Award winning passenger information with Traveline ScotlandThe Trapeze Team | July 23, 2015
When it comes to delivering effective, innovative information to passengers, Traveline Scotland are clearly doing something right. At the 2015 Scottish Transport Awards, the organisation scooped up the prestigious ‘Excellence in technology and innovation’ award for its use of a customised journey planning app, developed in partnership with Trapeze for spectators of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
It was the second time in just three years that Traveline Scotland had won the award in this category – the first coming in 2010 shortly after the organisation launched the original smartphone app, which was developed and adapted to meet the numerous challenges of offering spectators to the Games an effective journey planning solution.
Flexibility key during Commonwealth Games
To provide some context as to the size of the challenge, consider this: the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was the largest multi-sport event hosted in Scotland for decades, with over 1.2 million tickets sold; more than 600,000 visitors to Glasgow; and some 261 events taking place across its 11 days.
Hosted across 13 venues, but without any spectator car parking, effective public transport solutions – and innovative passenger information solutions – were vital. As Traveline Scotland Manager, Stuart McNeill explains: “We regularly plan for large events, but the difference here was the number of venues we were dealing with at the same time; and specific requirements such as Games shuttle buses and services. Furthermore, with unprecedented levels of on-road disruption, we needed to completely reinvent our normal journey planning algorithms.”
Yet the modifications made to Traveline Scotland’s app clearly played dividends, as the technology rose to the challenges presented by the Games, and coped admirably with spikes in user demand. During 11 days of events, the apps offered over 1.4 million personal journey plans to 480,000 users visiting the 13 games venues.
“Some further minor tweaks were made to systems during Games Time itself to cope efficiently with the jump in user demand, but the flexibility and speed of response by Trapeze’s customer service team meant issues were resolved in hours, and had little visible impact to most customers,” Stuart explains.
“Our part of this project was made possible by the knowledge and experience of Trapeze project planners and the flexibility of Trapeze customer service staff at Games Time itself,” Stuart adds. “Additionally, we would not have delivered without the help and close co-operation of Transport Operators, Transport Scotland, SPT and our call centre provider Teleperformance.”
Yet even though the Commonwealth Games are over, Traveline Scotland are set to continue adapting and modifying their app, so that they can remain at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to the information needs of public transport users.
Indeed, in partnership with SPT, the same ‘venue-based’ technology is now being used to provide better public transport information for travel to main hospital sites, including the new South Glasgow Hospitals.
In this way, the smartphone app will provide a lasting legacy for Traveline Scotland, and yet further proof of the organisation’s ability to deliver effective and innovative solutions to meet all passenger information needs of public transport users across Scotland.
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