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Remix and Swiftly improve transit reliability by bringing operational data into planning tools

  •   3 min read

We’re excited to announce a new partnership between Remix, Via’s best-in-class suite of integrated transit planning and scheduling software, and Swiftly, the leading transit data platform that helps agencies share real-time passenger information, manage day-to-day operations, and improve service performance. We’re making transit planning more dynamic by integrating operational data into planning interfaces so planners can spot and resolve problems with service reliability earlier.

Caitlin Hewitt Proctor

VP of Remix Product Management

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Better data for more reliable service
If you ask the typical transit rider what keeps them riding the bus, they’re unlikely to say “public wifi,” “contactless payment,” or even “free fares.” What riders say they value, again and again, is something simpler yet often far more difficult to achieve: service reliability. 57% of passengers rate accurate real-time info as a top driver of more frequent transit usage. In short: if the bus shows up when it is supposed to, riders show up as well.

Thanks to the soon-to-launch integration between Remix and Swiftly, real-world stop-by-stop bus departure data will be available directly within Remix’s intuitive timetable interface, making it clear where planned and actual departure times differ. With this data at their fingertips, planners and schedulers will be able to quickly and easily adjust departure times and frequencies to keep the bus running on time.

By incorporating data from Swiftly’s Run-Times product— which provides high-quality observed running time data for every trip, down to the stop-to-stop level — into Remix, we’re empowering planners to reduce delays for passengers and improve on-time percentage (OTP) and other key metrics. Planners can see the places where the actual bus departures differ from planned departures right within the same interface they use to create and update timetables, so changes are just a click away.

A timetable is displayed in Remix's Transit Planning interface. There is a pop-up associated with a particular stop on the timetable, which shows that while the bus is scheduled to depart the stop at 7:22pm, it actually departs at 7:28pm. The pop-up also calls out that this represents a 16 minute "delay" between planned and actual departure time from this particular stop.

Visual cues give planners an overview of regularly delayed departures, as well as the severity of the delay, helping them spot problems with each line at a glance.

How you can use it
Let’s say Springfield Transit Agency’s (STA) bus Route 1 is often late to two particular stops at First and Second Street. Without any automated integration between operational data and their planning software, STA’s planners might hear only about these delays anecdotally, from bus operators or dispatchers, or in a rider survey. By the time planners realized there was a problem that warranted intervention, the bus may have been running late for months, or even years.

With this Swiftly and Remix Run-Times integration, STA’s planners can spot discrepancies between scheduled and observed run-times in Remix immediately, and without toggling between multiple applications. They can tell at a glance if the bus is chronically late, reducing passenger trust — or chronically early, indicating slack in the schedule and a potential cost-saving opportunity.

STA’s planners can also dig into the specifics of schedule discrepancies to hone their understanding of the cause:

  • Let’s say STA’s planners find that Route 1 is only late at rush hour; they suspect this delay may be caused by overcrowding and excessive dwell times, and so recommend adding another bus to increase frequency during rush hour.
  • If, on the other hand, STA’s planners find that the stops are seeing late departures throughout the day, they might recommend building more time into the schedule for buses to travel between these stops.

Whatever the proposed intervention, they can then use Remix to invite team members across STA to view and comment — most critically, the operations staff who will be directly affected by the change. Once the team has reached consensus, STA can then use Remix’s GTFS Publisher to instantly push the route adjustments to rider journey-planning apps like Citymapper, Transit App, and Google Maps.

The end result? STA can address the consistent lateness before it causes sustained problems for drivers or staff, helping to maintain rider trust in the bus system. We’re excited to work with innovative partners like Swiftly to surface high-quality operational data exactly when planners need to see it.

What’s next?

Keep an eye out for the launch of this exciting integration. Sign up below or contact your Remix Partner Success Manager to learn more.

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