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February 3, 2017

The ability to move citizens from one point to another is critical to the vitality of a city. But as cities grow at unprecedented rates, providing efficient and affordable public transportation becomes a complex process.

What if cities could test drive smart city solutions to improve urban transportation and build upon their smart transport strategy, at relatively no cost?

Thats precisely what happened in Belfort, a small town of 50,000 in France.

A proof of concept (POC) process jointly developed by Gfi Informatique and TCS Digital Software & Solutions Group, in collaboration with Belforts Board of Public Transportation, helped Belfort city administrators and public transportation planners make more informed decisions to improve urban bus transportation and optimize operational costs based on insights from historical and real-time data.

As Senthil Gunasekaran, head of corporate development and strategic alliances at TCS stated in the blog, How Proof of Concept Saves Money on the Smart City Journey, Cities are sitting on a treasure trove of insights from their own trusted data sources that only need to be unlocked to make cost-effective improvements to city services.

The proof of concept provided Belfort with real time data to make decisions that helped improve service for its 100 buses traveling across five routes. As a result, the city is on its way to saving up to 250,000 annually.

Before the proof of concept, Belforts Board of Public Transportation utilized its data to see when and where passengers got on a bus, but were not able to capture data on when and where passengers got off a bus. With only a partial view of the picture, they were not able to fully evaluate the efficiency and usage of bus routes. Utilizing big data and artificial intelligence, the city planners were able to detect when and where 20% of all bus passengers got on and off buses so they could optimize bus schedules and capacity utilization through the efficient use of existing infrastructure.

The POC also took advantage of existing sensors in Belforts bus network, such as GPS devices, to measure the speed on different route sections between each stop on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. They were able to identify congestion points, which gave city officials the ability to make evidence-based changes for the first time.

After the successful deployment of the Proof of Concept, the Board of Public Transportation of Belfort is now exploring new scenarios to improve citys bus transportation including changing the frequency of buses along particular lines to optimize the bus network and projecting the savings resulting from new road construction projects.

Learn more about intelligent transportation solutions and how they can help improve public and multimodal transportation services, increase revenue and reduce operational costs while also reducing environmental impact.

Kathleen Holm is Marketing Director of the TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) Group. She has more than 25 years of experience marketing technology software and services to enterprises worldwide. She leverages her extensive background in enterprise software technology to help organizations develop effective marketing strategies, create targeted messaging and positioning, and implement effective go-to-market plans to improve corporate performance. Prior to joining TCS, Kathleen was a Senior Principal of technical product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware where she was responsible for defining the marketing strategy based on industry maturity and customer trends. She also held positions at IBM including Market Manager for WebSphere Developer Programs, Market Manager for Tivoli Integrated Service Management and Tivoli Brand Specialist. Prior to joining IBM, Kathleen worked with four high-tech startups.


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