unsplash
First Bus has announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with Prospective.io to deploy its AI platform. Quadrant Transport looks at how this will help make timetables more accurate and encourage more people to use public transport.

It will be deployed in Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester, the West of England, Essex, and West Yorkshire. First Bus has said that the deployment will improve service punctuality for over half a million daily passengers and enable local scheduling teams to make subtle schedule changes throughout the year to maintain service quality.

Resources And Time Has Been Saved

Use of the automated scheduling system (FlowOS) has led to improvements in service punctuality and reliability in First Bus’ West Yorkshire operations.

In addition to this, it has helped to save fleet resources and staff time that can now be invested back to improving local service delivery.

By using the new platform, First Bus Schedulers are now able to create or adjust full timetables and vehicle schedules for individual services in minutes, a process that can typically take days.

First Bus has said that this empowers local teams to make more frequent, subtler changes to services that ensure that timetables will remain accurate throughout the year.

Quick And Accurate Network Planning Decision Making Can Be Delivered

Simon Pearson, First Bus Chief Commercial Officer, said: “By combining automated timetabling and vehicle scheduling from Prospective, along with our recent investment in Optibus driver rostering software, it means that our scheduling team can now deliver speed, accuracy and flexibility across the full spectrum of network planning decision making.”

This deployment will further improve the customer experience and unlock more time for our local teams to explore service design improvements using the best available data.

First Bus now has the capability to leverage three years’ worth of real-time operational fleet data on passenger and vehicle flows.

It can now identify how bus travel times fluctuate by the hour of the day, day of the week, and by season, and how to accommodate this variability as efficiently as possible.

Also, it can find out how passengers flow through its services and what this means for boarding times, and vehicle occupancy at different times of the day.

The third thing it can identify is when and where to add or remove time in timetables to ensure enough time for services to remain punctual without slowing overall journey times.