Public Transit Taps Social to Improve Consumers' Commutes

U.K. travel provider puts real-time data in customer hands to optimize the public transportation experience.

One UK logistics provider has increasingly turned to digital solutions in response to the need to provide better public transport services for its public-sector clients, improve real time communication with customers and improve cost efficiency.

In 2014, the company launched its own pre-paid travel card system. This technology enables users of bus and train transportation services to use the card through a simple top up. Partnerships with online payment organizations enabled customers to easily recharge their pre-paid card through online platforms.

In the same timeframe, the company introduced a completely redesigned website with a focus on improving usability and becoming a portal for customer travel information. This greatly enhanced the ability to offer information and to engage with customers in a more convenient manner. The company also introduced functional changes, such as integrating Google maps to enable users to access real-time information, specific to their location and travel plan. Behind the scenes improvements were made to deliver a faster, more secure experience. “Technologies are evolving at a fast pace and are enabling us to apply them to offer advanced services to the users. It is essential that we have modern technologies in place to improve our brand perception along with streamlining our internal processes.” said their Head of Digital of Commercial Development.

Technologies are evolving at a fast pace and are enabling us to apply them to offer advanced services to the users. It is essential that we have modern technologies in place to improve our brand perception along with streamlining our internal processes.

— Head of Digital Commercial Development

Mobile and other digital technologies are also being used to promote services, present real-time information and offer tips and suggestions to users. This transforms the service from containing static information (of limited use), to a dynamic, personalized mobile-based journey companion. Currently users can control their journeys with the help of Wi-Fi and an open data feed which provides them with travelling suggestions on their mobile devices. As technology has evolved, users have also increased their demands for better, faster information on the go. Meeting users’ rapidly evolving demands is an ongoing and never easy task. “The increase in the number of users and the amount of information they require has required careful management and investment in both infrastructure and security”, he said. 

Furthermore, digital marketing has permitted the company to utilize digital platforms such as social media and email updates. These technologies have been incorporated into the promotion of services, as well as to present real time information, help and advice to transport users. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are being used to respond to the grievances and queries of the users. “We believe digital platforms have helped us to optimize our customer service functions”, he said. Additional investment and the involvement of third party providers is planned to further strengthen and utilize customer relationship management systems.

In the last few years, information technology and its impact on the government sector has been immense. The increasing use of web portals and mobile devices to access information about different travel journeys combined with advances in tools such as vehicle location systems, online payment systems, digital ticketing systems and passenger information systems have all contributed to a massive quantity of data being generated daily. Increasing use of data analytics has helped the department unlock the insights and value within the data. “The potential with big data has long been recognized and the company is working with partners on data processing technologies to process massive data and probe the experience of the users. Data analytics tools are vital in optimizing our transport networks by predicting the changes in the system and helping us to response appropriately”, he explained. 

We can’t deny that deployment of digital technologies shows a positive impact on the standards of services, the communication with the users and on the overall efficiency of the operation.

We have improved our real-time response to queries, and better management of information helps us make more informed and faster decision.

— Head of Digital Commercial Development 

Consequently, increased investment in various data collection, monitoring technologies and machine learning technologies is expected over the next five years.

Digital transformation within the company and its end customers, such as government departments, is driven by cost and budget pressures and the demands of the users. “We can’t deny that deployment of digital technologies shows a positive impact on the standards of services, the communication with the users and on the overall efficiency of the operation. We have improved our real-time response to queries, and better management of information helps us make more informed and faster decisions”, he concluded. In the coming years, the company is planning to install similar technologies into other transport systems and for new clients. 
 

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About the research

This case study is based on a September, 2016 interview with the Head of Digital Commercial Development within a UK travel & logistics provider, conducted by Coleman Parkes research and sponsored by CA Technologies. For more information about this research, read Keeping Score: Why Digital Transformation Matters.

About CA Technologies

CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy. Software is at the heart of every business in every industry. From planning to development to management and security, CA is working with companies worldwide to change the way we live, transact, and communicate—across mobile, private, and public cloud, distributed and mainframe environments. Learn more at www.ca.com.

About Coleman Parkes Research

Coleman Parkes Research specializes in recruiting and interviewing senior-level respondents across multiple global markets, vertical sectors and functional areas for a wide range of clients. From thought leadership research for PR and marketing campaigns, to analyzing win/loss opportunities, testing product messages and conducting in-depth senior executive interviews, we do it all. Coleman Parkes Research works collaboratively with clients to formulate proven strategies that generate market insight based on individual requirements and key hypotheses.

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