03 Oct 2023
Let’s Be Honest: Detours Can Be a Nightmare
Parades. Marathons. Protests. Roadwork. Water main breaks. Four-alarm fires. Sometimes detours are planned. Sometimes they pop up haphazardly. Either way, transit agencies are often forced to scramble together an alternate route.
Riders waiting at the stop are lucky to get a temporary sign taped to the bus shelter. What about the app? They might notice a service alert announcing the detour—but it’s usually just an inscrutable block of text.
Even those who are already on a detoured bus suddenly find themselves off track, with little or no information about when the bus will get back to its regular route.
Transit agencies know that their customers deserve better. Riders need accurate, easy-to-understand information. And agency staff need a simple way to get it to them.
Finally, there’s a way: we’ve figured out how to put detours on the map.
For years, Transit and Swiftly have led the industry by helping partner transit agencies provide accurate real-time service information to riders. Today, we’re unveiling a new, easy way to communicate detours.
Transit agencies can now add detours into their real-time feed with Swiftly, and those detours will appear for riders on the map in Transit. Plus: real-time countdowns are adjusted to account for the detour, and relocated stops and routes are automatically taken into account for riders using Transit’s trip planner.
This easy-to-launch integration is now available for transit agencies that partner with both Transit and Swiftly.
This partnership includes a number of important “firsts” for public transit. Swiftly is the first and only real-time data producer to share detailed detour information in ways that trip planners can display to riders. Meanwhile, Transit is the first and only rider app to display detour information to passengers.
Transit is also the first and only platform to offer automated detection detours to transit agencies, a feature it first launched in February with the STM in Montreal.
With today’s announcement, MDOT MTA in Maryland becomes the largest system in the United States to provide mobile maps of detoured bus routes for its customers, as detour information communicated by Swiftly is now seamlessly displayed to riders when they open Transit on their phones.
MDOT MTA is joined by Green Mountain Transit in Vermont and Torrance Transit in California. These two agencies have provided their passengers free access to Royale, Transit’s subscription service, and also use Swiftly’s Service Adjustments to enter detour updates.
These three systems are just the start. Transit and Swiftly will roll out passenger-facing detour support for additional systems in the coming weeks. Partner transit systems across the US are already using Swiftly’s tool to enter more than 3,500 detours each month, and agencies that have signed up for Transit’s automated detection are catching all detours as they happen—even if they weren’t entered manually.
“We’re excited that we’re now able to provide truly dynamic communications with our riders. Our first big step towards this goal was in 2018 when we started to provide real-time predictions to riders with Swiftly in the Transit app. The obvious next step was to tell riders when something wasn’t going according to plan, but getting there has been a challenge—we’ve struggled to give riders complete information when they need it most, particularly during detours. Now, our riders can see the shape of detours in Transit, powered by Swiftly Service Adjustments. A picture is worth a thousand words, and with this advancement we can finally work towards clear, dynamic communications that provide better information for our riders during uncertain times.”
—Michael Helta, Chief Customer Experience Officer, MDOT MTA
“Whether it’s construction season or five months of winter, Green Mountain Transit values the ability to get passenger information out quickly. The ability to display visual detours in the Transit app thanks to this exciting partnership with Swiftly, paired with our other communication strategies, will allow for clearer and more accessible communication to our passengers.”
—Christopher Damiani, Senior Transit Planner, Green Mountain Transit
“Torrance Transit is thrilled to be among the first transit agencies in the country to give riders full visibility into detours. We know how important it is to give riders complete information, especially when the unexpected happens, like detours. That’s why we’ve partnered with Transit, our rider app, and Swiftly, our real-time information provider, to get the best information into the hands of our passengers.”
—David Mach, Transit Planning Manager, Torrance Transit
It’s not always simple to get real-time trip information to riders. Swiftly has been producing detour shape information for years, but not in a way that rider apps were able to use.
Earlier this year, Transit proposed an addition to the GTFS-realtime specification called Trip-Modifications, and used it to share auto-detected detour information with the STM. Knowing how useful this new data format could be for transit riders and agencies, Swiftly and Transit then collaborated on building out support for Trip-Modifications, leading an innovation that opens up real-time passenger information for the entire industry.
Thanks to the GTFS-rt Trip-Modifications extension, detour information is shared through a standardized feed, so agencies can use this data however they see fit on their passenger information platforms. The STM, for example, is already using a Trip-Modifications feed from Transit to update its website with detours in real time.
This article was originally published by Swiftly.
GILLIG has opened a new engineering centre in Colorado with its acquisition of select assets from Lightning eMotors and Lightning Systems.
National Express will be the first coach operator in the UK to trial Yutong’s new GTe14 tri-axle battery-electric coach.
Alexander Dennis’ next-generation Enviro400EV is now the most efficient electric double-decker bus tested to Zemo Partnership standards.
Wrightbus has received an order to supply 28 Kite Hydroliner single-decker hydrogen buses to Saarbahn GmbH in Saarland, Germany.
The ATS flex demonstrates HellermannTyton’s commitment to providing solutions that improve process quality and help avoid material waste.
Yutong has completed the delivery of 214 battery-electric buses from China for operation in Santiago, Chile.
FlixBus has announced that it will be piloting the first 100% electric long-distance coach service in England and Wales from 21 March.
MAN Truck & Bus has announced plans to roll out battery repair centres in Europe to help create a closed loop for batteries.
New bus service improvements in Banff will include the purchase of hybrid vehicles and the creation of a new transit express lane.
Professor Carlo Ratti has been announced as keynote speaker at UITP's MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition, 28 February to 1 March 2024.
Wrightbus delves into the world of hybrid electric vehicles and the pivotal role of coach builders in bringing them to life.
Stagecoach has ordered an additional 16 battery-electric double-decker buses from Wrightbus to operate in London.
Daimler Buses Solutions GmbH has begun work on constructing a new e-bus depot in The Hague for HTM Personenvervoer NV.
Yutong's U12 battery electric bus has completed an extreme cold challenge in the Arctic Circle through Kirkenes, Norway.
Alexander Dennis Limited has been awarded a contract to supply 12 Enviro500EV double-decker electric buses to Foothill Transit in California.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced a 19.6 million USD project to reconstruct the bus bridge at its Harlem Blue Line Transit Facility.
PEI Mobility uses advanced equipment to assess the strength and fatigue of materials and the reliability of components over time.
Galați, Romania has ordered 40 new battery electric buses from Solaris, including 20 Urbino 9 LE electric and 20 Urbino 12 electric models.
In the Bus-News magazine, we took a look at the NATS Wave 9 study, which considers the key factors for choosing whether to travel by bus.
The future of Metro Vancouver's sustainable transportation and housing is explored in this interview by Icomera's Gabriel Lopez-Bernal.
The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the availability of 1.5 billion USD to help modernise and decarbonise bus fleets across the US.
C & G Coaches are set to benefit from a completely mobile workshop including a refurbished set of Totalkare S6CF wireless mobile column lifts.
Tim Rivett, General Manager at RTIG-Inform discusses the new UK regulations mandating on-bus passenger information.
Sound Transit has ordered 33 Enviro500EV electric double-decker buses from Alexander Dennis for use in the Seattle metropolitan area.
Wrightbus has won a contract to supply 87 new electric buses to Arriva London for operation in the UK capital.
Škoda Group has received a contract to deliver 35 Škoda 33Tr trolleybuses to České Budějovice in the Czech Republic.
Karsan's Autonomous e-ATAK has become the first self-driving public transport bus in Europe to operate through tunnels.
Solaris and public transport operator LNVG have signed an agreement for the delivery of 23 of Solaris' Urbino series hydrogen buses.
Wrightbus delves into the world of zero-emissions vehicles & explores the role of hydrogen buses in London's sustainable transportation landscape.
Ebusco has signed a contract with Swedish public transport operator, VR Sverige, for the order of 14 3.0 18-metre electric buses.
Inside: the new regulations for on-bus passenger information, the NATS Wave 9 survey and what it would take for people to take the bus and more.
AECOM has been chosen as the prime consultant for the development of a new electric bus garage in Ottawa.
After 10 years, NEXCOM is back at Embedded World 2024 from 9-11 April. Meet the team at Hall 5, Stand 5-253.
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has ordered 38 zero-emission Urbino hydrogen buses from Solaris.
Flix has announced the launch of its FlixBus inter-city bus service in India, marking the company's 43rd country worldwide.
Icomera US has been recognised by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) as a 2024 Best Workplaces for Commuters Partner.
Tootbus has partnered with e-fleet solutions provider, VEV to deliver an 'end-to-end green service' for its London sightseeing operations.
Totalkare is pleased to announce its return to the CV Show in Birmingham in April 2024.
Electric buses have emerged as a promising answer to the challenges posed by traditional combustion engine vehicles.
Volvo Group's Nova Bus has been awarded a 5-year contract to supply up to 53 LFSe+ electric buses in the City of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Søren Rasmussen, International Sales Manager at Danish heating specialist Stroco ApS, explains why the right heater is a hybrid heater.
Uno Bus has acquired a range of pre-MOT testing equipment for its Hatfield depot from workshop experts Totalkare.
German transport operator, Ruhrbahn GmbH has contracted Solaris to supply 19 hydrogen buses to Essen, Germany.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has contracted Blue Bird to deliver 180 electric school buses.
Ebusco discusses the potential impact on performance range due to heating requirements, and ways to minimise this impact.
Pace Suburban Bus has unveiled its brand-new battery-electric Gillig bus.
PSI Transcom GmbH will present its software systems for emission-free & sustainable public transport at mobility move from March 5 to 7 2024.
Solaris has selected Škoda Group as a key supplier to equip 112 trolleybuses for Genoa, Italy with complete traction equipment.
In the quest for greener and more sustainable transportation options, hybrid electric vehicles have emerged as a significant step forward.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has launched two new manifestos ahead of this year's general election.
First Bus has announced a collaboration with Openreach to allow the company access to its rapid EV charging infrastructure across bus depots nationwide.
Stroco ApS is a Danish company that has been producing heaters for buses, trucks, trains and boats for almost 50 years.
Wrightbus delivers a brief historical insight into the legacy of the double decker bus.
IVECO Bus has won its largest zero-emission order in Italy, with a contract to deliver 411 electric buses to ATAC in Rome.
Oxfordshire County Council, Go-Ahead’s Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach are launching 159 Wrightbus and Alexander Dennis electric buses.
Transport operator AMT Genova has placed a record order with Solaris for the delivery of a total of 112 units of 18-metre-long trolleybuses.
NYC DOT Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez, has announced the completion of a redesign of Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Van Hool has been contracted by Qbuzz to supply 112 battery-electric buses for use in the South Holland North (ZHN) concession in the Netherlands. The order ...
Siemens AG has announced the completion of its acquisition of Heliox, a technology company specialising in DC fast charging solutions.
Alongside showcasing advancements in driverless technologies for cars, CES 2024 highlighted how these developments can be leveraged for buses.
Bus operator, Go-Ahead London, has announced it is currently trialling the use of Wrightbus' StreetDeck Electroliner.
Single decker hydrogen vehicles offer a promising solution for cities looking to reduce emissions and enhance their public transportation.
German transportation operator, Rheinbahn Düsseldorf, has placed an order for 10 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses.
At CES, MAN Truck & Bus and ABB E-mobility have announced a collaboration to deliver a megawatt charging system for long-distance services.
The Biden-Harris Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency have awarded nearly 1 billion USD to purchase clean school buses.
Gdańsk, Poland has become the first city outside of the US to pilot Hayden AI's automated bus lane and bus stop enforcement cameras.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in Florida has introduced its first six GILLIG battery-electric buses.
An AECOM-led joint venture has been selected to deliver planning and design services for LA Metro’s Vermont Transit Corridor project.
BYD Mexico has delivered 20 electric buses to Mexico City Metrobús as part of an order for 55 100% electric buses.
Ballard Power Systems has signed a long-term supply agreement with NFI, along with an order to supply 100 fuel cell engines for buses.
Ebusco has signed a contract to deliver 23 new electric buses to public transport operator, Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam (ViP).
De Lijn, the public transport operator in Flanders, Belgium, has ordered 92 12-metre electric buses from BYD Europe.
In Metro Vancouver, Translink has commenced its R6 Scott Road RapidBus service operating in Surrey and Delta.
Totalkare looks at the alternatives and accessories to its full-scale lifts — and all the scenarios where you might need something different.
Tata Motors has supplied 100 new electric buses to the Assam State Transportation Corporation (ASTC).
The transport company EMT Madrid has placed an order for 20 low-entry Urbino 9 LE electric buses and 30 Urbino 12 electric buses.
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has ordered 50 Solaris Urbino 18 electric buses for operations in Berlin, Germany.
Irizar e-mobility has launched into the international market with the delivery of 32 electric buses for the state of Yucatán, Mexico.
New York's MTA is investing 552.8 million USD in purchasing low-floor battery-electric and clean diesel buses.
Electric bus manufacturer, Karsan has announced its debut in Japan with the launch of its e-JEST right-hand drive minibus.
Yutong Bus showcased both its new YUWEI battery electric double-deck bus E10DD and city bus Yuguang E8 MAX at this year's CIB EXPO.
Solaris Bus & Coach has secured a new contract to supply 105 additional Urbino 18 electric buses to Milan.
Spanish mobility operator Alsa has introduced six new electric vehicle fleet lines in Geneva.
IVECO BUS has won a contract to supply 153 electric buses to Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A. (ATM) in Milan, Italy.
NYC transit leadership joined NYPD's bus lane enforcement task force to issue summonses to illegally parked vehicles in the city's bus lanes.
Germany has seen the introduction of its first seven Urbino 9 LE electric buses in the city of Erlangen.
First Bus has announced a new three-year partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) technology company, Propsective.io.
PRIMA Industries is developing a new wireless pushbutton system following its reveal during Busworld 2023.
In California. the San Mateo County Transit District has approved the purchase of up to 108 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses for SamTrans.
Otokar has been contracted to supply 29 electric e-Centro microbuses for public transport services across Italy.
Golden Dragon’s Navigator coach recently won Business Reception Pioneer Award & its Pivot E12 electric bus won an Urban Travel Pioneer Award.
Transport for London (TfL) has introduced an additional two new Superloop routes in London: SL1 and SL10.
The Warsaw Public Transport Authority (ZTM) has ordered twelve articulated Urbino 18 electric buses from Solaris Bus & Coach.
Hagener Straßenbahn AG (HST) has commissioned PSI Transcom GmbH to deliver the load and charging management system for its electric buses.
Sightseeing bus company, Tootbus has announced plans to repower 15 open-top double-decker buses for operations in central London.
Yutong new energy buses are showing strong development momentum around the world and have realised global layout.
Electreon has unveiled the world's first commercial wireless charging bus terminal for Electra Afikim buses in Rosh HaAyin, Israel.
IVECO BUS has won a major tender to supply 140 electric CROSSWAY and E-WAY buses to Qbuzz in the Netherlands.
MDOT, the City of Detroit and Electreon have unveiled the nation’s first Public EV-Charging Roadway at Michigan Central.
Use the form opposite to get in touch with Swiftly directly to discuss any requirements you might have.