Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation  noise  music  property  testing  crafts 

New real-time information system for Canterbury’s public transport

Wednesday, May 4, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: transport, public, services, technology

Environment Canterbury media release: 2nd May 2022

Late last year Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council successfully launched the new real-time information (RTI) system for the Metro public transport network. The implementation was completed when the Bus Interchange technology was upgraded.

Over the last 12 months, the project has refreshed and upgraded Metro’s RTI system replacing the previous radio-based solution with a GPS based solution supplied by NEC NZ Limited. 

The elements of the solution include improvements to:

  • the Bus Interchange;
  • on-bus equipment;
  • on-street bus locators;
  • feature rich bus location data;
  • the online passenger journey tools; and 
  • APIs to feed third-party mobile applications.

The new system also provides a bus operator management system which enables operators to manage their buses to Metro timetables and enables the monitoring and measuring of bus reliability on the Greater Christchurch network. 

Real time information a real game changer

With the project complete, Metro customers can experience accurate, real-time arrival information. Every bus in operation on the Greater Christchurch network provides an update on its position every second, and at a high level of accuracy.

“This timeliness of information gathering is crucial to be able to monitor and manage where and when we need to alter or make improvements to the network or timetable,” Environment Canterbury Manager of Public Transport Business Services and Improvement Jeremy Dickson said.

The previous system suffered from black spots in some areas, where the radio-frequency data could not be relied upon and the new system is designed so it can be integrated with other systems and evolve over time.

“As the Metro network grows, technology advances and customer expectations increase, we need to be able to be able to evolve to meet those expectations,” Dickson said. 

Project partners pleased to implement new system

NEC New Zealand Managing Director Mel Barber said they have been excited by the opportunity to work with the project partners to implement this new technology.

“This commitment is through a multi-year agreement that will see us, partner, together to continuously improve the passenger journey and experience for Cantabrians. NEC is committed to continue the build of our Smart Transport Centre of Excellence in the ANZ region,” she said.

The project was complex, involving multiple parties, software, and hardware for a fleet of 251 buses and the Diamond Harbour Ferry.

“COVID-19 restrictions right in the middle of upgrades meant scheduling complications, but the project team, operators and NEC were very agile in their delivery and we’re really happy we were able to deliver it,” Dickson said.

“With numerous stakeholders involved in the project, getting to a stage that we’re all happy with how things are going is a really great outcome,” he said. 

“The Bus Interchange - which allocates buses to bays in real-time - had to have its hardware and software completely swapped out.

“Upgrading the system on a network which operates 19 hours a day, 7 days a week was always going to be challenging. There was little margin for outages, testing and deployment.

“One of our key objectives in this implementation was to not disrupt our passengers. We’re proud that we were able to meet that goal,” he said.

Christchurch City Council Transport Operations Manager Stephen Wright says that the new system will mean there is more accurate and more accessible information at bus stops across the city.

“The new bus finders are easier to see, hear and operate, making it easier to catch the bus,” he said.

Regional planning provides framework for future improvement

During the development of the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP), reliability and punctuality were highlighted by the community as critical to public trust in, and use of, public transport.

“This is the key system that underpins our ability to deliver a service that meets these expectations and to measure and improve services over time,” Dickson said.

Now that the real time information system is in place, improvements to the service are able to be delivered, such as managing and minimising the bunching of buses, and improvements to driver display units with turn-by-turn instructions to assist with driver training.

The NEC system also has inbuilt machine learning that over time accommodates the impact of traffic at busy times of the day and/or week to allow for traffic in its predicted arrival times.

“These and other opportunities that emerge with the new solution will enable us to continually deliver improved reliability that we set out to achieve via our RPTP,” he said.

Customers will notice some changes

The launch means that customers will notice changes including better accuracy of journey planning tools and third-party mobile applications, correct te reo pronunciation at the interchange and more advanced on-street infrastructure including text to speech options. 

Customers who use Metro services in hilly areas and at the edge of the network will also find increased coverage of real-time tracking where it previously wasn’t available – meaning their estimated bus arrival times will be more exact.