On the occasion of the Cityway Innovation Meetings dealing with mobility management, Interview with Nelly Escoffier, Multimodal Information System (SIM) Manager.
Why is a back office tool so important for your customers?
It’s one thing to have a SIM (French for Multimodal Information System), but if you want your SIM to provide the best service, you need the best data quality.
Our management solutions help our clients secure the quality of the hundreds of thousands of heterogeneous data they get from their various public and private partners.
In practice, how do you advise your clients?
With our service offering analysis tool Optybase, we can see which services are lacking, for example, villages with poor service, or on the contrary, places where we need to remove buses and timeslots to improve profitability on a very well-served area, while maintaining the quality of service for travelers. We check if all data are correct – such as the geolocation of bus stops or the times when buses will stop there. We recommend optimization strategies – for example calling a stop by the same name, because they are sometimes given different names by different transportation partners, which can be confusing for riders. We check that the suggested connections between different networks are correct.
We also integrate travelers’ feedback from Contact sections on websites, comments on applications or call centers. If for example a traveler tells us the 08:00 school bus isn’t running anymore, we tell our client. If a service provider decides to stop operating a line because there are not enough travelers, our role is also to discuss the possibility with our client of replacing this service with another cheaper mode of transportation, such as an On-demand transportation solution for example.
When reorganizing a network, this helps to identify missing and superfluous services. When you sign on for another 4 years with a provider, you don’t want to make any mistakes. Our clients want to secure and even optimize the service provided to their travelers.
What is the specificity of Cityway in this client support service?
Our consultants are very familiar with what’s out there on the ground, and can improve the quality of a trip planner. For example, for a journey by foot, an unconfigured route planner might calculate 10 minutes of travel time, whereas there might be a hill to climb. In this case, we add extra time. If for example a journey includes a connection in a transportation hub, we also add on extra time, if it takes more than 2 minutes for the traveler to get across the station. We don’t want our clients’ travelers to miss their connections.
Do you also support your client after delivering the solution they ask for?
Once our client’s SIM is delivered, that’s one major milestone, but the next thing is to get as many travelers as possible to use it. We advise our customers on their communication strategy on how to encourage people to use it using out-of-home display advertising, radio ads or media interviews.
We also help them incorporate into their solution all the other useful information their travelers need during the year. For example, a once-a-year event that may require road closures, or ski resorts opening soon. This local information needs to be included because it is part of local life and has an impact on travelers’ mobility.
Do you offer solutions to communicate in real time with travelers?
Geo Event sends real-time information to travelers in the event of disruption, at the stops or in the areas they want to monitor.
With Optyhub, our clients will be able to use a platform to manage the information they want to display on screens in stations or in major shopping malls for example.
Our role goes far beyond simply delivering a tailored tool to our customers. We support them from securing the quality of their data to optimizing their services and communication with their travelers.