This past July, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of one of the greatest feats of modern science -- the Apollo 11 mission. After traveling 238,000 miles, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Apollo 11 lunar module and did what no one had ever done before; he stepped onto the surface of the moon. The navigation system of the lunar module that flew the astronauts to the moon was powered by the Apollo Guidance Computer. While the computer was sophisticated by 1960’s standards, it had 1,000 times less processing power than a modern-day iPhone – 1,000 times less! If NASA could safely land a spacecraft 238,000 miles from the earth with such primitive equipment, imagine how we can enhance modern-day travel with the smartphones we carry in our pockets.
Transporting large numbers of people in different directions involves many moving parts and can be a challenge for transit agencies. Even a slight issue with any one part of the customer journey can cause delays and dissatisfaction. The solution: increased digital connectivity. By connecting with customers via their smartphones, transit agencies can offer enhanced services that make the overall riding experience more convenient and enjoyable.
Some experts believe that these new digital technologies are the single most critical advancement occurring in the transportation industry and that the industry must continue to explore the opportunities and implications of integrating these technologies into their day-to-day operations. 1
By collecting data and providing information to consumers in real-time, transit agencies can help consumers plan their journeys even if they involve multiple modes of transit. According to The Fourth Wave of Digitalization and Public Transport: Opportunities and Challenges, agencies can use the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect and share data related to the following:
• Vehicles: location, occupancy level, vehicle status, presence of on-board staff, etc.
• Passengers: time and location of entering and leaving vehicles, individual preferences, and destination, ticketing data, etc.
• Infrastructure: the status of transport links; for example, congestion or the number of people at a certain location or stop
Here at RATP Dev, we are constantly developing digital technologies to provide a superior transit experience. At our facility in Annemasse, France we have one of the most comprehensive applications of its kind in place. It features a multimodal journey planner that allows a passenger to add a bike, taxi, or ridesharing option to their public transit journey. Passengers can pay for their modes of transit with mobile ticketing, check public parking capacity in real-time and locate car-sharing opportunities based on their location – all within a single application and interface. Similarly, in Algiers, Algeria where we transport 28 million passengers every year, we are introducing new digital applications for passengers to access real-time transit options. By transitioning from physical to digital kiosks, we have also seen an increase in customer satisfaction!
As modern technological breakthroughs transform the public transportation industry, RATP Dev remains on the cutting edge, providing information to our customers through their handheld devices which increases their mobility possibilities and connects them to economical options, educational opportunities, and recreational venues. Through innovation and technology, we are reshaping the way we deliver public transportation to drive the transit industry forward.
- Real Time
- Customer Satisfaction