In an ongoing effort to make public transportation more efficient and attractive to riders, Regional Transit Service (RTS) in Rochester, N.Y. is upgrading its fleet's onboard hardware and software with technology from Conduent Transportation. The enhancements will include a new driver-assist system to help keep buses on schedule, ultimately providing better service to passengers.
Conduent Transportation installed the original computer-aided dispatch/automatic vehicle location (CAD/AVL) system in 2001. The system connects vehicles to back-office scheduling and dispatching software, allowing transit operations to run smoothly.
As the current system reached the end of its useful life, the company proposed an upgrade to the existing CAD/AVL system, including replacing aging hardware and updating software. Following a successful pilot, RTS and Conduent reached an agreement to proceed with the full fleet implementation, which will extend the system's lifespan and save RTS approximately $8.5 million.
The upgrade includes the Conduent Fleet Management System and Service, which consolidates and simplifies vehicle operations, allowing more integration, expandability and connectivity with communications on the bus and across the entire system.
The integrated onboard vehicle processor is a durable open platform designed for the public transit industry. It provides the computing power needed to receive various data streams on vehicle performance and deliver them to a dashboard monitored in real-time by dispatchers, drivers, mechanics and supervisors.
For example, RTS supervisors will have immediate access to data for buses on the road. This way, if there is an incident with a bus, like an accident or breakdown, supervisors can respond quicker, helping ensure overall on-time performance.
"Upgrading RTS' transportation system will also give customers more options when planning routes via a highly accurate GPS system they can access through the RTS "Where's My Bus?" app and website," said Don Hubicki, GM, Conduent, Transportation. "By knowing in advance about roadway restrictions or delays, riders can make instant travel decisions to ensure they get where they need to be on time."
A total of 214 buses will be upgraded with these and other new features throughout spring and summer 2018. Other key system upgrades include:
- Conduent's enhanced vehicle inspection tool, which allows RTS operators to easily and efficiently record bus inspection results at the start and end of their shifts to enhance safety and optimize maintenance activities.
- Improved mapping features to give dispatchers greater visibility and control of operations.
- Enhanced detour management features, enabling RTS to quickly and efficiently notify drivers and passengers of route changes.