Public transport management in times of crisis

Public transport management in times of crisis

The management of public transport in Bizkaia has also been affected in these times of crisis that we are experiencing. At Ingartek we have been working in recent weeks together with different agents and administrations, so that the territory’s public transport network continues to offer its service as normal as possible.

It has not been an easy task, since the changes have been happening day by day, which has meant that the management of public transport has also had to adapt to each situation as soon as possible.

Agile tools for decision making

Planning the management of a public road transport network means determining which services are to be offered and how often. But in a situation like the current one, the need for agile management tools that provide ad hoc information at all times has become clear, more than ever.

In order to respond to current needs, it has been essential to work in a coordinated manner between different agents in order to have an adequate transport offer in the short term that is more based on the safety of people than on the characteristics of the service itself.

How have we approached this re-planning and service adjustment? In the first place, we have analyzed the measures detailed in the different orders established, both by the central government and by the local administration, with powers over the management of public transport.

In other words, the measures or requirements have been analyzed and the critical indicators that must be taken into account have been identified in order to adjust to all those requirements that are established. It has also been analyzed from which systems this information can be extracted in the most automated and agile way.

The key agents in this process have been identified and an information exchange protocol has been established through a shared information system. Once the channel for the exchange has been established, the information has been monitored and a control panel fed from this centralized information has been configured. This control panel offers the people who have to replan the service disaggregated information at the highest level for decision-making.

Five large blocks have been identified on which it is essential to collect information.

Methodology based on five tasks

Ingartek has lent its knowledge both about the characteristics of the transport networks, as well as the management of the information used in their design and planning, to obtain indicators and the treatment of information that allows responses to each scenario. Likewise, the accumulated experience in this type of task has been an important point to focus the methodology to be developed. The specific tasks that have been addressed revolve around the following areas:

  1. Design of a space for the “agile” and “secure” exchange of information, where all the information is integrated and available.
  2. Identification of critical indicators necessary to cover the reporting needs to other administrations, as well as indicators that serve to manage supply based on demand, along with indicators that allow anticipating problematic situations such as contagion among driving personnel, or of critical personnel to maintain control of the service.
  3. Definition of the appropriate formats for the exchange and management of said information, so that its subsequent treatment is immediate and allows the critical indicators to be obtained.
  4. Construction of dashboards that allow visualizing all those critical indicators for the management of the situation, the design of planning and the preparation of reports.
  5. Generation of methodologies for updating all this information in a semi-automatic way, to keep the dashboards updated in the shortest possible time.

All this has been designed without losing sight of the management tools used by agents and administrations.

Implement measures

The true value of this assistance lies in the possibility of implementing “quick” measures that respond to the needs detected in the very short term, but that can be linked a posteriori with the available information management tools.

Once the short-term needs are covered, work must be done on the integration of everything designed with the department’s data sources.

The knowledge that Ingartek possesses in the management of the information of the different transport systems, combined with the use of Big Data techniques for the treatment of all this information, has represented a basic pillar to carry out this assistance in transport management. public in times of crisis.

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