Suburban Mobility Authority for Rapid Transit Authority (SMART), a transit agency in the Greater Detroit Area, was faced with the realization that their automatic vehicle location (AVL) system was old, slow and inefficient.
SMART operates over 200 buses for over 23 hours every day. Monitoring these vehicles is essential to daily operations. But with 20-year-old infrastructure, the AVL was just not cutting it. SMART wanted more reporting and real-time information that they could share with their riders.
SMART decided to switch to cellular communication with voice over IP (VoIP). To implement this they decided to work with Clever Devices, a leading provider of communications and technology solutions. The centerpiece of Clever Devices solution was the Digi TransPort WR44 R cellular router.
The Digi TransPort WR44 R is purpose-made for transit agencies and authorities that need reliable communications for such things as security video, fare collection, dispatch, passenger Wi-Fi, and others.
SMARTs new cellular AVL has had a profound impact. Data and metrics that were never before available are already being used to anticipate vehicle breakdowns, expedite repairs, and minimize downtime. Additionally, Passengers are now able to text a number posted at their bus stop to receive real-time data from SMART about bus ETAs. This service is already receiving more than 10,000 queries per month.
Most importantly, the agency is getting a great ROI. SMART is saving at least $70,000 per year in hard costs with the Digi-based solution. In soft costs it is estimated that SMART may be saving anywhere from an additional $150,000 to $200,000.