Students and employees who rely on public transit are facing a significant obstacle to their efforts to return to their normal routines, following the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures (Fumagalli et al., 2021). In densely populated cities globally, there has been a demand for improved public transportation in the past years but fulfilling it has proven to be a challenge. As a result, limited access to transportation, safety concerns, and customer discontent have emerged as a major source of worry. They also serve as essential challenges for the creation of smart cities software in the works today. This is where utilizing public transportation software comes in handy.
Operations and the public transit infrastructure are both managed using public transport software in many modern cities. It often handles information on schedules, ticket purchasing, school bus routing, and e-ticketing. These features, along with more advanced functionalities that are continuously being developed, make it easy for transport offices to meet current transport demands. In this guide, you can explore the top public transportation software on the market, including their key functionalities, advanced features, and pricing.
In 2019, there were approximately 6,800 organizations providing public transport in the United States (The Census Bureau, 2021). In that same year, the American Community Survey (ACS) reported that about 5% of all workers are public transportation commuters (Burrows et al., 2021). When the pandemic hit, however, the shelter-in-place orders induced a drop in ridership. This affected public transit agencies. While ridership was up by 200 million from April 2020 to June 2021, the figures are still nowhere near where they were prior to the pandemic (The Census Bureau, 2021).
As of June 2022, the average national weekly demand for public transit in the U.S. was at 52% of actual pre-pandemic ridership (TransitApp/APTA, 2022). When the pandemic led to an increase in remote work, transit agencies lost a large share of their riders. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 12% of workers in the largest metropolitan areas were mass-transit commuters (Bloomberg, 2021). Today, only 45% of ridership is back nationally (TransitApp/APTA, 2022).
There are many factors affecting the hesitation of commuters in taking public transit. While major business hubs have eased restrictions and most employers are encouraging employees to return to the office, still, the public transport sector is experiencing a slow return to pre-pandemic ridership levels.
Mass transit recovery will not happen overnight. However, public transport operators can alleviate the problem by rethinking the services they offer to public transit commuters. A study by Accenture reported that 37% of transit users are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with transport services, which implies that transport agencies need only to address the lack of engagement by conducting a needs analysis (Accenture, 2021). By identifying what transit users want, there is an opportunity to come back stronger by offering more appealing passenger experiences.
The use of public transport software provides transport operators with the opportunity to enhance services. Based on the Accenture study, at least 17% of passengers are obliged to use public transit systems. This is essentially the captive market, which presents a huge opportunity for public transit providers. Another segment identified is the 16% that have not changed their attitudes toward traveling, and another 38% that plan to return to their offices when restrictions are lifted (Accenture, 2021). Each of these three segments has unique needs that operators can effectively address through the use of public transport platforms.
Efficient public transport systems using key technologies can enhance the experience of commuters by providing key touchpoints through their mobile devices. Contactless payments, real-time updates on transport options, and proactive notification of service interruptions or changes are just some of the most important services that public transit passengers want in their everyday commute. Public transport software offers solutions to these requirements, plus more features that can enhance the overall experience of public transport riders.
Source: The Census Bureau
The following list of the best transport software can help you identify the key solutions needed to enhance services to public transit commuters. By providing a seamless experience, public transport agencies will be prepared to return and even exceed pre-pandemic ridership levels.
Ecolane is a platform that performs real-time management, monitoring, and evaluation of both system and employee performance. It offers a comprehensive suite of powerful tools and services that are not dependent on any particular platform. These solutions put the power of contemporary technology in the hands of employees in order to provide the best service to citizens. Ecolane combines the power of mobile and business intelligence technology to create a platform that helps transit agencies operate more efficiently.
Remix is the industry’s first planning platform specifically designed for public transportation. Whether it’s a minor detour or a complete overhaul of the system and everything in between, experts can design, evaluate, and collaborate on it all in the same place. Iterate puts new concepts to the test, assessing their effects, and refining them as necessary. Stakeholders can see how proposed changes to the transportation network will affect the system as well as recognize who, where, when, and how often they have access to public transportation. By combining data on demographics, operational efficiency, travel patterns, and origin-destination connections, agencies can design a transportation system that is tailored to meet the needs of the local population.
Optibus is an end-to-end software that aims to make transportation services more inclusive, sustainable, and efficient for all parties involved, including agencies, operators, drivers, and passengers. The routes, timetables, and schedules that will serve as the skeleton of the transportation network can be planned, designed, and crafted by agencies using the platform. Additionally, transit operators are able to use the platform to schedule crew and vehicle shifts, as well as roster employees (rotas). In addition, employee shuttles and other shuttle operations can be provided at cheaper rates while improving the level of service.
TripSpark‘s public transportation system helps streamline every facet of an agency’s transportation system. The vendor offers a single-source, single-vendor ITS, which implies that everything is completely integrated and operates properly together. Gain insights into operations, improve timetables and routes, keep the back office running efficiently, and manage drivers using a single robust system. TripSpark provides solutions for both fixed-route and paratransit transportation systems.
With its street-by-street capacity planning and slack optimization capabilities, QRyde for Public Transportation is the most comprehensive ADA-compliant scheduling and dispatching solution available on the market. QRyde meets the FTA criteria for ADA while maximizing ride sharing. The platform is a first-of-its-kind cloud-based transportation management solution with built-in AI and big data management functionalities. Independent transportation firms and public transit systems can use it to improve their current operations, penetrate new markets, and compete with the newest app technologies and business models.
TripMaster NEMT Software provides comprehensive auditing assistance, management of both personnel and vehicle resources, cost control, tracking of payroll and benefits, management of routes, statistical analysis, computer-assisted scheduling, digital billing, and a great deal more. In addition to TripMaster’s core functionalities, it has a variety of add-on modules that assist agencies in providing the highest quality of customer care possible. The platform offers efficient solutions for all elements of transportation operations, making it useful to both new transportation providers hoping to get their operations off to a good start and incumbent transit agencies wanting to increase their efficiency and integrate new technologies.
Moovit‘s mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions make it easier for cities, transport companies and operators, campuses, and enterprises to bring MaaS to their citizens. It offers tools such as branded mobility applications, mobile payments, urban mobility metrics, and on-demand and pre-scheduled transit services. With the assistance of Moovit MaaS, transit agencies and operations are able to leverage an advanced multimodal route planner, the largest and most accurate library of transit data, and the largest repository of people’s movement data.
With the help of Spare‘s mobility management platform, transportation organizations are given the ability to run transit services and find solutions to critical difficulties faced by their riders. They are able to operate a transport system that is entirely automated and on-demand, and they can further unlock the potential of their transit network by using the built-in capabilities for planning. In addition, they can make use of big data to gain insights into operational processes, on top of streamlining and digitizing the management of paratransit eligibility. Spare also provides drivers and riders with one-of-a-kind mobile solutions that can improve the driving and riding experiences they have, respectively.
Business travel agencies want a system that is not only global but also comprehensive, user-friendly, and efficient in order to sell and manage train travel. That is precisely what Amadeus Rail Display and Web Services provide: access to different trains and all fares through the use of a single system. Deliver an exceptional experience to customers by utilizing the platform. Travel consultants are able to handle the accounts of each customer in a manner that is both standardized and personalized. Rail is incorporated into the preexisting sales platform, which includes travel profiles, shopping, booking, ticketing, post-sale services, as well as processing in the middle and back offices.
Conduent Transportation assists transit authorities and agencies in modernizing their ticketing and payment systems in order to create sustainable revenue. Moreover, it helps improve travel experience for customers by making it more individualized and easy. Transit agencies have the capacity to make travel simpler and safer for both locals and visitors as the platform fosters interoperability among different forms of transportation as well as service providers. Conduent Transportation improves the speed, safety, and dependability of public transportation by providing a variety of passenger payment and ticketing choices that are adaptable. These include intelligent public transport management systems and CAD/AVL solutions.
Trapeze is a comprehensive and integrated platform that serves a variety of transit agencies. It provides highly developed solutions that assist operators in the real-time management of their employees, customers, and assets. Its technology contributes to the protection of all parties involved, helps to establish trust, and encourages riders to return to using public transportation. In addition, the technology, which is powered by AI, offers flexibility and communication to riders of paratransit and similar services.
Via‘s technology gives partners the ability to build whole transit systems, from the planning of more effective networks and streets to the practical and reliable operation of public transit and student transportation. Its integrated solutions are designed with the intention of catering to a wide variety of transportation networks, ranging from microtransit to logistics. It brings quick and easily accessible transportation to locations that have the most demand for it since it connects riders who live and work in remote areas that are not served by public transit. It also wants to make the rider experience better by providing booking apps and adjustable configurations to match the needs of each individual rider. These customizable configurations include wheelchair-accessible vehicles, door-to-door service, and other services.
The on-demand macrotransit system offered by Pantonium considers a city as a single zone. Full-sized buses are used in cities of all sizes to provide service to vast urban, suburban, and rural service areas. This eliminates the need for riders to transfer buses, reduces the amount of time it takes to complete a trip, and makes public transportation more equitable and convenient for everyone. Instead of splitting urban, suburban, and rural areas into a myriad of smaller service areas (microtransit) or routes, the proposed alternative perceives these geographic regions as a single, expansive service area (fixed-route systems). In addition to this, it analyzes the whole service area on a worldwide scale and in real-time in order to determine all of the transit resources and passenger demand. Pantonium then finds the best possible match between available resources and consumer demand in order to provide clients with the greatest possible level of transportation service.
Actionfigure is the only provider of transportation information solutions that enables enterprises and their employees to make better travels via the use of motional intelligence. Renters, residents, and visitors will have the flexibility to choose from a comprehensive range of transportation choices, thanks to their unique collection of data streams. In addition to this, the vendor has a unique data platform that is responsible for the coordination and curation of more than 3,000 data streams in order to deliver accurate and up-to-date information on all forms of transportation.
CODICE PT is not just built for the planning of public transportation, but also for the planning of electric cars. It is the key to increasing productivity in transit networks while simultaneously reducing expenses. The platform provides users with a straightforward, comprehensive, and reliable method for resolving resource planning and optimization issues that they may be experiencing. CODICE is able to scale up from working with small fleets to huge corporations that have many work locations. By supplying the essential analyses with real-time updates, it pulls the planner into closer proximity to quality indicators that really matter.
EzTransport is a comprehensive software solution for transportation management created for transportation service providers and the people they serve. The web-based software, vehicle hardware, and management services that the company offers can eliminate headaches associated with transportation management. It lowers yearly operating expenses while simultaneously raising service standards and enhancing the passenger experience. In addition to this, it assists operators in the management of journeys and vehicles as well as the automation of fare collection via the use of their card and card-less solutions.
The GPS vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions offered by TSO Mobile are adapted to meet the requirements of the public transportation sector. These solutions provide a high degree of monitoring capabilities along with position information frequencies that are updated minute-by-minute. Cities, counties, and any other organization that operates public transit vehicles will have the capability to monitor and track in real-time while simultaneously giving passengers location information. The GPS monitoring devices for vehicles come with a broad choice of different installation methods to choose from.
Swarco‘s public transport management is a set of solutions that helps operators, drivers, and passengers make better use of public transportation services. Core elements include fleet and terminal management. Moreover, it collects passenger and driver information in real-time. In addition, components of the platform such as fare collection and security systems are automated. It also comes with solutions that increase cost-efficiency and decrease environmental impact. With this, cities can improve the integration of bus services into their overall transportation system and increase the appeal of public transportation for commuters.
Ncrypted‘s cutting-edge optimization algorithms, current IT machine learning, and simple but intuitive user interface help the world’s premier transportation operators offer efficient service and enhance customer satisfaction while saving on operating costs. As part of supply chain management, transportation management solutions are tightly integrated with high-end enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). Manufacturers, third-party logistics (3PL) firms, distributors, ecommerce, retailers, and others benefit from Public Transportation Software’s enhanced real-time supply chain visibility and cost reductions by keeping track of shipping and logistics.
AMCONSOFT provides customer-focused, multimodal smart mobility solutions to optimize the urban transportation sector and ensure that the city continues to function effectively. The vendor contributed to the creation of trustworthy systems to regulate traffic conditions, manage vehicle flow, and increase safety. Transportation agencies are able to get real-time traffic data from cameras and speed sensors, which feeds into their traffic management system. From there, they can view the ideas of improvements on traffic flow, as well as any present accidents, if there are any. In addition, their solutions for Transportation Demand Management (TDM) are gaining interest among operators of public transit systems as a potential method for reducing congestion in overcrowded public transportation networks.
Optimizing and improving public transportation systems are increasingly becoming important around the world. After all, most people spend their time on the road, whether they are going to and from work or simply getting to different places. Mobility, especially in urban areas, significantly contributes to a city’s operations and economy. As such, public transport management systems are essential public sector solutions in ensuring that problems will not cause significant issues to the citizen’s quality of life.
As a result, more and more public organizations, transportation agencies, and transit system operators are relying on public transportation software. Along with solutions such as government software, the use of these platforms are becoming a norm as public institutions aim to modernize their operations.
The same applies in the case of student transport professionals looking to provide the best school transportation software to their school clients. While there’s still a long way to go to achieve a fully optimized public transportation system, significant steps are now being taken to resolve the existing problems.