The end of the transport ticket is nigh. Today, Hitachi Rail has launched a suite of tools, dubbed the Lumada Intelligent Mobility Management Suite, which allows passengers to access every mode of transport in a city “hands-free” and which is set to improve the availability of live data for transport operators.
The passenger app, which Hitachi calls the ‘360Pass’, eradicates the need for passengers to purchase paper tickets or to ‘touch in’ thanks to the use of Bluetooth sensors that know when a passenger with the mobile app has boarded, how far they have travelled and when they disembarked. According to the company, passengers are able to take multi-modal journeys, and the 360Pass system will ensure they only pay the best possible fare at the end of each day. Moreover, the app will provide passengers with personalised trip information, and is able to predict overcrowding at future stops and to provide alerts to the passenger, as needed.
For transport operators, Hitachi Rail states that the suite gives operators the ability to connect, scale and optimise a city’s entire transportation network in real time. Specifically, transport operators can control traffic flow and service patterns and react more effectively to disruption or large-scale events as they happen. Moreover, by combining emissions and congestion data in different geographical areas, operators will be able to make smart decisions about where to target electrification of services first and prioritise locations for charging for e-bus and e-car fleets and infrastructure.
Hitachi Rail has launched the suite in the Italian city of Genoa, in partnership with the Municipality of Genoa, and the city’s public transport operator, AMT; connecting 663 buses, 2500 bus stops, the metro line used by 15 million p.a., two funiculars, one historic hillside railway, 10 public lifts and two suburban bus routes that span 50km, in the process. The company eyes expanding the Lumada Intelligent Mobility Management Suite to major cities across Europe and the UK.
The launch of the mobility suite comes at a pivotal time for public transportation operators which have suffered dampened demand during the pandemic and operational challenges during record-breaking heat waves across Europe.
However, the need for ever-more seamless and accessible public transportation has never been greater, and recent studies and publications have strengthened calls for the reduction in car use and private mobility. Indeed, as reported last week, public transportation, if done right, has the potential to cut transport emissions by more than half.