TfL & Serco wanted a smart data platform for real-time management of cycle hire in London
About Transport for London & Serco
Transport for London (TfL) provides a world-class cycle hire scheme in London. TfL contracted Serco to assist in implementing the system as a result of the company’s expertise in the transportation sector.
Serco designs high-quality customer-centric passenger transport services – in rail, ferries, and cycle hire in partnership with the government by integrating the best in technology and assets with its people to deliver service excellence.
Challenge: Creating a Smart Transportation System
In addition to wanting to ensure a world-class cycle scheme, TfL wanted to increase trip and user numbers, as well as expand the system geographically. TfL also wanted to improve street-level product availability and customer satisfaction. Serco was contracted to achieve these goals, as well as maintain safety standards, reduce operational costs per trip, and increase revenue per trip.
With a mobile fleet of over 25,000 units, TfL manages a network that sees millions of journeys a year. Maintaining the fleet and effectively distributing the work orders of field staff requires real-time management, as does providing real-time, reliable visibility into the service for their customers. The service, therefore, needed to capture a wide array of data, including streaming data from the fleet, operations data, customer information data, and third-party data such as weather reports.
Serco chose FuseForward as the consulting technology partner on the TfL project as a result of FuseForward’s AWS skills and expertise in the business. Serco specifically wanted an Amazon Web Services (AWS) based cloud solution that would address a range of technical issues.
Eight different applications, including ERP software, location tracking software, and work order management systems, needed to be integrated, connected and streamlined. Data from across the fleet needed to be analyzed in order to optimize the service and provide real-time reports and predictions on performance, fleet availability, incident response, and usage patterns.
All of this data needed to be securely stored, and TfL had availability requirements of 99.95% to ensure the system supporting the network never goes down.
Solution: Developing a Transportation Data Platform
FuseForward created an urban data platform that provided TfL with the intelligent transport solution it was looking for. All eight applications were integrated using FuseForward’s patented methods, which enabled the completion of this phase of the project much more quickly than traditional approaches.
Built on AWS infrastructure, the intelligent transport solution is powered by the FuseForward Cloud Suite, which includes FuseSecure and is supported by ISO 27001 compliant processes. A key feature of this deployment ensured that applications related to the network operations are never exposed to the public internet. FuseForward’s analytics solution, FuseAnalyze, provides real-time analysis tools and visualization of multiple data sources using one unified dashboard view.
Results: Real-Time KPIs, Exceeding Expectations
TfL can now ingest over 68,000 daily messages from the mobile fleet location and tracking service to calculate real-time KPIs. The data platform draws on around four thousand messages every five minutes, along with all previous records which constitute gigabytes of data. The solution then calculates all required performance indicators in less than 60 seconds – which gives a real-time view of the network in operation.
99.95% availability on the urban data platform is guaranteed by ensuring that all aspects of the system were built with redundancies. This means that data will never be lost should any part of the system go down, whether it is a server, an application, or an integration channel.
FuseForward not only delivered on TfL’s revenue and performance targets but exceeded the project timelines, delivering the project one month ahead of the anticipated schedule. With the smart data platform in place, TfL is now able to manage over 20,000 work orders every day, and all of the project requirements have been met.
FuseForward accelerates digital transformation for critical infrastructure providers such as cities, utilities, and transportation providers through consulting and technology expertise. With expertise across cloud, intelligent systems, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, and much more, FuseForward serves customers around the world from offices in Canada, Europe, and South Africa.