NatEx optimising services with CitySwift
National Express has announced a deal with CitySwift, a specialist in big data and machine learning for the public transport sector. Over the three-year agreement, National Express West Midlands is to use CitySwift’s product suite to help provide enhanced network planning and optimised routes in the region to provide Covid-safe journeys.
After a successful initial roll-out, National Express West Midlands has extended its relationship with CitySwift and implemented the company’s data-driven scheduling and planning technology, which uses AI, big data and machine learning techniques. By gaining insights through the platform, the bus operator can make more informed decisions to match vehicle supply with passenger demand and improve efficiency and reliability. This should lead to a better overall onboard experience for customers, while significantly reducing operating costs.
Currently, there are 1,300 National Express operational buses in the West Midlands and 150,000 passenger journeys per day. To ensure continued adherence to social distancing requirements, CitySwift will enable the operator to share accurate bus capacity predictions on a stop-by-stop basis. This should help passengers make the right journey choices, avoid crowding and feel safer.
“The pandemic has accelerated the need for the sector to go through a digital transformation to understand how passenger demand will change” – Brian O’Rourke, CEO and co-founder, CitySwift
Brian O’Rourke, CEO and co-founder, CitySwift, said: “We’re really pleased that National Express chose to work with CitySwift. Covid-19 has forced the public transport sector to be at its most agile, which has meant the adoption of new working practices and technologies at a pace never before seen.
“The pandemic has accelerated the need for the sector to go through a digital transformation to understand how passenger demand will change and National Express is at the forefront of this, as they use our technology to ensure vehicle supply matches the demand.”
“As an organisation, we plan to be net-zero by 2030 and CitySwift plays an important role in helping us achieve that” – Chris Gibbens, Commercial Director, National Express West Midlands
Chris Gibbens, Commercial Director, National Express West Midlands, said: “As an organisation, we plan to be net-zero by 2030 and CitySwift plays an important role in helping us achieve that. By enabling networks to optimise routes, stay on schedule, and avoid crowding, CitySwift effectively increases the number of people using our buses as well as providing a safe environment for them.
“The pandemic has meant that we need to restore passenger confidence and ensure we put the right number of vehicles on the right routes at the right times to get people back on board, and CitySwift enables us to do just that.”
CitySwift’s platform is currently live with 8,500 buses in over 35 cities across the UK, US and Europe. It combines an array of big data sources to develop datasets that are unique to each bus network and geographical location. Machine learning models within the platform are trained on these datasets to deliver predictions of future operating conditions and constraints.
CitySwift’s platform offers three products:
- SwiftMetrics – instantly visualises and automatically reports detailed reliability, efficiency and demand metrics, enabling more informed decisions for network development and growth.
- SwiftConnect – uses data to encourage passengers back onto buses safely. Using AI, it predicts capacity levels for every bus, for any specific date and time.
- SwiftSchedule – helps to accurately predict journey times based on operating conditions and passenger demand, significantly reducing network review timescales and increasing network efficiency.