Stagecoach has announced a multi-million-pound investment in a nationwide Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system for its 7,000- strong provincial bus fleet in the UK.
A contract to supply and provide on-going support of the system has been awarded to VIX Technology, a global provider of integrated transit and mobility systems.
The operator plans to build on current ticketing system technology to develop a platform to deliver key service information to customers and local authorities. Work on a pilot is expected to be completed by summer 2014, with the system fully deployed in late 2015.
AVL allows for real-time service information (RTI) to be provided to passengers via smartphone apps and the internet. The system is also a cost-effective way to help local authorities deliver RTI to bus stops.
Stagecoach’s existing VIX TP5000 ticket machines already support ITSO smartcards, such as concessionary bus passes and StagecoachSmart products like the multi-journey Dayrider and Megarider tickets.
The system will be used to track vehicle location, monitoring and reporting progress in real time. It will provide this information to back office systems for use on bus stop displays, mobile apps and the internet.
Robert Montgomery, MD of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “Investment in this new system will help deliver a platform to provide better journeys for our customers, more cost-effective information provision by local authorities and improve the efficiency of our own operation.”
Peter Eccleson, Director of VIX UK and Ireland, said: “Once again Stagecoach has demonstrated its willingness to embrace transport innovation by selecting the VIX TP5000 electronic ticket machine. The new system will aggregate large volumes of RTI network data to deliver critical business intelligence to Stagecoach.”