GIRO - Optimise daily bus operations

French company Tisséo is the latest transport operator to take advantage of strategic assignment management software from GIRO, a recognised global leader in software solutions for public transit and postal distribution.

Transport operator Tisséo has been an important playerin the urban landscape since 2002. The company continuously implements strategies tailored to the needs of the greater Toulouse area, anticipating future challenges and resolving them using the best tools it can find on the market. The company also collaborates closely with innovative firms that can help it to establish a high-quality, efficient and reliable public transport system.

One of the technical management team's main concerns has always been the optimal assignment of vehicles to service. At first glance, managing assignments appears to be relatively easy; in practice, however, it is a difficult task to accomplish. With a fleet of 550 vehicles and multiple variables to consider - from mileage smoothing to roadway limitations and bus capacity constraints - optimally assigning vehicles without a specialised tool is a complicated undertaking.

Until recently, Tisséo was using a tool developed in-house to manage assignments. The solutions produced required manual adjustments, as well as a certain degree of subjective interpretation of rules and constraints. At times, the resulting vehicle assignments were unsatisfactory, especially where mileage smoothing was concerned or when the company faced fleet shortages. As a result, Tisséo solicited functionalities that would overcome these shortfalls as part of a request for proposal (RFP) that was being prepared to renew its daily management tools.

The DailyVehicle and PlanBus solutions

GIRO proposed its HASTUS DailyVehicle software solution along with its PlanBus algorithm. DailyVehicle allows users to assign vehicles and manage the vehicle fleet on a daily basis, while PlanBus optimises the assignment of vehicles to blocks on a day-to-day basis and can schedule light maintenance activities based on maintenance capacity at each garage.

PlanBus uses vehicle task constraints (mandatory, forbidden or preferred), mileage statistics for each vehicle, maintenance requests, as well as assignment rules and mileage smoothing. The software also obtains some data electronically through the computerised maintenance management system. The algorithm's output is an optimised assignment proposal that includes light maintenance tasks for vehicles.

Vehicle shortages were a particularly difficult issue for Tisséo to resolve before the introduction of PlanBus. When faced with vehicle shortages, it is necessary to define which routes will have downgraded characteristics or will not be covered. The objective, of course, is to minimise disruptions to public transport users. PlanBus allows operators to define prioritisation strategies that minimise inconveniences and subsequently build a set of strategies for various scenarios. Thanks to the real-time data availability from HASTUS, it is also possible to know the state of the fleet in real time, and therefore take into account critical information such as breakdowns and accidents.

"Since the integration of GIRO's PlanBus, we better control our fleet assignment strategy," states Tisséo's Thomas du Crest. "We regularly adapt our rules to follow the evolution of our fleet and network."

The insertion of light maintenance activities by PlanBus as a function of the available capacity at each garage allows the vehicle assignment to dictate the maintenance and not the other way around. As such, Tisséo can leverage vehicles' availability during the day to plan light maintenance activities and manage its fleet in the most optimal way.

Tisséo has been using GIRO's HASTUS DailyVehicle and PlanBus for over a year. The software has given the company greater control of vehicle assignments and a better overview of its fleet, as well as allowed it to react more quickly to unexpected events. With this software tool, Tisséo has shown once again that it takes to heart its mission: being a public transport provider for all and anticipating the transport of tomorrow.

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PlanBus from GIRO optimises the assignment of vehicles to blocks on a day-to-day basis. Image © Schneider/Saada.
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