Transport providers, governments and citizens want more sustainable cities and an improved quality of life. In a broad sense, a better life quality is based on accessibility of areas with activities, where they work, shop, have fun or visit friends and relatives.
The requirement of sustainability dictates that our transportation system becomes greener, more digital and financially viable. Those goals can be achieved by increasing the usage of Public Transport, nonetheless, the real challenge is to make Public Transport even more efficient and digitally transform their operations.
Optimising a Public Transport service requires to break down the problem first and determine the objectives of optimisation. One can optimise for ridership (demand) analysing the trade-offs of passengers when comparing Public Transport with other modes and determining means to empower Public Transport (e.g., more and better ticket packages, more dense schedules, better buses). Attempting to maximise demand is the most standard approach for a Public Transport company and one that AETHON can greatly assist in by bringing innovative transportation ideas in addition to the transportation engineering analysis.
Another optimisation path would be to optimise for passenger satisfaction. Increasing satisfaction can result in higher ticket prices or increased utilisation of a specific service (e.g., park-and-ride). This optimisation mechanism requires a multidisciplinary team of transportation engineers and business analysts, which AETHON can provide.
Many more optimisation schemes can exist depending on the operators’ needs and wishes. We assist our clients to decide on a course of action based on the final goal and empower them, technically and non-technically, to execute actions regarding Public Transport optimisation.
The goal of Public Transport is to serve the end-user, the passenger. The passenger for a Public Transport agency consists of multiple and different groups with sometimes contradicting interests. Thus, the agency must find the equilibrium between those user groups and maximise the satisfaction of each group from the Public Transport services. But first, the agency must identify and define the groups.
Identification of various groups that use Public Transport might appear as an easy topic since there has been a lot of research already regarding it around the world. Yet, the truth is the quiet opposite; an immense amount of data and time is required to determine the groups that use Public Transport and that is because different groups may behave differently to time of the day, mode, ticket price (elasticity) and many other parameters. In AETHON, we can determine those parameters and the user groups through questionnaire design and execution or even by using an innovative app for data collection.
Understanding the user groups and their characteristics is essential for designing services that are adapted to user’s specific needs and wishes. Solutions for Public Transport can and should be relevant to the person(s) and not only the system. In AETHON we believe that designing such solutions is a matter of good initial data collection and good development skills. Ideas for passengers such as improved travel advice, improved journey planning, impact analysis of different ticket packages, methodologies to implement peak-spreading, park-and-ride systems and many more are only some of the ideas that we have analysed and parameterised for implementation.
Understanding the user groups and their characteristics is essential for designing services that are adapted to user's specific needs and wishes. Solutions for Public Transport can and should be relevant to the person(s) and not only the system.
Technology and Policy
Designing solutions for Public Transport is not only about technology or transportation engineering analysis. It is also about understanding potential legal ramifications of a solution and adapting it so that the solution abides to all legal concerns, for example, GDPR. This process cannot be executed without analysing the legal framework where the solution is placed which is a combination of legal analysis and inquiry of appropriate, national and European, organisations. While AETHON can and has assisted various organisations in designing and implementing policy changes, the policy aspect extends beyond the current legal framework into the willingness of governmental and other organisations to implement policy changes.
Measuring willingness to implement policy changes involves understanding the needs of end-users and goals of policy makers into creating an impactful end result. Most transportation related topics are equally extending into technology and policy; creating and implementing technologies can sometimes be as useful as implementing a new policy. For example, implementing a new ticketing scheme can be equally impactful to increasing demand as implementing a telematics (real-time vehicle location) system. Assessing the willingness and impact of policy measures might seem as a soft aspect yet, an equally effective one. AETHON assists its partners and clients by providing holistic analysis into a subject.