How HERE platform brings real-time visibility to public transportation in Japan
#BuiltWithHERE is a series that showcases how developers are using the HERE platform to solve location-related business problems using location data. Each post highlights developer solutions and apps that are timely, innovative, and transformative.
In this blog post, we showcase the work of a technology and design company, Designium, based in Aizuwakamatsu City, Japan, that created a solution that delivers dynamic visibility of bus status at any given time, including delays or seasonal and temporary changes to the service. As a part of the Samurai MaaS Project, Designium set out to build a better system for Aizu Bus, a private transit company serving the region.
The Samurai MaaS (or Mobility-as-a-Service) Project is a government smart city initiative in the Aizu region funded by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. Mitsubishi Corporation, which is also a part of the Samurai MaaS Project, participated from a project management perspective and introduced Designium to HERE Technologies.
Location-related business problems
Aizuwakamatsu is a main region for tourist attractions and has a climate of warm summers and cold winters with heavy rain and snowfall, this often causes delays in road traffic. Bus passengers found it difficult to know where their bus was, the distance between stops, if a bus was delayed or if it had been canceled, especially in the case of sudden, severe weather events.
Even the operation manager of the Aizu Bus fleet had limited real-time information about where their buses were because they outsourced the updating of GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) data.
Solution using HERE Technologies
Using HERE Public Transit API, Designium created an app that allows passengers to track the status of the bus in real-time. Aizu Bus can now update their GTFS data in real-time, deliver information through various applications and send automatic alerts to passengers.
Real-time, this is the key word for our solution. And that’s the difference HERE can provide. That’s something that Aizu Bus didn’t have before, and now they do.
Designium also uses HERE Routing API to provide information on the rerouting due to traffic or weather conditions and allows bus operators to announce updates to drivers who can then react in a timely manner. This would increase the experience when riding Aizu Bus, and hopefully, increase the number of tourists coming to the area.
In the future, Designium is looking to implement this solution for other local companies in the Aizu area and expand the use of HERE APIs to other applications such as tourism and snow removal vehicles.
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