Irish-based SaaS (Software as a Service) company Tranzaura has worked with the London bus market since 2015, aiming to unlock the potential of technology in operators’ engineering functions. Seven years on, the solutions provider says that 55% of the London ‘red bus’ market uses its instead of paper for unplanned maintenance scheduling and planning.
Around 3.4 million individual items are now inspected every 30 days in London by bus drivers using Tranzaura’s app, which it says ensures a thorough safety check to pre-determined standards is done by walking around the vehicle, whilst recording items on a smart phone with a digital audit trail, and with benefits including improved vehicle reliability, real time defect report and improved communciations between drivers and engineers.
The company believes that an obvious start point on the digital transformation journey for the bus sector was to digitise the pre-use inspection process and take control of unplanned maintenance, in a way that engages the end users and reduces defect reporting times. However, now that has been achieved, the firm says it has moved onto solving the next challenge for the industry – centrally managing planned and unplanned maintenance on one integrated digital platform.
Drawing on its experience and understanding of how bus operations run, Tranzaura says it has now fully developed all the end user (management, driver, engineer, administrator) decision support tools in one central system, allowing operators to manage driver defect reporting and planned and unplanned maintenance in a connected and efficient way, and with enhanced security due to being built on Microsoft Azure.
The firm says its latest product will improve visibility of maintenance schedules, communications between drivers and engineers and lower cost of repairs; other benefits include live defect reporting, photo audit trails, parts and inventory management and full asset lifetime cost management, it said.
“We are so proud to be a crucial part of digital transformation in the London red bus market and also across the UK. One thing I want to highlight to the industry about this, is the significant financial savings of a digitised system, which comes from the reduction in the number of spare buses fleets have to keep on hand. We talk about operational gains, taking paper out of the system, communications. They’re all amazing, they all contribute, they all have incremental gains. But there’s nothing as mind-blowing as actually being able to remove a bus from the spare bus fleet,” said Tranzaura CEO Shane Mann.
“We were first introduced to the London bus market in 2013 by Metroline as part of an initial feasibility project. From there, many versions were tried, tested and development progressed with GoAhead London, which was the first to deploy the platform in 2019. It’s the collaboration and joined up innovative thinking from these pioneering operators that has made this industry proven solution a success.”
GoAhead London, Metroline and RATP Dev Transit London are current users of Tranzaura software in the capital, which is also being used outside of London by operators such as Nottingham City Transport, Transdev Blazefield and Newport Buses.
“In 2017, we embarked with Tranzaura on a strategy designed to achieve workplace digitisation and the elimination of unnecessary paper use. We focused in two areas – the all-important daily pre-service vehicle check and any potential vehicle defects during the remainder of the working day. Previously recorded manually via a pen and paper, Tranzaura worked with Go-Ahead London to create an intuitive app that, via a smart device, guides our 6,000 drivers around all of the key vehicle checkpoints. The subsequent record is digitally uploaded onto a bespoke database and is accessible to the engineering teams at all 17 Go-Ahead London garages. Crucially, the database analyses trends and identifies repeat faults. The digitisation process was quickly adopted by colleagues and it enables the company to demonstrate, and measure, compliance. One of its many benefits is that it allows Go-Ahead London to engage with suppliers from a greater position of accuracy and knowledge.” said Chris McKeown, Chief Engineer at GoAhead London.
“The Tranzaura App doesn’t just bring us day to day operational benefits, we have strategic long-term benefits from using this system as well,” added RATP Dev Transit London Technical Manager Seb Harrington. “The planning and engineering are much tighter, because we get all of the defects ahead of time. We can also go back and interrogate the data to see any defects from any time, as opposed to the paper system where you have to go rifling through thousands – if not millions – of pieces just to find one thing.”