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Transit agencies now have access to a powerful new tool that can help to speed up travel times and improve ridership with the release of Opticom Analytics for Public Transit from Global Traffic Technologies (GTT). The web-based platform can help agencies assess performance, reveal problem areas and make corrections to provide faster, more efficient transit operations.

Turning valuable data into actionable insights is a key step for communities working to become connected, smart cities, said Global Traffic Technologies’ (GTT) president Jason Lund.

Becoming a smart city is an incremental process,” Lund said. “Opticom Analytics is a logical first step - it provides tangible, immediate improvements that improve mobility in your community.Buses can request an extended or truncated traffic light cycle, reducing travel time

Reduced travel time

GTT, a provider of priority control solutions, first released Opticom Analytics for public safety agencies in June 2017. EMS World Magazine named the tool an Innovation Award winner late last year.

The analytics capabilities were expanded this year to enable transit agencies to easily view critical information about their vehicles as they pass through an intersection, as well as powerful schedule-based analytics available as part of GTT's Opticom Connected Vehicle Platform (CVP).

Transit managers can monitor key metrics such as on-time performance, Transit Signal Priority (TSP) utilisation, current route/trip information, and dwell time and travel time by vehicle or route.

GTT's system provides historical and real-time data related to how well operations are performing, and also with industry-leading Opticom TSP, buses can request an extended or truncated traffic light cycle, reducing travel time and maximising operational and on-time performance.

End-to-end management solution

GTT’s product manager Chad Mack said the new platform is an end-to-end management solution that gives users the data they need to make more informed decisions about their transit operations.Once they pinpoint the problem areas, agencies can make adjustments to enable faster travel times

"Transit managers can monitor their transit operations using real-time and historical data to assess operational performance,” Mack said. “This data has been available for years, but Opticom Analytics’ value comes from the ability to collect and analyse the data in a meaningful way.

Knowing where a transit system’s problem areas are can help agencies make changes that improve their on-time performance and ridership.

Once they pinpoint the problem areas, agencies can make adjustments to enable faster travel times and reduce the chance of a delay,” Mack said. "Those adjustments can range from adjusting the posted schedule to fine-tuning the system concerning when Opticom TSP is allowed to request priority to help get a bus through the intersection faster."

Opticom CVP and GPS-enabled hardware

The analytics software relies on data collected from Opticom’s GPS-enabled hardware and the Opticom CVP. Data logs from the vehicle equipment are securely uploaded to the analytics platform via a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

GTT’s system provides data that goes beyond what is typically collected from a vehicle’s onboard computer. GPS data from the Opticom system is logged at 1-second intervals for accurate and detailed vehicle and intersection information.

There are a lot of valuable insights that can be found by collecting data every second versus only logging every 15 or 30 seconds,” Mack explained.Agencies can fix problem areas by adjusting the priority control system, adding components or performing maintenance

The information is compiled into a web-based application that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Users can sort and view performance metrics based on date, speed, travel time, vehicle type, priority control usage and more.

Efficient performance assessment

The platform gives users the data needed to assess, reveal and correct typical problems:

  • Assess performance: The interface provides an easy means to evaluate vehicle, route and intersection performance, including on-time performance, current vehicle location, signal priority usage and travel time.
  • Reveal problem areas: Mapping functions reveal problems, including slowdowns and delays caused by heavy traffic or a lack of priority control. Route and vehicle metrics show on-time performance and other key metrics.
  • Make corrections: Agencies can fix problem areas by adjusting the priority control system, adding components or performing maintenance.
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