With daily ridership on the rise, transit agencies are increasingly challenged with maintaining accurate schedules and passenger counts. This information is essential for transit officials to ensure their fleets are scheduled to reach their transfers and destinations on time.
Such concerns are particularly relevant to Everett Transit in Washington State. Providing connections with four other public transit agencies in the region, on-time performance is crucial. To address the challenges in operating their fleet, Everett Transit partnered with Apollo Video Technology to create a solution capable of monitoring bus routes, timetables and on-time performance utilizing Apollo Video’s RoadRunner™ system.
Apollo Video Technology equipped each of Everett Transit’s vehicles with the RoadRunner digital video recorder (DVR). Interior and exterior mounted bus cameras provide video and audio recording of activity inside and around the buses. In addition, each vehicle was equipped with GPS featuring Apollo Video’s iSM™ Interface. The interface provides an interactive map that combines historical graphical route information with current vehicle GPS location and speed data, all synchronized with the video and audio recording.
The on-board GPS data allows transit managers to collect and compare weeks, or even months of data at any given time. The data is then used to analyze on-time performance, adjust timetables, visually monitor routes and adjust the number of buses per route based on boarding counts; as well as monitor peak load factors to ensure that transit vehicles and hubs meet ADA compliance regulations.
“On-time performance is a crucial component of service planning,” said George Baxter, transit operations manager of Everett Transit. “By installing these systems on our buses, we are able to gather more accurate information for making adjustments to timetables and routes.”
Prior to the implementation of this system, transit managers would install temporary equipment or dispatch field agents to count riders and time stops in order to gather data. With the RoadRunner system’s GPS technology and video surveillance capabilities, however, transit managers can now monitor multiple buses simultaneously and collect data from any bus over a much larger time span, enabling transit managers to collect a wealth of data in a more timely and accurate manner.
Everett Transit officials now use the GPS mapping and video data to monitor transit stops and verify that buses arrive at the appropriate locations and provide confirmation that pick-up times meet the demand of each stop. In addition, video and mapping data provides transit officials with the capability of monitoring specific legs of a route, while conducting boarding counts and analyzing peak load factors.
“The video and GPS data allows us to compare weeks of data at any given time,” Baxter said. “We use this information to ensure that buses are arriving and departing according to the posted timetables.”
In addition to service planning and reducing liability, violence and graffiti, video surveillance solutions can be used to ensure that transit agencies are meeting ADA compliance and other local, state and federal regulations. Audio recording synchronized with location information provides an easy method for verifying that bus drivers are making the appropriate announcements at each stop and throughout the route.
By installing video surveillance solutions, Everett Transit officials can now use data from months of operations from multiple vehicles to more easily conduct service planning and to ensure their entire fleet is in compliance and on schedule.
“The video and GPS data allow us to compare weeks of data at any given time. We use this information to ensure that buses are arriving and departing according to the posted timetables.”
-George Baxter, transit operations manager, Everett Transit
- Interior and exterior cameras with audio recording provide a comprehensive record
- On-board video is synchronized with GPS and speed data
- Easily search by time and date, event, location or speed