UK’s Stagecoach Taps Optibus for AI Planning Tool
UK’s Stagecoach Taps Optibus for AI Planning Tool

Stagecoach, Britain’s biggest bus, coach, and tram operator, announced a major technological partnership with Optibus 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 technological transformation will see the Optibus software platform being rolled out. The software is used in more than 450 cities around the world and uses a combination of state-of-the-art 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. 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 continue to put the customer first.

The new technology will 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. Last year, Stagecoach introduced Manchester’s first fleet of electric double-decker buses and is targeting a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035.

Following pilots later this year, the Optibus platform will be rolled out in a phased approach across the regions.

Stagecoach is continuing to make major strides in adopting new technology to help improve the service it offers customers. Earlier this year, it announced it was to become the first UK bus operator to nationally roll out new bridge alert technology. New digital systems have also been introduced to manage the maintenance of its bus fleet, which is helping to provide greater availability and boost reliability, and it has delivered Britain’s biggest transit contactless program.