IT-TRANS – Intelligent Urban Transport Systems Q&A

We were all geared up for IT-TRANS, just like thousands of others! We were buzzing that our industry was coming together at this landmark event. Excited with the anticipation of meeting our contacts and friends, and making new ones. Then this happened!



While we all wait with bated breath to see if and when IT-TRANS will be rescheduled. We want to share our responses to the IT-TRANS LinkedIn Q&A that took place in the weeks leading up to the show.



Why do you participate at IT-TRANS and why should people come?

With a focus on how digitization is redefining modern public transport, hashtagITTRANS is PERFECTLY aligned to our globally recognized solutions. At LIT Transit, we provide smart mobility technologies that enable next generation transit environments. We will present our entire portfolio at IT-TRANS, which includes the very latest transit management, passenger information and automated ticketing technology.



What do you consider ? the biggest challenges ? for the sector at the moment?

The new digital traveler has expectations that exceed the transit agency’s ability to keep pace. Public transport authorities and operators need to become more agile in order to provide a seamless and connected travel experience. They need to reinvent themselves with modern technology that can keep up with demands, and at the same time improve operations. Easier said than done? Well, this is EXACTLY how LIT Transit helps! Our technology solutions give customers the freedom to take advantage of emerging technologies with affordable subscription-based packages.



How will autonomousdriving impact future public transport?

One of the challenges of future mobility is looking at ways to move more people with fewer vehicles to solve urban congestion and pollution. We believe that shared electric AV services integrated with high capacity public transport will have the greatest impact on this. There’s a great deal of debate on how long it will take for autonomous vehicles to factor in transit operations but LIT Transit is certainly heading in the autonomous direction. We are currently working with customers in Australia and Mexico to implement partner ADAS systems for vehicle and passenger collision avoidance. We are also extending our transit management platform, LIT Operate, to integrate AV services with multimodal operations monitoring and management.



Tell us about your passion for IT and publictransport, what are you excited about?

There’s no doubt about it. Technology is the driving force behind next generation transit environments. It’s the only way to meet the ever-changing expectations of the digital traveler. And it’s all happening at a much faster pace than ever before. It’s fascinating. Just think about the progress that’s been made this century. Agencies can now have control over transit operations and all aspects of the passenger experience like never before.  LIT systems bring together the latest technologies to deliver the high performing public transport services that cities need and passengers want. We are now helping our customers embrace the new opportunities that autonomous and multi-modal transit present, with our fully integrated mobility platforms. We are particularly passionate about the inclusive nature of the solutions available today. Small and mid-sized agencies no longer face limitations in their ability to invest in the very latest technology. We are now in an era of software as a service, or in this case transit systems as a service. This is opening a new world of opportunity for many agencies.



Which cities and countries offer truly connected and user-friendly publictransport? What makes them good examples of modern urban mobility?

We see that all cities are at various stages in their journey towards modern urban mobility, standing out in different areas in different ways. Having said that, we would put Singapore on a pedestal closely followed by Hong Kong. If you take all factors into consideration, Singapore offers one of the most available, affordable, efficient, convenient, safe and sustainable urban transportation systems. Of course, there are many other cities that deserve praise, but we believe Singapore has the edge. They have mastered the fundamental dilemma we all face, and that’s offering a high quality service at an affordable price. We have supported such transportation infrastructures since we were established, with transit operations best practice embedded in our systems.



publictransport is one of the key factors when it comes to achieving our climategoals. What measures or structural changes would help increase passenger numbers?

This varies city by city, there isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ change. There are many solutions and strategies available today that could help to increase passenger numbers. It’s implementing those that can directly remove any barriers. If its service efficiency – operational best practice and transit management technology could be the answer. If its on-time performance – more realistic scheduling, modifying routes or bus prioritization measures could be the way to go. Maybe it’s general comfort or safety – in which case the fleet may need to be refreshed. It could also be a lack of information and trip certainty – so real-time passenger information systems come into play. Introducing different fare structures can encourage more people to use public transport at different times of the day, and offering incentives for using more sustainable transport modes can work too. There are many other factors to consider and changes that could be made, it’s about getting the balance right to meet the needs of that city and its citizens.



Intelligent faremanagement is about much more than generating and managing revenue. It is a major element of forward-thinking Mobility-as-a-Service #MaaS concepts. What are the conditions that smart Ticketing must fulfill?

Absolutely right! While electronic ticketing brings countless benefits to the agency, it’s also about providing easier more convenient ways for travelers to pay. With this in mind, the future is fully integrated ticketing across the entire public transport system. One ticket for A-Z, rather than just A-B.  When agencies introduce a smart ticketing system, they need to look for a technology stack that operates across the entire mobility ecosystem. They need to be sure it’s built on an open standards-based architecture and is integration-ready. This will give them the foundations for making the transition to multi-modal ticketing when the time is right for their city. The keywords are standardization and interoperability.



In its Clean Vehicles Directive ?, the EU sets ☝️ binding purchasing quotas for clean and low-emission buses ?? in public tenders. What challenges do publictransport operators face, and how can IT help them here?

This will bring several operational challenges as mixed fleets are more complex to operate. However, with smart technology from LIT this shouldn’t be a problem. LIT can support transport operators and authorities on their quest towards a greener-carbon-free future and more livable environments. Operations and fleet management of mixed fleets must consider several aspects from charging infrastructure to planner range perception and operational safety. Service performance will be further enhanced by AI algorithms that predict accurate journey-times, consumption and range estimations in real-time for clean buses.



The ‘digital generation’ wants mobility credit that can be accessed via an app. Transport operators must therefore become service-focused mobility providers and combine various modes of transport in a single platform. What requirements must these MaaS platforms meet?

Most of our customers are already very service-savvy because city space limitations can’t keep pace with increasing car numbers. We also see a major focus on passenger satisfaction, since election results can often be influenced by the performance of public transport services. With mobility as a service (MaaS), unified service levels across multiple modalities becomes an even bigger challenge for a city. LIT focuses mostly on the technological part, though most barriers to smooth MaaS implementation are not posed by technology. MaaS technology should enable accurate and reliable real-time journey planning, supported by bundled monthly payment packages or pay-as-you go across multiple means of transport with simple and quick validation. But other initiatives need to be considered to make MaaS successful, such as strong stakeholder collaboration, customer communication frameworks and passenger incentivization schemes. In addition, offering smooth passenger experience has to be balanced against demand-supply constraints whilst reducing traffic and making cities, regions and continents more livable.



The demand for shared publictransport is rising. In Berlin alone, the number of shared vehicles has almost doubled since 2018, reaching 32,000 according to the Mobilitätsmonitor of M-Five GmbH Karlsruhe. How can intelligent IT solutions connect this provision with public transport?

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’​ Association (ACEA) there are around 308.3 million motor vehicles in circulation on the EU’s roads. That’s more than one for every two Europeans. The number of passenger cars on the road just keeps rising. In order to reduce car ownership, especially in the cities, local authorities are supporting sharing schemes and extending their network with new mobility providers. This is making public transport more accessible, easier and quicker to use, especially for the younger generations. If implemented correctly, these models have the potential to reduce pollution, congestion and offer passengers seamless mobility without owning a car. Ideally, these mobility services need to be connected within one system that monitors, manages and regulates the mobility providers and public transport operators. This is vital for overall service performance and the passenger experience. Our role is to provide the technology that integrates all modalities into one system and enable tools for smooth execution of such complex systems.



Mobility platforms that bundle various services like taxis, rental bikes and buses offer operators a huge amount of data ????️ How can bigdata be used in a smart and useful way?

LIT Operate is already serving cities globally as a smart platform for improving service quality and passenger flow. It enables performance monitoring, asset management, demand management, driver monitoring and more – based on real-time data applied specifically to help operators optimize services. To seamlessly connect your public transit passengers to demand responsive services, we have also developed one of the most accurate and reliable ETA algorithms in the world (LIT Predict). We take things this further by providing control and response tools based on the big data outcomes. This enables agencies to quickly adapt services to real-life conditions and then communicate alterations with the driver and passengers via our LIT Inform passenger information system. We truly believe that technology has no limits and big data is the power behind intelligent mobility of the future.



These days, it must be possible to travel just as easily and spontaneously by publictransport as by car. This means that passengers must have all the latest important information. What do passengers need in terms of modern, digital information?

Today’s digital traveler is real-time and expects everything at their fingertips. They want to make informed decisions about their travel choices. They expect accurate, to-the-second information on services, departure times, journey times, connections, delays, fares, ticket options… for different transport modes. They want to get from A-Z, not just A-B. When it comes to satisfying this, transit agencies need a ‘single source of truth’ for their real-time data (RTPI), then an easy way to get it to passengers at all stages of their journey. Accurate and consistent information to help with journey planning, available in on-line planning tools and mobile apps. Prior to boarding with digital passenger information displays at stations, terminals and bus stops. During the trip using onboard digital displays and annunciation systems. Passengers now expect this across all mobility modes in a city, empowering them to make choices so they can get to their destination in a way that meets their time, cost or experience parameters.



If you want to know how important transport connections are, you only need to look at the statistics. In cities like Stuttgart and Frankfurt, over 60 per cent of people employed there commute to their workplace. What are the standards and requirements that publictransport must meet so that working people use publictransport for their daily commute?

At LIT Transit we believe that commuters need a seamless travel experience from A-Z. They should be able to quickly change legs of the trip and waiting times should be minimal. This will require public transport operators and new mobility providers to be integrated into one system and accessible through affordable subscription packages. Ongoing monitoring and improvement of such a system will need to be performed in order to maintain or increase passenger satisfaction, while keeping operations efficient and contributing to cleaner and greener cities.

Discover the technology that makes all of this possible. Contact LIT Transit today.


Posted 10th March 2020 By