Switching RTPI suppliers, with Gloucestershire County CouncilThe Trapeze Team | July 30, 2015
It can be daunting to change Real-Time Passenger Information (RTPI) systems, but one organisation that has recently done so is Gloucestershire County Council. We contacted the Integrated Transport Unit to find out how it went.
The first question is the obvious one: why change? Transport Technology Officer Nick Bauer says, “The previous system was growing increasingly clunky. It was obsolete.”
Nick and his team have been pleasantly surprised by the smooth transition process: “It’s been a success due to the excellent communication and dialogue. Trapeze were great – they kept us informed throughout the process; with regular meetings and conference calls.”
This same level of communication was brought to the training process: “It’s a simple system; but, having worked with the old system for so long, it was always going to take a bit of time to get used to a new way of working,” says Nick. “But the Trapeze trainers were fantastic; they just walked me through it. So it was an easy transition.”
And communication doesn’t end with the final training sessions: “If an issue occurs, the resolution is so quick. After logging a fault the resolution is swift, it maybe takes half an hour to have any problem solved– it just gets resolved there and then. We have never had a response like that ever,” says Nick
During the transition to Trapeze, if an issue occurred conference calls were set up quickly between all parties so that it can be discussed and dealt with before becoming a major problem to the project. “The sharing of desktops during the conference calls was also helpful so that we could all see exactly what was being discussed,” Nick continues.
“I found that the old company could be quite silent if you ever raised any suggestions or highlighted where improvements were needed,” Nick adds. “They never came back to you to let you know if some new modification had been made – they didn’t let you into the loop.”
“The key is working with your supplier throughout migration process – it’s so important and Trapeze were great for that. But of course it doesn’t stop at installation – it’s an ongoing relationship.” Nick says.
Gloucestershire have been using NOVUS RT for a couple of months and are already seeing significant benefits: “Previously we had RTPI running on schedule information – so arrival times didn’t take into account the realities of public transport. We would get people asking why buses weren’t at stops when the display units said they should be,” Nick says.
“The new systems are so much more accurate, using real-time data from multiple sources to track vehicle locations incredibly accurately. Comparing the old system to the new NOVUS one is like chalk and cheese; NOVUS RT is so intuitive and easy to use, and the information we can collect is so much more reliable and accurate.”
Concerned by the prospect of changing RTPI suppliers? Take a look at the example of Gloucestershire County Council. Read the full Gloucestershire County Council case study here.