First Bus to deploy automated fleet scheduling across UK operations
The new artificial intelligence system will allow First Bus Schedulers to create or adjust full timetables and vehicle schedules for individual services in minutes, ensuring that timetables will remain accurate throughout the year.
Credit: First Bus
First Bus has announced that it has signed a significant partnership agreement with Prospective.io to deploy its cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) platform, rolling out automated, data driven timetabling and scheduling software across its largest UK operating companies (OpCos).
The deployment in Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester, the West of England, Essex and West Yorkshire will improve service punctuality for over half-a-million daily passengers and will enable local scheduling teams to make subtle changes to schedules throughout the year to maintain service quality.
Use of the automated scheduling system (FlowOS) has led to improvements in service punctuality and reliability in First Bus’ West Yorkshire operations, as well as helped save fleet resources and staff time that can now be invested back into improving local service delivery.
By using the new platform, First Bus Schedulers are now able to create or adjust full timetables and vehicle schedules for individual services in minutes, a process that can typically take days. This empowers local teams to make more frequent, subtler changes to services that ensure that timetables will remain accurate throughout the year.
First Bus now has the capability to leverage three years’ worth of real-time operational fleet data on passenger and vehicle flows and can identify:
- How bus travel times fluctuate by hour of the day, day of the week and by season and how to accommodate this variability as efficiently as possible
- How passengers flow through its services and what this means for boarding times and vehicle occupancy at different times of the day
- When and where to add or remove time in timetables to ensure enough time for services to remain punctual without slowing overall journey times.
First Bus Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Pearson, said: “By combining automated timetabling and vehicle scheduling from Prospective, along with our recent investment in Optibus driver rostering software, it means that our scheduling team can now deliver speed, accuracy and flexibility across the full spectrum of network planning decision making. This deployment will further improve the customer experience and unlock more time for our local teams to explore service design improvements using the best available data.”
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