Transit9 | Transport Operations

Digitisation: A Journey rather than a Destination

Back in 2017 Transdev identified that its service delivery team on Dublin’s LUAS light rail system was spending the majority of its time on administrative tasks due to a reliance on paper-based processes.   Recognising that digitising this process was an efficient way forward, Transdev selected Transit9 to help.  Transdev Ireland’s Deputy Managing Director Eoghan Sweeney and our own Managing Director Keith McHale share their journey.  

What were the issues that led you to digitising?

Eoghan: We had a paper-based system for tracking assessments, incidents and return to work and we realised that our team leaders were spending 80% of their time managing the paperwork for this. At the time we were reviewing our competence assessment and wanted to automate aspects of this but to do this we needed our team leaders to be out with drivers coaching and supporting them.  Additionally, because the system was paper based, it didn’t provide up to date or real-time data making it time consuming and difficult to assess the risk of competence of drivers.  

How did you approach the transition? 

Keith: We worked with TransDev to first understand what processes they had, the types of data they were collecting and where the data was coming from.  We then built a mobile app to allow staff to enter the data from a mobile phone or tablet while on the go.  The app was designed to be intuitive and user friendly as obviously we wanted people to use it for entering data.  This information fed into a central database in real-time providing management and staff with key information such as incidents, absenteeism, passenger numbers and much more.   

What have been the impacts?

Eoghan: The app has given our staff the ability to carry out assessments, to record incidences and absences, to create incident reports and to capture electronic signatures using their phone or tablet while on the go.  When they’re back in the office they can then access the app from their desktop and continue working.   It has eliminated a lot of paperwork and freed up people’s time. Because its easy to use and its part of their daily routine, it means that our data is more accurate and its being delivered in real-time. We also worked with Transit9 to create dashboard reports for each department using this data to quickly and easily understand how they’re performing.  

What’s next for TransDev? 

Eoghan: Due to the success of this initial project we extended it to other areas of the business including event logging, permits and approvals and employee training.  We are currently in the process of rolling out a modern depot solution.  

What are the keys to delivering a successful project like this?

Keith: When digitising processes it is essential that they help rather than hinder staff doing their jobs. You can’t underestimate how user friendly and easy to use systems need to be. If they’re not, then staff either won’t use them or will just enter rubbish.  It also helps to work with a partner that has an understanding of the sector specifics so that its tailored to the client’s needs. 

As we continue to work with TransDev it was important that we designed the application so that it could grow and be extended to other areas of the business if needed, rather than having to recreate each time.  Our applications are all cloud-based meaning that they can quickly and easily integrate into existing systems with minimal disruption.  

Article featured in Tramways & Urban Transit August 2022 Edition.

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