As part of our response to the coronavirus pandemic, we set up a series of pilots to test how we can quickly deploy technology to restore confidence and increase safety on the public transport system.
The focus has been on providing more information on crowding and better real-time public transport information.
Prior to the pandemic, we had already begun a program of reform measures, encouraging us to think differently about transport and help us plan for some of the most important transport issues Victoria will face in the coming decades.
The pandemic created an opportunity to fast-track some of these innovation and reform initiatives.
As part of this approach, we’re partnering with private sector experts to help us respond swiftly and innovatively to transport challenges.
To help increase customer choice and confidence in public transport, we teamed up with NTT Data and Telstra Purple to launch RideSpace, a free online tool that displays real-time passenger volumes on trains, on individual platforms and at stations across the entire metropolitan train network.
This tool allows our customers to check how busy their journey will be ahead of time, empowering them to make a decision about whether to travel on a particular service or wait for a less busy train based on their personal preference and level of comfort.
RideSpace was designed to complement a number of other initiatives, including off-peak fare discounts and 450 new weekly train services, to make public transport a worthwhile alternative to driving.
In partnership with Google, this information was also made available on Google Maps. More than 60 per cent of transport users rely on Google Maps to plan their journey, so it was important for us to share this data and meet our customers on a platform they already use.
Other recent innovations include FlexiRide, pop-up bike lanes, and turn-up-and-go bus services.