Tait Communications has provided the radio communications component of Nottingham City Transport’s (NCT) Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) supplied by INIT. The system includes automatic vehicle location (AVL), an on-board integrated information system and voice and data communication between 340 buses and the NCT control room.
The backbone of the solution is the TaitNet MPT 1327 trunked radio network, which provides radio coverage throughout the City of Nottingham. Tait TM8235 mobile radios are installed on each of NCT’s 340 buses to allow the on-board TaitNet Data System to be integrated into the radio network. The radios are linked to the INIT on-board COPILOT via MAP27 interface, allowing drivers to control the radio and parts of the AVL system from one unit.
David Astill, commercial manager of Nottingham City Transport, says the system is already bringing significant benefits for passengers and helping the organization to achieve its key performance indicators.
‘Just one year after the system’s implementation, a market research poll in 2010 indicated 76.9% user satisfaction for public transport, and Nottingham was named as England’s least car-dependent city. In 2010–11, we have also seen bus patronage increase along some of our core Yellow Line routes.
‘A large benefit for the public is the vast amount of real-time passenger information (RTPI) available on routes and on buses,’ Astill added. ‘RTPI is provided at more than 800 bus-stops, via web and mobile information for cell-phones, and over “next stop” signage aboard buses.’
With the AVL data, NCT control-room staff can receive current information and anticipate potential delays, thus allowing them to inform specific drivers and alter services as required. At the same time, the city-wide dedicated radio voice channel assures drivers that they can communicate directly with control-room staff at any time. Information or assistance is only ever a call away.
In addition, historical data is collected by the on-board information system to identify trends in delays and provide insight into time-table scheduling, further helping to improve reliability and punctuality of services.
Hans van der Linde, Tait General Manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa, said: ‘Tait is delighted to be working alongside Nottingham City Transport, the Nottingham City Council and the greater community to provide a communications solution which helps support more than 50 million passenger trips per year. This integrated system will continue to aid NCT to improve reliability and punctuality of services provided, as well as optimize fleet operations and reduce operational costs.’