Public transport is part of the backbone of travel in the UK, and the seamless and efficient passenger experience is tantamount to the sector’s success. Research from transportfocus has found that passengers’ priorities centre around the ‘reliability and punctuality’ of services, as well as ‘accurate and timely information’ on train arrival and departure times.
Technology and data can help to provide this for passengers in a single app through Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Operator Business Information Systems (OBIS). Monika Singh, Product Manager at Nomad Digital, an expert in passenger experience, have offered sector insight into how these systems provide an improved digital and physical experience for passengers on public transport journeys.
The basics of MaaS and how it benefits passengers
MaaS systems are conceptualised to integrate multiple modes of public transport into a single platform to provide users with a one-stop digital ecosystem for passengers. These systems are designed for passengers to plan and book a journey across different options.
This can range from train routes, buses, trams or undergrounds to taxis and ride-sharing services, as well as smaller options like rental bikes and e-scooters. Convenience and streamlined organisation is the goal of these systems and can help to revolutionise travel, especially rail travel:
- Booking made simpler – booking a full journey and storing tickets in a single place gives passengers seamless transitions between transport options with no hassle of buying multiple physical tickets.
- Real-time information – passengers can use these platforms for updates on the journey, ranging from delays to schedules to changes in planned service while travelling in real-time, and feel less stressed.
- Personalised experience – through personalised suggestions, MaaS can utilise passenger data to offer the best options for travel, including timings, prices, and environmental impacts.
- Easy payment – passengers can make a single payment for their full journey rather than spreading it across multiple tickets, with fares automatically calculated for more convenient payment.
OBIS benefiting rail operators
On-Board Information Systems (OBIS) play a crucial role in successfully implementing MaaS solutions. OBIS provides rail operators with a centralised system for managing data, essential for delivering a seamless digital passenger experience. Here’s how OBIS can benefit rail operators:
OBIS will help integrate data into passenger experience like MaaS, offering rail operators a single system for managing collected data. This will become significantly important in improving digital passenger experiences:
- Integrating the data – these systems collect and integrate passenger data from multiple network points to provide accurate and updated info to passengers. Utilising ticketing and schedules will help provide this information to those travelling on the services.
- Efficient operations – by streamlining operations and automating processes, the quality of the delivery of services is greatly improved.
- Customer insights and feedback – the data collected can be analysed to offer providers greater insight into the behavioural patterns and preferences of passengers who travel on their services. It can help to optimise the scheduling and experience of future journeys, collect feedback directly and inform how to improve going forward.
Embracing solutions like MaaS and integrating OBIS into processes can help rail operators push the sector forward through digitisation. Streamlining internal operations while meeting the demands and requirements of those making their journeys while offering a comfortable experience by killing two birds with one stone in technology is a no-brainer.
Data lies at the heart of this, which is why collecting it and knowing how to best analyse it is crucial to building on improving transport. The faster these are implemented, the sooner more innovations will occur to improve operations for operators and make journeys easier for passengers.