Staverton, Wiltshire, based Trapeze Group announced this month it has won a contract from the Brighton & Hove for supplying and installing an integrated ITCS operations control system for the city's bus fleet.
Brighton & Hove City Council in partnership with the neighbouring local authority, East Sussex County Council, and the local bus operator, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, awarded the contract to Trapeze. In addition, the two authorities have ordered bus stop displays for Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, as well as an updated communications system.
Fourteen month programme to upgrade existing bus communications infrastructure
Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company has fleet of almost 300 vehicles, moving more than 40 million passengers a year. The vehicles serve over 50 routes with more than 2,000 stops. The company has around 1,200 employees.
Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company Ltd has been a Trapeze customer for over ten years and has owned an operations control system since 2001. This system was subsequently extended by sharing the radio and server infrastructure of East Sussex County Council, which was made available to other bus companies within the county administration.
The modernised operations control system will enable Brighton's buses to be more efficiently managed and allow vehicles of other bus operators to be integrated in the control system. Plus it will allow for the number of bus stop displays for real-time information to be gradually increased.
In the next two years, Trapeze is to supply and install hardware and software for the ITCS Intelligent Transport System as well as mobile technologies. This includes a hardware and software upgrade to the advanced on-board computers for accurate position location of vehicles and for direct voice and data communications with the bus company’s control centre.
The entire communications solution between the control centre, the vehicles and the bus stop displays on the basis of GPRS/UMTS will be renewed, to include the latest communications technology.
The project is scheduled to begin from 1 November and take an estimated at 14 months.
Trapeze and Intelligent Transport
According to Trapeze Group, "where public transport is concerned, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) have two main advantages. Firstly, they enable an operator to manage their fleet in real time, adapting schedules and operations as current conditions dictate. Secondly, the ability to provide dynamic transport information promotes the public’s confidence in public transport, and increases usage as a result."
Trapeze's ITS solutions include:
Real Time Information Systems that track a fleet’s movement and generate on-street predictions for the public. (These solutions) provide a tool to analyse schedule adherence and adapt schedules in order to optimise performance and improve service;
Driver Training & Fuel Management make it possible to analyse driving patterns, providing the means to implement safer, more fuel efficient, and more enjoyable driving techniques.
Trapeze products - Novus RT for Bus Operators
According Trapeze, its Novus RT product is designed to streamline route management as data is imported (via TransXChange or ATCO.CIF); decision support tools help manage day-to-day and exceptional service efficiently; and integrate with RTIG compliant Electronic Ticket Machines (ETMs). Schedule adherence reporting and SIRI export present prediction data to third party (local authority) systems is also offered.
NOVUS RT combines Trapeze’s real time technologies with web-enabled user interfaces to provide individual route, depot, operating company or entire group level. This means fewer people are needed to manage operations regardless of the local authority RTPI system the bus is operating on.
On-vehicle hardware is simplified by using a unified system using RTIG T030 compliant ETMs, eliminating the need to fit, remove and refit real time tracking hardware.
NOVUS RT communicates with a local authority real time system using SIRI, both in a producer and consumer mode. This means your services are presented on signs and local authority supported web and smartphone apps.
(SIRI stands for Service Interface for Real Time Information, a CEN technical specified XML format, not the iOS speech recognition technology in this case).
Worcestershire County Council has recently contracted Trapeze to provide its NOVUS RT real-time information system as part of the Worcestershire Central Real Time Information System (RTIS) project.
The council is to become only the third local authority in the UK to implement a real-time system without specific in-vehicle hardware, as the system takes data entirely from on-board Electronic Ticket Machines (ETMs).
Mobile and web solutions
Trapeze offer Passenger Information Systems, Journey Planning, and Mobile Payments and Ticketing solutions, such as its Live Travel Suite (LTS).
Brighton and Hove buses' currently offer Apps that currently offer bus travel times, provided by a local developed called Buscms.com based in Shoreham-by-Sea.
The Trapeze is currently advertising positions for web technologists and mobile application developers so, presumably, more offerings may be tied in with the announcement concerning Brighton buses.