Public transport made possible thanks to a Data Warehouse

  • Updated2 March 2020
  • News

Nowadays, to create quick, successful and efficient public transport you need more than just a modern rolling stock, infrastructure, and tools used to model communication systems. In case of large and quickly developing cities, it is equally important to collect, process and analyse data that allow to create public transport adapted to the needs of its users. At the end of 2019, Public Transport Authority (Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego) in Warsaw completed works related to launching a Data Warehouse.

Organisation of public transport on a large scale, such as in Warsaw and neighbouring municipalities, apart from a modern rolling stock, developed infrastructure, tools used to model the transport system and passenger-friendly tariff policy, require additional innovations. Today, it is necessary to collect, process and analyse data related to public transport, as well as behaviour and habits of passengers.

Several years ago, Public Transport Authority have begun preparations to implement a Data Warehouse – Intelligent Transport Systems type tool used to process large volumes of information, even if they come from different sources, as well as visualise results of analyses. This involves data comparison on a massive scale, which is impossible using pen and paper or a spreadsheet.

Commencement of works related to Data Warehouse was accompanied by implementation of systems necessary to collect and transfer data, e.g. between the transport manager and transport operators. The main focus was providing vehicles with appropriate devices that collect data related to number of passengers, sold tickets and GPS position. Currently, Public Transport Authority also possesses data regarding sales of tickets in automatic ticket machines, Passenger Service Points and mobile applications. In case of subway, they collect and transfer data related to passengers that enter or leave particular stations.

The following data are the most important for any transport organiser: the number of runs, the length of lines, distances between stops, the number of sold tickets, communication events and their duration, as well as numbers of passengers’ reports.

The system is provided with data from approximately 60 transport, commercial and financial sources. This allows to generate detailed reports. For example: employees that develop a project related to changes in a public system may specify the number of passengers that enter or leave or crowd in a given time period on any stop or in any area or municipality. A commercial division – while working on development of a ticket sales network – may use an exemplary analysis of the number and types of tickets sold in selected types of devices. In case of planning of trainings for employees of Passenger Service Points, there is a possibility to generate a report regarding the most frequently reported types of cases by the users of the Warsaw Public Transport. For employees responsible for internal personnel and financial services, it is important to quickly obtain reports that summarise the level of employment and remuneration within a given time.

After several months of using the Data Warehouse, employees of Public Transport Authority unanimously emphasise its enormous utility and large significance in terms of operations associated with, above all, organisation and supervision of public transport. As the most important feature they confidently point out the reduction of time needed to obtain necessary combination of data and the possibility to devote this time to design works – the most important works from the perspective of passengers as they allow to create public transport that corresponds to their needs to the largest extent.

Public Transport Authority in Warsaw is the largest institution that organises and supervises public transport in Poland, which operates in Warsaw and 35 neighbouring municipalities – an area inhabited by over two million people. During a year, vehicles of the Warsaw Public Transport service lines of length of nearly five thousand kilometres and travel approximately 250 million kilometres. In the peak communication hours, nearly 1,600 buses, 400 trams and 50 subway trains, as well as 18 trains of the Fast Urban Railway embark on roads and tracks of Warsaw and neighbouring areas. Over one billion of passengers use the Warsaw Public Transport every year.

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