Video – Operator improves bus and light rail schedules

With a challenging network that is often in flux, Blackpool Transport needed a robust schedules software solution to manage its bus fleet and light rail system. 

The coastal resort operator has an ever-changing combination of residents and visitors and needs to balance this against seasonal peaks in demand. It said a one-size-fits-all solution simply would not work. 

Blackpool Transport started using the Omnibus solution more than 20 years ago – and has been meeting these complex market conditions ever since. 

Simon Harris, network planner, said: “With Blackpool being a seaside resort we have to have a service that can work for the residents of Blackpool and for the tourists that came here. 

“Our lovely promenade in the summer is full of traffic and nothing appears to move for days on end but in winter there’s nothing here. So, we need robust timetables that mean we can have a reliable bus service in winter when there’s no traffic around and a reliable timetable in summer when things are congested.  

“By using the Omnibus programmes, we can have different times for different days, weeks and different times of the year – to do this all manually would be impossible. Thanks to the Omnibus programs we can make a summer service and a winter service work efficiently and effectively for the people of Blackpool.” 

The operator runs a fleet of 130 buses and one of the world’s oldest electric tramways within the boroughs of Blackpool and Fylde and into the surrounding areas of Fleetwood, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton Cleveleys and Preston. 

The same Omnibus software is used to improve its light rail schedules. 

Simon said: “To get the trams out there in the summer and particularly during the illuminations is hard work because it attracts lots of people to the town of Blackpool. In most places in autumn where the need for services is reduced, our trams are in demand because it’s the best way to view these lights. 

“Thanks to the Omnibus systems we can write timetables that are robust nowadays compared to many years ago and it’s all done through the same great software that we use for the buses.”