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Success Stories

Symposium Schedule Adherence System Helps Transit Client Win Prestigious National Award

Project Highlights:
Symposium System
Earns Client Major Award
Real-Time Map-Based Tracking
 and Schedule Adherence
Web Interface Distributes
Information to Ridershi
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Symposium Schedule Adherence System Helps Transit Client Win Prestigious National AwardRecognizing Excellence in Transit Innovation

The Canadian Urban Transit Association has chosen St. John’s Metrobus as a recipient of the 2005 Exceptional Performance/Outstanding Achievement Awards, based on the success of its highly innovative TimeTrack™ schedule adherence and route notification system. Metrobus is the transit authority serving the City of St. John’s and surrounding region – home to over 150,000 people and capital of Newfoundland province, located on Canada’s Atlantic seaboard. This system – powered by Symposium Technologies’ Horizon EME – has enabled dispatchers, drivers, and riders to track the position and timeliness of city busses, simply and easily, and is the first of its kind in Canada.

Multiple Technologies Integrated to Improve Schedule Accuracy and Rider Satisfaction

TimeTrack™ utilizes Symposium’s Horizon EME as the heart of a highly integrated system that ties together GPS, radio network, in-bus mobile data, telephony and the Internet to distribute important information on the City’s 25 routes to users, all in real time. Using the system, drivers and passengers know instantaneously where each bus is in relation to where it’s supposed to be according to it schedule. This information is calculated by comparing the position of the bus as indicated by the onboard GPS device with where it’s supposed to be according to the schedule, and calculating how many minutes ahead or behind each bus is.

The information is then sent to the busses themselves, where a small mobile data terminal informs drivers how many minutes ahead or behind they are. Information is simultaneously sent to the Metrobus website (www.metrobus.com), where riders can click on the TimeTrack™ icon or at-a-glance notification, or by phoning in and using the Telephony IVR system for a real-time updated voice message.

At Metrobus’ command center, all routes and busses are displayed on the EME’s detailed map-based display, showing each route and bus, it’s schedule adherence status, and a range of other useful information (such as speed and bearing).

Web Interface Distributes Info Where it’s Needed

The system – which has been operational for over a year – is extremely popular. The website draws over 40,000 visits each month, and TimeTrack™ is the most requested page on the site.

Metrobus’ management was also very sensitive and adept in handling the concerns of staff about tracking technology, and worked closely with drivers and the union to ensure that everyone understood the purpose and benefits of the system in such areas as dispute resolution and driver safety.

Metrobus continues to be highly innovative in its use of technology as a way to improve client service and ridership satisfaction, with several new initiatives underway to build on the capabilities already in place. Symposium would like to congratulate the staff at Metrobus on their commitment to their customers, on their their foresight and vision, and on their success. Well Done!!!!

For more information, or for those interested in seeing the system in action, please contact Symposium by emailing us at info@symposiumtechnologies.com.