Trapeze Group Europe, a Modaxo company, is one of a group of partner companies chosen to support the ULTIMO project, funded by the European Union.
The ULTIMO project is intended to promote user-centric sustainable mobility through the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicles.
Three deployment cities have been identified in Germany, Norway, and Switzerland.
The project, which began in October 2022, is expected to take four years, and involves 23 partners.
As an established specialist provider of IT solutions for public transport, including on demand mobility transportation, Trapeze Group has been chosen as one of the project partners. It will contribute, among other things, to the project’s objective of developing technology solutions supporting seamless integration of vehicles and fleet management into MaaS (Mobility as a Service) and LaaS (Logistics as a Service) systems.
User-centric, end-to-end, on demand journeys
Commenting on the team’s involvement in the project, Christian Erikstrup, Chief Sales Officer for On Demand Mobility Solutions at Trapeze Group in Northern Europe, said: “We are proud to be part of the ULTIMO project, and extremely excited to develop solutions that support sustainable autonomous mobility.
Autonomous mobility has a major role to play in the development of user-centric, end-to-end, on demand journeys. We believe this development will enable public transportation services to increase efficiency and sustainability while elevating the passenger experience.”
About Project ULTIMO
For more information regarding the ULTIMO HORIZON EUROPE project, please visit the project’s website:www.ultimo-he.eu
About Trapeze Group For more information about Trapeze Group in Europe, please visit the Trapeze Group – European website: trapezegroup.eu
Modaxo is a global technology organization passionate about moving the world’s people. Learn more at Modaxo.com.
Trapeze Group Europe is represented at PERSONTRAFIK 22 in Stockholm – October 22–25 – presenting a wide range of solutions tapping into the present and future challenges of public transport.
Manage the transformation from diesel to electric, combine fixed routes with Demand Response, enhance the driver experience – and define user centric transport offerings
We will present a variety of Trapeze IT solutions for authorities and operators, and provide sparring on for example how to
– efficiently manage the transition from diesel to electric
– combine fixed routes and Demand Response
– use an app for enhanced driver communication, possibility to indicate preferred shifts, swap shifts-features, and more…
– define and manage ‘elderly friendly’ – and other user centric – public transport offerings
Efficiency, sustainability, and enhancing the passenger experience
Trapeze develops tools and systems for maximum efficiency and sustainability in public transport; planning and scheduling, mobility-on-demand, operational control systems, business intelligence, electric mobility, duty allocation and driver management, fleet management, and passenger information, etc.
If you are going to be there and happen to be close by, be sure to stop by our booth at C06:34.
Playing with bricks, connecting dots, building teams and relations …and strengthening the foundation for doing great work.
The air was filled with smiles and brain energy when 30 developers from the Modaxo Europe portfolio, including Trapeze Group Europe, met on the 6-8th of April at Hotel Legoland in Billund in Denmark for a Modaxo Europe hosted Build-A-Thon. During the three days the participants had the opportunity to learn, discuss, exchange ideas and work together in interdisciplinary teams.
The Build-A-Thon is a hackathon-event where Modaxo Europe invites employees from different companies in the Modaxo portfolio to meet and collaborate on ideas and solutions for solving complex challenges related to the future within the Public Transport domain. With point of departure in overall themes, sessions, and cases, the Build-A-Thon evolves around intense teamwork, relationship building, exchange of knowledge, and the conception of new ideas and solutions.
This Build-A-Thon, the second of its kind, consisted of one day of introduction and learning sessions about cyber security, AI technology, and gamification – and two days of intensive teamwork.
“It is a great opportunity to meet colleagues from different places and with different insights. This is a one of kind event and I have really enjoyed it”.
Tomasz, Build-A-Thon participant.
“The Build-A-Thon is about strengthening our foundation for doing great work – as well as generating ideas and looking into the future of public transportation. Getting together, thinking together, bonding in a professional way, and solving challenges together creates more cohesiveness across teams, borders, and work cultures. It builds even stronger work relations and supports our business in many ways”.
Douglas Spears Director of Product Management at Modaxo and Build-A-Thon host
Trapeze Group is part of Modaxo, a collective of companies passionate about moving people. You can learn more about Modaxo at Modaxo.com and more about Trapeze in Denmark on this website (in Danish).
Global Covid-19 Response: The New Challenges of Recovery
Over the past few months, Trapeze staff across the world have been coordinating a series of sessions in which we shared knowledge with our colleagues and customers.
In doing so it has become apparent that the sharing of information – both empirical data such as Nextstrain and Google’s Community Mobility Reports, and anecdotal perspectives and best practices – has been hugely valuable for all concerned.
However, as public transport recovery now moves into a different phase, additional requirements are emerging. At this stage I believe our focus must now turn to the restoration of confidence, and the implementation of processes that will deliver greater flexibility and robustness in the future.
Changing Demand and New Challenges
Encountering a worldwide pandemic has inevitably changed many aspects of our everyday lives, including how and when we use public transport and where we travel to and from. We have always anticipated that on demand transport would play more of prominent role in the future, but public transport authorities and operators may now need to prepare for this change sooner than previously expected.
As you know, here in Scandinavia we have seen passenger ridership fall significantly – though in most instances to a lesser extent than elsewhere around the world: some US states have reportedly seen ridership drop by 90% or more.
Over the past few months Trapeze staff and many of our transport provider customers have found Google’s Community Mobility Reports to be an invaluable tool, revealing overall trends and helping to confirm behavioural patterns such as travel to and from hospitals and health centres.
At the same time, this data is throwing up some interesting insights from a public transport perspective. In some regions, travel to and within parks has unsurprisingly increased – though this typically involves walking or other forms of active travel.
Meanwhile, in other regions we have noticed that anticipated increases, such as to and from supermarkets, have not transpired. This perhaps suggests that the increased adoption of online shopping has become more permanently ingrained in the populace, which will likely impact future travel patterns.
Similarly, while some regions show that office travel has returned in recent weeks, it seems likely that post-Covid-19 there will be some level of wider shift towards working from home – if only some of the time and for some workers.
This may be slightly worrying from a transport perspective, but in some respects it is merely an acceleration of an existing trend, and simply confirms the need to provide greater mobility flexibility to meet demand.
Finally, many regions are also now seeing localised lockdowns, meaning that demand is changing by area, while fears over additional Covid-19 waves remain. All of these factors clearly show that while the situation is improved, there are still huge challenges in relation to bus operations and scheduling.
Meeting Passenger Needs at Home and Overseas
In speaking with colleagues in North America, I was interested to learn that real-time cleanliness reporting is now being used as an innovative way to increase passenger confidence levels. In this way, passengers can not only see live arrival and departure times; they can also be assured of when the vehicle was last cleaned.
Similarly, the US is now seeing increased focus on live loading information, indicating whether a bus is full or has capacity (in relation to present social distancing guidelines), which can be communicated out to the public via on-street signs or mobile apps.
However, there is a significant limitation here: the data currently displayed usually tends to cover present loading level; it doesn’t tell passengers how many people will board or alight in the stops between now and the intended boarding time.
While this may appear a significant obstacle, we are exploring the potential to overlay historic data with present information in order to accurately predict not only the arrival time, but the number of people who will be aboard – and therefore the available capacity.
Restoring passenger confidence is of course vital, but it is also important to consider the types of services we deliver.
Here in Scandinavia it has long been common for operators to feed back to the authorities regarding passenger numbers on each route.
However, today, with such sudden uncertainty in terms of ridership figures, this data can serve a range of new purposes: we can utilise it to manage loading levels and thereby keep passengers safe, but also to analyse demand in something close to real time, thereby shaping future services to more closely reflect current travel patterns.
Globally, some of the operators we work with have switched some services from fixed bus routes to Demand Responsive Transport (DRT), and others are now implementing ‘Flex’ routes as a way to meet changing demand.
The AARP Public Policy Institute, which works with organisations across the world to offer better opportunities for ageing populations, recently recognised the quality and efficiency of Flex services in Denmark when it undertook a study of operations at FlexDanmark, which of course utilises Trapeze technology.
FlexDanmark shows that we already have the tools and resources in place to maximise the type of demand transport which is now generating significant interest in many regions, due to its potential to meet passenger requirements more effectively, enabling passengers to essentially ‘hail’ a bus – but one that is completely integrated within the wider transport network.
Managing Future Disruption
However, it is now becoming clear that recovery from Covid-19 will not be straight forward. There are challenges ahead, and we must be able to adapt to whatever we face.
Additionally, without wishing to sound in any way alarmist, we should recognise the need introduce greater flexibility and resilience in our systems and processes. My colleagues in North America haven’t only faced Covid-19 this year: there have been riots in parts of the United States, as well as significant disruption caused from extreme weather events.
While Europe may not have suffered at quite the same level, climate change is an increasing threat to us all; we are all focused on how to adapt to increasing requirements for electric vehicles; and if the past few months have told us anything, perhaps it is that we should not take anything for granted.
I believe we must all work to deliver greater resilience in our public transport network. Suppliers such as Trapeze have a critical role to play here: by harnessing data and utilising the latest technology we can implement systems that enable operators to keep servicing passenger requirements, and maintain that precious public confidence, whatever comes our way.
Christian Erikstrup, CSO at Trapeze in Scandinavia, reports on recent developments within the global transport sector
The businesses that make up Modaxo will share industry knowledge and market understandings to help drive new product innovation and services.
Toronto, ON – October 20, 2020
Today marks the official launch of Modaxo, a new, dedicated global organization bringing together businesses from across Volaris Group that collectively focus on advancing new technologies and innovations for People Transportation. Bill Delaney has been named Modaxo’s CEO.
With more than two dozen companies, representing 12 brands, Modaxo comprises 2,000 people, operating from 35 offices in 21 countries around the world. Today’s launch of Modaxo, brings these businesses together under a global banner, with a singular focus and passion to provide the software and technologies that move the world’s people.
The businesses that make up Modaxo retain their existing brands and continue to service customers in their local markets, but become part of a larger organization with Modaxo, sharing industry knowledge and market understandings to help drive new product innovation and services.
Businesses under the Modaxo banner include Binary System, Cittati, Empresa1, Holmedal, Imperial, PLANit, Signature Rail, Systemtechnik, TransTrack Systems, Trapeze Group, and TripSpark.
Bill Delaney has been named Modaxo’s CEO. Delaney has a rich history in public transport and emergency services. He started his career within the Government sector, running large-scale procurements and projects. Moving to the Private sector, Delaney has led companies under both family and private equity ownership models. He has also worked across multiple regions and cultures from Asia Pacific, India, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America.
“Modaxo’s expertise, global bench strength, and singular focus on People Transportation make it a great home for technology companies that share our vision to efficiently move the world’s people,” said Bill Delaney, CEO, Modaxo. “Modaxo is well positioned to pursue new organic growth opportunities in innovation and explore complementary acquisitions that build upon current capabilities in the quickly evolving mobility market.”
Modaxo’s roots began over 30 years ago with the founding of Trapeze Group, a leading global provider of software and technology solutions for People Transportation. Over the years, Trapeze has been joined by dozens of sister companies focused solely on the daily transportation needs of citizens all over the world.
Mark Miller, co-founder of Trapeze, CEO of Volaris Group, and COO of Constellation Software commented: “Modaxo is the culmination of what was started with Trapeze over three decades ago. The Modaxo team will continue our legacy of helping people to move throughout cities, towns and regions as part of their daily lives.”
About Modaxo Inc.
Modaxo brings together some of the best and brightest people, technology solutions, and businesses from across the world to deliver new opportunities in, and approaches to, innovation in People Transportation. For more information, visit www.modaxo.com.
For further information: Kim Emmerson Chief Marketing Officer +1-416)-473-6302 firstname.lastname@example.org
“We don’t want to rely on old knowledge. It would have been so easy to say, ‘this is how we have done it for the last 10 years’. But we wanted to use data to see the truth, so that we could make decisions that would help us to improve all areas of our organisation.”
As a rallying call for the power of data and willingness to embrace change, the above quote from Flygbussarna Project Manager and Business Developer Johanna Gerdin Bueno is difficult to beat.
But Johanna and the team aren’t merely offering impressive soundbites: Flygbussarna has embarked on a radical optimisation drive, adapting the business so that it can continually adapt schedules in line with data-directed optimisations – an approach which has paid huge dividends, with a 1.7% reduction in driver payment costs.
Doing Things the Flygbussarna Way
The above example of fresh thinking should perhaps come as no surprise: Swedish bus company Flygbussarna, which transfers some five million passengers a year from local cities to seven of the country’s biggest airports, has never aimed to be ‘just another bus operator’.
In 2009 Flygbussarna worked with a local advertising company to produce an eye-catching construction of a coach built from the wreckage of 50 cars. The point – cleverly and effectively communicated – related to the energy efficiency of bus travel in comparison with private cars.
Today sustainability remains central to the Flygbussarna offering – all 82 vehicles have been completely fossil fuel free for the past five years – but it is the award-winning customer experience that really sets the company apart, with all buses equipped with on-board Wi-Fi and air conditioning.
The Efficiency Drive
Despite its acclaimed customer service levels, in recent years Flygbussarna has faced increasingly fierce competition from a combination of taxis, trains and privately-owned cars. Furthermore, with airports reducing car parking charges, driving has become more affordable – eroding one of Flygbussarna’s unique strengths. The company was challenged to reduce operational costs – of course, without adversely affecting passenger experience.
Project Manager Johanna Gerdin Bueno has spent the past two years managing an optimisation project, with specific focus on becoming more responsive operationally. To that end, Johanna spoke with Flygbussarna’s existing software supplier, Trapeze Group, regarding the role that technology could play.
Johanna realised that technology had the potential to enable them to be far more flexible in how they managed operations: “When a computer allocates duties, it considers so many more data points than a human ever could – it looks much farther ahead in the calculations. As a result, we are able to run tests with the data: making small tweaks to how the outcomes change, and using this to find the most optimal approach. We could never do that before.”
Johanna reports that this flexibility has enabled Flygbussarna to significantly increase overall efficiency: “We implemented the software in November 2018 and could see the cost saving immediately. The investment was repaid within a year.”
Manager for Business Development Linda Wiklund added: “This new AI technology means we can work in a way which is data driven and in line with our digital strategy which allows us to make more fact based decisions. In the long run, the fact we are saving time and money, allows us to continue to run our different routes as frequently as we do.”
Impressively, such is the flexibility of the solution, that Flygbussarna was able to quickly reschedule on a daily basis over Christmas, enabling the team to far more efficiently meet the requirements of fluctuations through the festive period – a process which usually takes week to complete.
The level of efficiency delivered has been hugely impressive for all involved, with an overall 1.7% reduction in driver pay time – a saving of more than 4,700 driver hours per year.
Partnership for Future Success
Johanna and Linda feel the relationship between Flygbussarna and Trapeze has evolved through this shared project: “We have been working with Trapeze for almost 20 years – and today we are closer than ever. Trapeze is focused on user experience and optimisation, helping us to move ahead of our competition. It is a partnership relationship – not just a supplier and customer.
However, the credit for this success story clearly belongs to the Flygbussarna team. It is impossible to not be impressed by their foresight to use data to drive their decisions – and of course, their willingness to embrace the changes that would improve their business.
Indeed, the modern world shows us time and time again that data can transform our lives – but only if we are willing to use the information and change in response.
As Johanna, Linda and Flygbussarna have shown us, there are huge benefits to doing so. It is the difference between struggling against the rising tide of increasingly fierce competition, or finding new ways to streamline operations, remaining competitive, and continuing the deliver award winning, customer-centric, and sustainable transport.