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App expertise from Transit and operational know-how from Keolis delivers better rider outreach, innovative AV solutions, and more
October 8, 2022
Keolis North America is known as one of the top experts in transit operations and deployment. So it’s no surprise that they’ve started working with Transit to improve the rider experience, delivering everything from a full-fledged app experience (including instant rider feedback!) to automated shuttles integrated with nearby fixed-route service. Let’s take a look at some of the latest initiatives Transit and Keolis have worked on with local transportation authorities.
MBTA Commuter Rail campaign
Most recently, Transit and Keolis worked closely together on a targeted marketing campaign with MBTA Commuter Rail in Greater Boston. As the Orange Line emergency shutdown enabled crews to complete critical safety repairs, the MBTA increased Commuter Rail service along parallel routes and needed to get the word out to the riders fast. Working in close collaboration with the MBTA, Keolis and Transit quickly launched geo-targeted banners and push notifications to users in the impacted areas. Tens of thousands of riders tapped on these targeted communications, discovered new ways of getting around, and helped ensure that mitigation efforts went smoothly.
In the coming months, Keolis and Transit will build on this feedback loop between riders and agencies via Rate-My-Ride, Transit’s in-app intercept survey. Seamlessly integrated into the trip experience, Rate-My-Ride makes it possible to collect feedback from passengers as they use the transit system. The results are time stamped and linked to specific vehicles and routes, as well as boarding and alighting stops – all while keeping responses entirely anonymous and unlinked from the user’s personal data and location history. With hundreds of thousands of daily answers to questions designed to track on-time expectations, ghost buses, and crowding – along with the ability for Keolis and their agency partners to create custom questions for specific systems – this feature will directly help Keolis and its partner agencies keep up with the real-time pulse of their ridership.
Automated vehicle integration
In July 2022, Transit’s partnership with Keolis expanded to Montreal, Transit’s hometown, with the integration of autonomous shuttle service along Plaza St-Hubert, a key commercial corridor. This project, operated by Keolis with the City of Montreal, was one of the first AV projects that used industry-standard GTFS real-time data feeds that could be integrated into mobility apps. With over 300,000 Montrealers using Transit every month, riders were able to learn about the pilot project in the city’s most widely-used mobility app and track the AV, just like any other fixed route option. This collaboration provided a big improvement over clunky websites or custom apps that are less intuitive, more difficult to deploy, and reach far fewer people.
Royale: giving riders a full-fledged app experience
In February 2022, Loudoun County Transit became the first Keolis-operated transit service to upgrade its riders to Royale, Transit’s subscription service that delivers special features and custom agency branding. This upgrade, launched in partnership with Keolis and Loudoun County, provides thousands of riders, many of whom rely on public transit for daily commutes in the DC area, a reliable mobility app with cutting-edge features that is both locally-branded and integrated with connecting transit services.
These four projects are just the start: with creative communication between their teams, Keolis and Transit are bringing together transit services and riders with world-class service that promises to yield even more innovative projects moving forward.
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