Category: OmniROTA

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

Ritchies growth supported with the adoption of the Omnibus scheduling

Ritchies using Omnibus scheduling software

Founded in the 1930s, Ritchies Transport Holdings Limited (Ritchies) has grown into one of the largest passenger transport operators in New Zealand.

The operator has 15 depots and 18 sub-depots and operates nationwide across the North and South Islands, from Kaitaia in the north, to Gore in the south as well as an operation on the remote Chatham Islands.

Ritchies using Omnibus scheduling software

In New Zealand many businesses need to be multi-faceted offering a complete range of public transport. Ritchies has a diverse fleet of over 1,500 vehicles including approximately:

  • 600 urban buses
  • 600 school buses
  • 100 SESTA (special needs transport – cars and minibuses)
  • 250 tour coaches, charter coaches, intercity and long-distance coaches

Business challenges

Since 2008, Ritchies has significantly expanded its urban transport business through commercial services and more recently through tendering. An external transport consultant had been used to bid for Government tendered services using their own scheduling software to analyse the tender opportunities but this came at a cost.

The operator wanted to develop the scheduling skills in-house and transition the tendering work which was commissioned through the external consultant into ‘business as usual’ for Ritchies.

Why partner with Omnibus?

Aware the Omnibus scheduling suite is ‘well-regarded’ in the UK, a presentation and product demo to the Ritchies senior team was undertaken over video conference, followed by an onsite visit to Ritchies HQ in New Zealand by the Omnibus team. As well as being impressed with the powerful scheduling suite capabilities to improve operational efficiencies, there was a natural cultural fit with the businesses, with both businesses being extremely passionate about buses and passenger transport.

The senior team was confident with the Omnibus team’s knowledge and their industry experience.

Solution

In 2018, the scheduling suite – OmniTIMES, OmniBASE, OmniROTA and CrewPLAN – was implemented at the operator’s 7 main urban depots, covering 400 vehicles. Also, the scheduling team has grown from 1 to 3 users.

“Being on different time zones and continents, the Omnibus team have been very accommodating, training our teams outside of their normal working hours. This flexible and client-centric approach has proved very helpful.” – Stephen Cruttwell, Implementation Manager, Ritchies Transport

Results

Ritchies now has the capability to compile schedules and test scenarios very quickly, saving valuable time. The impact of growth opportunities, such as acquisitions, can easily be assessed and output has trebled by developing scheduling skills in-house.

Since 2018, Ritchies has successfully won several tenders due to achieving significant cost-savings by testing different schedules and improving operational efficiency.

“Omnibus is great for pricing a tender. We now have the ability of loading multiple timetables and creating bus graphs quickly and efficiently. We can provide with confidence the pricing value for a tender; with 100% confidence in the output from the software solutions.” – Chris Suares, Scheduling Manager at Ritchies

The business had a very specific way of compiling duty cards; with a wide range of duty card formats available in the system the operator was able to produce one that best fits the business, which reduced the pain when duty card changes were implemented.

Management information and analysis of network performance, such as bus kilometres per hour and driver duty analysis, is now available in a structured format and easily extracted from the platform, achieving time efficiencies to compile these, freeing management to work on intervention strategies.

“The software has given us the capability to understand where operational savings can be achieved and analyse the implication of changes in the schedules. For example, there was a schedule where the customer increased the runtime of a single service by 2 minutes.

“The Omnibus platform gave us the ability to easily see the impact of this change on the schedule. Prior to having the software, we would have to pull out each duty to have a look at it. This was a time-intensive and manual process. Now it’s very quick and easy to review and make changes.” – Chris Suares

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Squarepeg Buses digitalises scheduling and allocation with Omnibus cloud solutions

Squarepeg Buses digitalises scheduling and allocation with Omnibus cloud solutions

Squarepeg Buses, an independent operator in Leeds, has selected Omnibus cloud solutions to optimise scheduling and operational activities. 

The operator provides public, private and school transport services to a loyal customer base in the city and surrounding areas and needed software to work smarter in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Established in 2009 and with a peak vehicle requirement (PVR) of 13, the operator will deploy timetabling, vehicle scheduling, rostering, mapping, depot allocation and data sharing solutions. The Omnibus software has been developed over 30 years and is designed to gain operational and cost efficiencies in the planning of services as well as making the process easier for schedulers. 

Simon Daymond, Director of Squarepeg Buses, said: “We’ve always embraced technology and our approach has been to find opportunities through software, rather than scrambling for solutions when problems occur. Covid brought this to the fore and gave us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we do as a business.  

“We were impressed by the clear superiority of the Omnibus products and the cloud benefits they will provide our family-focussed business. We’re driven by the needs of our passengers; the team at Omnibus has a strong background in the bus industry and deep understanding of the challenges operators face which will make a major contribution to the continued high-quality of our services.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are delighted that Squarepeg Buses has chosen Omnibus to address their scheduling and operational requirements to support their future growth and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our technology is designed specifically for schedulers and is quick and easy to use with efficient processes which improve productivity.” 

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PR contact at Omnibus, part of the EPM Group:
Harminder Sangha
Harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
+44 (0)7538 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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PR contact at Omnibus, part of the EPM Group:
Harminder Sangha
Harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
+44 (0)7538 935 568

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

How Buslines uses Omnibus to deliver savings

Buslines Group vehicle

Buslines Group is a regional bus operator servicing the New South Wales area in Australia. With 360 buses operating across 12 regions it primarily offers bus services for school children covering a large, mainly rural geographical area.

With 95% of passengers being children the operator prides itself on offering a reliable, safe and personalised service, where bus drivers know the children and parents they serve.

Challenge

Buslines are a family-owned business who have been operating for 95 years. The production of schedules has been completed manually. Recently, management wanted to digitalise the scheduling process that would enable multiple people to be involved in the scheduling process and for them to be located anywhere, not constrained to one office.

Digitalisation of bus timetables is also becoming the norm with passengers getting journey information in real-time on-demand from key travel sites. However, Buslines did not have the capability to provide such data due to information being produced manually.

Solution

Omnibus’ solution was selected after Buslines reviewed a range of systems from different suppliers in the market. The operator wanted a supplier who provided not only a great product but also a high level of customer service to support them through the adoption process.

Buslines have implemented a number of Omnibus systems; OmniTIMES to rapidly produce timetables, OmniMAP to automatically generate bus route mapping, OmniBASE to create efficient bus schedules, CrewPLAN to deliver optimised driver schedules, and OmniROTA to deliver cost-effective staff rosters.

Consultancy services have also been provided by Omnibus to support Buslines in the submission of responses to large tenders. This allows the operator to access additional skilled resource and ensure high quality tenders are submitted, without impacting day-to-day business.

Results

Efficiency and savings in the scheduling process

Since adopting the system, Buslines have been able to implement changes to schedules and make the process more efficient. This has delivered important savings, such as;

  • Changing the timetable by 5 minutes resulting in a reduction of the number of buses required to deliver the schedule.
  • Dead trips changes and timetable tweaks to deliver more efficient bus workings.

“We are seeing great value using OmniBASE and CrewPLAN, the algorithm in the system quickly produces the most efficient schedule and depot allocation workings” – David D’Apuzzo, Director at Buslines Group in Australia

Transport for New South Wales TODIS file produced quickly and seamlessly

Transport for New South Wales, the Connected Bus Programme, requires an electronic TODIS file which includes information on bus timetables and real-time bus journey information. By adopting the Omnibus software solution, Buslines have been able to provide this data quickly and seamlessly.

The TODIS file underpins the online travel planner where customers also have live feeds showing where the bus is, journey times and if a bus is running late. This is a key benefit for parents waiting for their children at a bus stop.

Minimise timetable errors 

As part of a Government programme, several towns in which Buslines operate are introducing new networks and are now offering additional services during weekdays, at night and on weekends. This leads to regular service review meetings and frequent timetable changes.

By using the fully integrated suite of Omnibus systems, Buslines can implement any changes quickly and efficiently. With data flowing seamlessly from timetables through to schedules and rosters, the operator is now confident that the latest timetable information is always used and previous errors in alignment between timetables and operations are eliminated.

The future

Buslines have now removed the risk of a single point of failure in the production of their schedules, whilst improving the effectiveness of the scheduling process. In turn, this has resulted in operational costs savings through more efficient schedules.

With work under way to map all Buslines services using Omnibus journey planning tools, the operator expects to achieve further improvements in operational efficiency whilst also raising the quality of bus services provided to customers.

Take the hassle out of scheduling

Empowering you with technology to develop efficient and optimised schedules

Australian bus operator adopts our scheduling solution to expand its business

Buses in Australia

7 Dec 2020 – Omnibus works around the clock to support Buslines in Australia to support company growth

Omnibus has been working with Australian bus operator Buslines to automate its processes and facilitate the company’s continued expansion. Buslines operates a fleet of 380 buses, servicing a network of bus routes in major regional towns throughout New South Wales (NSW). The Group’s operations carry over 10 million customers annually and employ more than 500 staff.

Buses in Australia

Buslines has adopted Omnibus scheduling software to replace its previous manual system for creating shifts and rosters. The aim was to digitalise the process to allow for continued growth of the business and build a scheduling capability within Buslines’ existing employees who have long term operational, planning and scheduling experience. To facilitate this, training for Buslines schedulers was conducted remotely by the Omnibus team in Australian local time.

David D’Apuzzo, Management Accountant for Buslines, comments: “We had heard through other operators about the excellent software and support offered by Omnibus, and after meeting Peter Crichton at a conference in Canberra, we invited them to provide a demonstration.” David was particularly impressed with how user-friendly the Omnibus software is: “It is obvious that it has been written by people with a scheduling background rather than software engineers trying to write a program. Also, it was refreshing to deal with software providers that showed a genuine interest in improving our business, so it was a simple choice in picking Omnibus.”

Both parties worked together to overcome the time difference, as David explains: “We initially arranged meetings at the beginning of the UK working day and the end of ours, but the training needed to be conducted during our normal business hours, which led to some very late nights for the dedicated Omnibus team!”

The company is already looking at adding OmniDAS, the market-leading driver and vehicle allocation system.

David concludes: “Peter and team have been great to work with. They’ve shown a genuine interest in helping us improve as a business. No task has been too difficult and whenever we’ve raised a question they’ve come up with a solution.”

Buslines operates across 13 locations in rural and regional NSW: Berrima, Picton, Ulladulla, Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Griffith, Tamworth, Forster, Wingham, Ballina and Northern Rivers.

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Press Contact:
Harmi Sangha
Marketing Manager – Omnibus and EPM Bus Solutions
07538 935 568
Harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com