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Using Technology to Enhance Sustainability

Using Technology to Enhance Sustainability



John Walsh, Chief Research & Strategy Officer, Clever Devices...

John Walsh, Chief Research & Strategy Officer, Clever Devices

Findings have shown that those who use public transportation instead of their automobile reduce their daily carbon emissions and makes significant
contributions to environmental health. This presentation will address improving operational efficiencies to provide increased mobility and reduce environmental consequences; and discuss stakeholder safety and ridership satisfaction which has been recognized by transit agencies as having a significant impact on attractiveness of transit to many current and prospective riders.



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  • Good morning everyone, and thanks for that great introduction. Like the man said, I’m John Walsh and my title is the Chief Research and Strategy Officer for Clever Devices, a transit technology company. A word about the transportation industry as a whole: it has been a consistent growth industry – since 1958 with few exceptions – despite economic conditions. The important thing to note here is that the paradigm of transportation has changed dramatically from the second world war to now, as well as the impact of sustainability. As you can see from this graph, 1964 was a high use year for public transit, but it began a precipitous decline soon thereafter, as you can see from the dip in ridership by 1968. Herein were concerns about the FTA’s loss of productivity times as well as a host of other issues. Other notable dates are 1990, the year that both the ADA and the (amended) Clean Air Act passed. In 1995 electronic fare collection was implemented, making ridership easier and more streamlined, saving commuter boarding times and vehicle idling times, (good for the environment). You can see the smaller dip in 2004 when fuel prices skyrocketed, worth noting because it increased production and operation costs across the board for public transit.
  • First I would like to define sustainability. As The Oxford English dictionary defines it, sustainable is involving the use of natural products and energy in a way that does not harm the environment. What is Sustainability? Oxford defines sustainable as involving the use of natural products and energy in a way that does not harm the environment.   • adjective 1 able to be sustained. 2 (of industry, development, or agriculture) avoiding depletion of natural resources.   — DERIVATIVES sustainability noun sustainably adverb. As the Task Force for the President's Council on Sustainable Development (1997) described it, sustainable communities are those that "flourish because they build a mutually supportive, dynamic balance between social well-being, economic opportunity, and environmental quality.“
  • If we start at the beginning, and we build intelligent transit systems, we need to begin at the beginning. Transit production. Building intuitive vehicles that include centralized communication technology, with automatic vehicle monitoring for example, will reduce production and operating costs because the automatic vehicle monitoring system will flag issues in the operating system before they become expensive repairs. An AVM system can also increase the lifecycle of the vehicle. Other technologies such as bus arrival prediction, streamlines scheduling and creates happier more satisfied riders. But we will explore these technologies in more detail later in the presentation.
  • It not only means smart, safe, economic, and efficient mass transit systems, it means that these solutions are built to last. We need to create smarter, more intuitive methods of transportation infrastructures and we need to implement technology to do this. Creating sustainability with technology creates a strong ripple effect. If SUSTAINABILITY is the goal, TECHNOLOGY is the enabler. Some state-level initiatives in Maryland, Georgia, and New York set out to accomplish many things at once. For example, Maryland hopes to save its remaining open spaces and make its urban areas more livable by making existing surface transportation infrastructure more efficient. Georgia recently established an administrative body to coordinate municipal transportation planning in areas that fail to meet the standards of the Clean Air Act. In 2002, New York became one of the first states in the union to formulate a greenhouse gas reduction policy in its 2002 "Energy Plan." The plan sets itself the goals of a 10 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2020, a 50 percent increase in the use of renewable energy in the state by 2020, and the reduction by 25 percent of primary energy use per unit of gross state product by 2010. While many of these and other initiatives intended to reform the urban environment of the United States are not also meant to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, it’s important to note that any measure that reduces vehicle miles traveled will simultaneously reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Creating sustainable environments is a great “larger picture” policy. However, creating sustainable vehicles is just as crucial for our success. The only way to create truly sustainable vehicles is by employing new technologies.
  • What is a Smart Bus? Faster, more reliable service Improved customer convenience and safety Attract choice riders and increase modal split It means that we move forward with new technologies to streamline the way transportation system runs so that we can keep moving forward. It means we work hard to reduce energy consumption and clean up the air.
  • What are the components of a SMART BUS? CAD, APC, AVL, MDT, Cameras, Message signs, Customer information, TSP, Maintenance Data, IVR,. Indoor Vehicle Tracking, Supervisory Vehicle Technology
  • With these technical enhancements, riders/customers are happier, yards and TA will be able to track Fewer stops than other transit routes Traffic control strategies will allow Quickline buses to travel faster than other traffic Unique branding
  • SAFETY FACT Intercity and transit buses have the lowest fatality rates of .04 and .02 respectively out of all modes of transport. Security notes: safety and security research and technical assistance, as well as clean bus propulsion systems using hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid electric technologies. ENVIRONMENT FACTS Riding public transportation is a significant way to cut passenger transportation energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Each year transit passengers reduce their own use of fuel by the equivalent of 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline and reduce their own carbon dioxide emissions by 16.2 million metric tons. Combined this with savings from improved traffic flow due to transit's impact on reducing congestion and secondary land use and travel reduction impacts, transit reduces annual fuel use by the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline and carbon dioxide emissions by 37 million metric tons. The development and testing of bus technologies support the outcome goals of reducing mobile source emissions and dependence upon imported petroleum.  The effort utilizes a comprehensive approach to reducing bus emissions, through development, deployment, and dissemination of information and technology.
  • Let’s factor in the need to ensure security and safety for every rider and driver. Let’s add in the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a specific percent for proper energy consumption and cleaner air. Lets add in technology that flags mechanical operation issues before they become problems and need costly repairs. That sounds like a bus that actually thinks for itself, its driver, its riders, its mechanic and its Transit Authority – and is a sustainable infrastructure. This now becomes our goal.
  • Using technology with traffic signal timing will improve schedule adherence, reduce operating costs, and improve running times for buses. TSP and Queue jumping
  • Accurately predicting and communicating arrival time to riders allows them to best plan their trip and utilize their time. Telling passengers exactly where their bus is and when it will arrive will make your passengers feel empowered and confident in their public transportation system, and will sustainably increase ridership while reducing negative impact on the environment.
  • These nine cameras are installed on the Chicago Transit Authority buses. It is the concept of multi-tasking that will bring us to where we need to be for truly sustainable infrastructure. We won’t be sustainable without solving our congestion problems, and we cannot solve our congesting problems without bus lane incursion and enforcement. The policing and management of said bus lane incursion programs is crucial to its success. It is this one technology that can bring us a multitude of benefits. Adding cameras for operators will help record and track bus lane incursions, and it has a huge benefit for security issues.
  • Thirteen installed cameras – including interior front mounted, interior center mounted and outside and back cameras, will create a record of bus activity in and out of the bus.
  • Enforcement is important for a successful bus lane incursion program. For mobile and static cameras (cameras installed on fixed street items), operators staff retrieve the video tapes from the buses and the static sites. CCTV cameras are under the direct control of an experienced operator. They are linked to video recorders which allow the operator to review the evidence and substantiate the decision of a traffic offense or not. Identifying Offences A computerized offense viewing and decision system is used for detecting offences and processing the recordings and the subsequent tickets. It can check whether incident vehicles are exempt under the bus lane order or whether permitted operations are being carried out; carry out a a check with the vehicle licensing authority to check that the observed vehicle details match the DVLA records.
  • As you can see from this chart, the first year of implementation in this pilot program generated 25,000 in revenue from tickets issued for traffic incursion infractions. The decline in revenue is indicative of the enforcement of bus lane incursion, and as of October of 2009, incursions were almost non existent.
  • This technology satisfies increased ridership demands through greater operational efficiencies, resulting in lower capital costs and operating expenses. It is also an efficient and effective expenditure of transit funds with a high ROI. This increased efficiency improves the quality of mass transit, maintains existing transportation assets, improves air quality, and reduces traffic congestion and energy consumption.
  • With technology to enhance operational efficiencies across the agency value chain, improve ridership experience and customer service response, and optimize the reliability of transportation and environmental responsibilities, the ripple effect of intuitive technology has a host of other benefits across the entire enterprise.
  • Intuitive dashboard analytics with graphical views and reports Metrics drill down capability This is scalable technology so it provides seamless integration with existing technologies (AVM, APC, CleverCAD and BusTime) as well as scalable data storage and collection. The data delivery can be automated for specific time frames or schedules and provides delegated administration for secure access to critical data.
  • Customizable business rules This is simple, usable, and configurable for all levels of depot metrics and can be organized for transit agencies’ specific business rules and procedures.
  • This reporting feature can generate the most efficient operators.
  • This reporting feature can generate the least efficient operators.
  • Ubisense Transit Yard Manager (TYM) helps transit organizations dramatically reduce the costly and repetitive effort of locating, assigning, and holding transit vehicles at the start and end of each block or scheduled maintenance. With Ubisense TYM, it is no longer necessary to manually locate vehicles within and around a transit facility. This information, instead, is automatically maintained electronically, making not only location but also critical vehicle information and maintenance data accessible to anyone in the organization, at any time, through an intuitive graphical interface. More timely and accurate location also reduces the time needed to perform maintenance, reduces shuffle times, and can help reduce the number of late pullouts, improving on time performance. Knowing where vehicles are parked in real-time also speeds up customer service (e.g., lost article requests) and facilitates more rapid response to law enforcement enquiries.
  • OTHER BENEFITS When integrated with scheduling/dispatch system, block information can be displayed by vehicle location and changed interactively as needed. Automatic vehicle assignment can be performed with a connected scheduling system in a “batch” mode based on knowledge of exact lane positions and pull-out times. Reduced risk of a held vehicle being assigned. Instant access to current status of vehicle locations for vehicles re-entering, facilitates optimal lane assignment. Available parking areas are visible at all times, aiding in proper staging. When integrated with CAD/AVL system, information about vehicles with reported mechanical problems can be viewed to ensure that vehicle is held and not blocked. Assists Maintenance in scheduling Mechanics can quickly find buses that they need to work on, before buses needing work are blocked by others. Visibility to the garage or yard ensures the correct placement of vehicles in need of service and reduces vehicle shuffle times. When integrated with maintenance and automatic vehicle monitoring systems, information about vehicles with reported mechanical problems can be viewed to ensure that vehicle is held and not blocked. Additional Benefits Proper staging helps to reduce late pull-outs. Knowing exactly when vehicle departs and arrives provides metrics for performance and can be utilized to ensure operator time is being reported correctly. Instant access to location can aid in locating lost articles or retrieving security video footage
  • On May 18, 2009, the Department of Transportation published an interim notice announcing the availability of funding for TIGER Discretionary Grants (as defined below), project selection criteria, application requirements and the deadline for submitting applications. Because this is a new program, the interim notice also requested comments on the proposed selection criteria and guidance for awarding TIGER Discretionary Grants. The Department considered the comments that were submitted in accordance with the interim notice and has decided to publish this notice revising some elements of the interim notice. Each of the substantive revisions made in this notice are described below in ‘‘Supplemental Information.’’ In the event that this solicitation does not result in the award and obligation of all available funds, the Department may decide to publish an additional solicitation. DATES: Complete applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants must be submitted by September 15, 2009 (the ‘‘Application Deadline’’). While applicants are encouraged to submit applications in advance of the Application Deadline, applications will not be evaluated, and awards will not be made, until after the Application Deadline. Due to the need to expedite the grant award process to meet the requirements and purposes of the Recovery Act (as defined below), the Department will evaluate all applications and announce the project lines via e-mail at TIGERGrants@dot.gov. Applicants should receive a confirmation e-mail, but are advised to request a return receipt to confirm transmission. Only applications received via email as provided above shall be deemed properly filed.
  • In conclusion sustainability is no longer a tagline it has to be the fundamental business of the transportation industry.

Using Technology to Enhance Sustainability Using Technology to Enhance Sustainability Presentation Transcript