Category: CrewPLAN

McGill’s selects Omnibus to optimise scheduling and drive efficiencies

Image showing a row of 5 stationary buses in Glasgow which are operated by McGills Buses. The bus operator uses Omnibus solutions to optimise scheduling.

27 September 2023 – McGill’s Bus Group, the UK’s largest independent operator, has selected Omnibus cloud technology to optimise scheduling at its recently acquired Scotland East operation – and with a seamless implementation taking just one week.

The decision extends its partnership with Velociti Group and comes following a rigorous assessment of other cloud solutions on the market. McGill’s determined the Omnibus cloud scheduling solution provided the optimal operational answers, is more intuitive and allows for scenarios to be produced quickly.

Image showing a row of 5 stationary buses in Glasgow which are operated by McGills Buses. The bus operator uses Omnibus solutions to optimise scheduling.

The McGill’s Scotland East bus operation runs 4 depots (Larbert, Bannockburn, Balfron and Livingston) in the Stirling, Falkirk, West Lothian and Edinburgh areas.

Colin Napier, Group Operations Director at McGill’s, said: “We need systems which support our aims for growth and profitability. Our extensive assessment firmly concluded the Omnibus cloud scheduling solution provided the most efficient answers first time with impressive speeds and flexibility that could not be matched.

“Omnibus has a deep understanding of the UK bus market and is a trusted software solutions supplier to McGill’s. Omnibus has worked closely with senior management in bringing the very latest technology to provide operational efficiencies. We look forward to developing our partnership further with the Omnibus team.”

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are delighted McGill’s selected the Omnibus suite of planning and scheduling solutions and look forward to supporting the McGill’s Scotland East operation. Users at the former operation are experienced users of Omnibus which will make their transition seamless.”

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McGill’s Bus Group: www.mcgillsbuses.co.uk
Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact
Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

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Tram Operations selects Omnibus cloud scheduling and allocation solutions

Tram Operations selects Omnibus cloud scheduling and allocation solutions

14 September 2023 – Tram Operations Limited has re-partnered with Omnibus to implement new cloud solutions for future-proofing its scheduling and operations activities.

The FirstGroup-owned operator will adopt cloud-based timetabling, vehicle scheduling, crew scheduling and rostering to increase efficiency, flexibility and collaboration.

Tram Operations selects Omnibus cloud scheduling and allocation solutions

Operational efficiency will be achieved with cloud-native depot allocation solution OmniDAS and driver app OmniENGAGE. OmniDAS optimises resources and reduces administration with real-time driver and vehicle management, data feeds to HR, payroll and operations, and automated sign-on. OmniENGAGE provides drivers with greater flexibility to view and manage their work.

Ben Groome, Operations Director, Tram Operations Ltd

Ben Groome, Operations Director at Tram Operations Ltd, said: “After extensive market research, we identified Omnibus’ industry experience, evolving software and unmatched customer service were attributes that we were looking for in a partner to support our digitalisation.

“The Omnibus modern, flexible and scalable suite of cloud solutions will enable us to improve efficiencies in our schedule planning and service delivery, allowing us to benefit from innovative technology to transform our operations.”

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “With a track record of over thirty years of providing operators with innovative solutions, Omnibus is proud to partner once again with Tram Operations Ltd. We are looking forward to supporting them in making their digital transformation a success.”

Tram Operations Ltd is the operator of Tramlink on behalf of Transport for London (LfT), providing inter-urban, cross-borough services in Southwest London for customers travelling between Wimbledon and New Addington or Beckenham Junction and Elmers End to Croydon. With over 22 million passenger journeys a year and operating over 4,200 services each week, it is one of the busiest networks in the country.

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Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

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Tower Transit selects Omnibus cloud solution for Channel Islands operations

Tower Transit selects Omnibus cloud solution for LibertyBus operation

8 June 2023 – Tower Transit, which operates bus services in the Channel Islands under the LibertyBus (Jersey) and buses.gg (Guernsey) brands, is migrating its Omnibus scheduling software to the cloud solution. 

The cloud scheduling platform will enhance collaboration, remove local infrastructure costs and reduce the demand on the group’s IT team with managed software services. The solution, which includes timetabling, mapping, vehicle scheduling, crew scheduling, rostering, timetable publicity and data sharing, will also allow Tower Transit to scale seamlessly to meet future growth needs.

Tower Transit selects Omnibus cloud solution for LibertyBus operation

Vince Dalzell, Tower Transit Operations Director

Vince Dalzell, Operations Director at Tower Transit, part of Australian based multi-modal transport and tourism operator Kelsian Group, said: “With the expansion of our scheduling team, who work from different locations, we needed a solution that allowed for greater collaboration to enable geographically dispersed teams to collaborate on tasks simultaneously. There was also a need to decommission the desktop Omnibus software to support our cloud business strategy. 

“Omnibus is a trusted partner, and we have every confidence that together our efficiency through streamlined work processes will deliver an optimised network and ultimately an improved customer experience.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “Omnibus is delighted, and uniquely placed, to support Tower Transit through our 30+ years’ expertise, deep understanding of passenger transport and ability to develop innovative technology. Our cloud scheduling solution will enable Tower Transit to work smarter from one central platform that improves accuracy, flexibility and efficiency.”

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Tower Transit: www.towertransit.co.uk

Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact
Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

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Newport Transport moving to the cloud with Omnibus to maximise efficiency

Newport Transport moving to the cloud with Omnibus to maximise efficiency

18 January 2023 – Newport Transport is expanding its partnership with Omnibus by moving its existing software to the cloud to increase efficiency. 

The operator will migrate its timetabling, mapping, scheduling, rostering and timetable publicity software to a cloud-based scheduling platform, and upgrade its depot allocation system, OmniDAS, to a cloud-native version of the solution.

Newport Transport moving to the cloud with Omnibus to maximise efficiency

The cloud scheduling platform allows for seamless collaboration on jobs, increases accuracy with automatic file management and provides operators with a clear picture of their operation through enhanced reporting capabilities.  

OmniDAS cloud provides operators with a holistic view of their operations with real-time driver and vehicle management control to enable services to be delivered safely and legally whilst minimising costs. 

The cloud solutions will eliminate infrastructure costs and together provide the capabilities Newport Transport needs to streamline processes on a secure and flexible platform. 

Morgan Stevens, Newport Transport

Morgan Stevens, Director of Delivery (Commercial) at Newport Transport, said “The modernisation of our processes is key to providing reliable bus services more efficiently, and we look forward to achieving this using software solutions we already know and trust.” 

The operator serves nearly 8 million customers every year and is the main provider of bus services in Newport. The operator, which has been in operation since 1901, runs nearly 50 services throughout the city, including routes to Cardiff, Cwmbran, Chepstow and Monmouth. It also operates the Chepstow to Bristol service with dedicated TrawsCymru buses and drivers. 

Mr Stevens added: “Omnibus has in-depth knowledge of the passenger transport market and has proven experience in cloud-deployed solutions. We are confident Omnibus will enable us to continue streamlining business processes with solutions that support our growth plans.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are proud to continue and build on our relationship with Newport Transport providing them with solutions that will further increase their efficiency and help streamline their processes. We are committed to delivering innovative solutions which support operators’ long-term goals and enable them to overcome their challenges.”

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Newport Transport: https://www.newportbus.co.uk

Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact
Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

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Video – Measuring end-to-end performance of a bus operation

Measuring the end to end performance of a bus operation

A bus operation is a complex business relying on many moving parts or links in a chain, which need to work in harmony to achieve optimum efficiency.

Key performance indicators measure how well each part is working and drive efficiency across the whole operation. The links fall into three broad categories: planning the network, delivering the service, and performance (operational and engineering) review.

In the videos below we discuss how to measure the performance of each of the components which make up an efficient, profitable and sustainable bus operation.

Measuring the end to end performance of a bus operation

Planning the network

Duty efficiency is part of the efficiency chain. In the following 4 videos we discuss how timetables and layover, vehicle utilisation, rostering and the allocation of drivers impact the efficiency chain.

Timetables efficiency

Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR)

Schedules efficiency

Actual driver cost vs planned driver cost

Building an efficient bus operation

Measuring end-to-end performance

efficiency ebook

Squarepeg Buses extends partnership with Omnibus to optimise crew scheduling

Squarepeg Buses extends partnership with Omnibus to optimise crew scheduling

25 April 2022 – Leeds-based Squarepeg Buses has strengthened its partnership with Omnibus to maximise efficiency and reduce costs around crew scheduling. 

The independent bus operator has adopted CrewPLAN, a leading automatic crew scheduling software solution, to produce efficient and compliant drivers’ duties. The agreement follows last month’s announcement of the partnership to digitalise scheduling and implement depot allocation and data sharing tools. 

Squarepeg Buses extends partnership with Omnibus to optimise crew scheduling

CrewPLAN was installed as part of the implementation project for the Omnibus scheduling suite, which includes timetabling, mapping, vehicle scheduling and rostering. All applications are cloud-based to enable Squarepeg Buses to work smarter in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

Simon Daymond, Director of Squarepeg Buses, said: “A month into our partnership, and it is clear to me that Omnibus is a trusted partner with the industry expertise and solutions we need to help us adapt effectively to unexpected events and market changes. 

“The implementation of CrewPLAN has been critical to our bus operation and couldn’t have come at a better time. All operators have been affected by driver shortages and recently we risked losing an important local authority contract because we were a driver down. By using CrewPLAN we were able to revise drivers’ duties in a more efficient way to incorporate the loss of that one driver and still deliver the contract. So, CrewPLAN has more than paid for itself within the first month.” 

Simon added: “I was very impressed at the quick turnaround of the software implementation and the knowledge of Omnibus team members, in particular Technical Account Manager Richard Yeo who delivered the product training.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are delighted about this partnership extension which demonstrates the faith Squarepeg Buses has in our software, which is designed specifically for schedulers to support operators of all sizes. 

“Linking with our scheduling software and timetabling, CrewPLAN is not only the ideal tool for producing robust and efficient crew duty schedules for current operations but is also essential for evaluating those ‘what if’ questions.” 

Established in 2009 and with a peak vehicle requirement (PVR) of 13, Squarepeg Buses provides public, private and school transport services in Leeds and surrounding areas.

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Omnibus Solutions: https://omnibus.solutions/

Press contact
Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Rowgate Group selects Omnibus for scheduling and depot allocation

Rowgate Group selects Omnibus to drive efficiencies

Rowgate Group, a leading Berkshire-based bus and coach operator, has chosen Omnibus software solutions for driving timetabling, scheduling and allocation efficiencies.  

The group incorporates three independents – Fernhill Travel, White Bus and Baileys Coaches which have a combined fleet of 70. The partnership brings digitalisation of processes to White Bus, and OmniDAS, a cloud-based depot allocation system, to all three of the group’s operators.

Rowgate Group selects Omnibus to drive efficiencies

OmniDAS provides Rowgate Group with realtime driver and vehicle management, and seamless cross-functional collaboration across its 4 locations in Windsor, Bracknell, Woking and Newbury.  

White Bus also adopts the intuitive Omnibus scheduling suite, allowing the county’s oldest independent to produce complex timetables and robust scenarios in minutes, and TransXChange tools to easily share data with other systems. 

Together the market leading software solutions provide Rowgate Group with the capability adopted by larger operators. 

Simon Rowgate, the managing director of Rowgate GroupSimon Rowland, Managing Director of Rowgate Group, said: “It is important for us to stay ahead of the game and to do this we need a partner with proven solutions and a deep understanding of the UK bus industry and the challenges operators face. 

“Omnibus is uniquely placed with the knowledge, expertise and technology to support us as we optimise our resources toward the most effective services for communities across the Home Counties and beyond.  

“The solutions cover 100% of our needs. The powerful algorithms in the software maximise results, resources and non-driving staff efficiency as well as being easy to use. We are excited about our partnership and leveraging the innovative capabilities offered by Omnibus.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “With a 30-plus year track record of supporting the passenger transport industry, Omnibus is proud to provide Rowgate Group with software solutions which will help drive business growth by improving operational efficiency across the business. Our comprehensive solutions continue to make Omnibus the partner of choice for smaller independents up to large global operators.” 

The scheduling suite consists of powerful timetabling, scheduling, mapping, rostering and crew duty modules, while OmniDAS can allocate and manage resources, produce timesheet and payroll information, and automate staff sign-on. This allows organisations to focus on service provision without having to worry about time-consuming administration.

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Press contact
Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Video – Crew scheduling system enables Tower Transit to efficiently find the best answer

Crew scheduling system enables Tower Transit to efficiently find the best answer

Sam Greaves, Head of Service Delivery at Tower Transit UK, has been in the bus industry for over 25 years. In this video he discusses how automatic crew scheduling system CrewPLAN enables his schedulers to efficiently find the best answer quickly and “quite often it’s option number 1”.

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Edinburgh Trams uses Omnibus to forecast future costs

Edinburgh Trams crew duties solution

Edinburgh Trams is an award-winning operator with a fleet of 27 trams and annual ridership of 7.5 million.

Employing over 200 people across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, the light rail operator runs 2,000 services every week, connecting Edinburgh Airport to the heart of the city in under 35 minutes.

The operator partnered with Omnibus as the tram line continues to extend across the city.

Edinburgh Trams crew duties solution

The latest development, Trams to Newhaven Project, is a continuation of the existing tramway network and will add 2.91 miles of track in both directions, connecting Leith and Newhaven to the current end of the line at York Place with eight new stops by 2023.

Challenge

Edinburgh Trams required a tool to produce the most efficient crew duties, model scenarios and operating patterns to forecast and budget for future operational costs. The solution had to meet the local labour agreements and be workable on the ground. Therefore, any scheduling solution had to enable the following timetable changes:

  • Facilitate the closure of York Place tram stop (the current terminus)
  • Accommodate the phased opening of the extension
  • Accommodate test running over the extension (or parts)
  • Manage the extension to the tram line
  • Adjust running times as they become better established after opening the extension

Solution

CrewPLAN is Omnibus’ next-generation automatic crew scheduling tool. It uses advanced algorithms to find the best possible solution within the parameters defined by the user. It is used throughout the passenger transport industry to quickly model multiple scenarios as well as forecast and budget for future operational costs.

“Omnibus has been key for developing a sustainable transport strategy which includes the Trams to Newhaven project. CrewPLAN will provide us with the level of control and accuracy we need to ensure optimised shift patterns. It offers tools for medium-term and long-term crew scheduling based on our organisation’s legal frameworks and guidelines” – Sarah Singh, Operations Manager, Edinburgh Trams

Result

Edinburgh Trams has a flexible and user-friendly solution designed by schedulers who understand the UK passenger transport industry. Since adopting CrewPLAN, the operator has succeeded in:

  • Establishing costs for current and future operational needs
  • Building workable crew duties using different scenarios
  • Saving time in generating multiple rosters
  • Providing time-sensitive reports for critical decisions
  • Optimising crew schedules ensuring an efficient and reliable service

Edinburgh Trams “work collaboratively with colleagues as much as possible on any project” and positive feedback from their Scheduling Manager was “absolutely important” when choosing the Omnibus solution.