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Case Study

Improving service punctuality for passengers using optimization algorithms

Overview

This case study explores how Grupo Ruiz, one of the primary public transportation operators (PTOs) in Iberia, used Optibus’ software to enhance the passenger experience by elevating their on time performance to record levels of 97% and improving their vehicle efficiency in the process.

Grupo Ruiz operates in seven major cities in Spain, as well as in Portugal and Morocco. With more than 186,000 daily passengers, amounting to nearly 68 million annual passengers, Grupo Ruiz comprises several local operating transportation companies, including Autoperiferia, Martín Company, and Ruiz company in Madrid.

Challenge

Reacting to growing passenger demand while efficiently and affordably increasing vehicle frequency and allocation is a challenge for many operators, especially during peak hours.  This complex task requires efficient scheduling, fleet management, and infrastructure planning.

Before switching to Optibus, resolving these challenges was almost impossible for Grupo Ruiz, given that their work processes were based on using spreadsheets to manually plan services.

Moreover, when it came to adjusting timetables and service plans, the process required too much time and the support of too many employees.

Grupo Ruiz operates in Spain, Portugal and Morocco and serves more than 186,000 passengers on a daily basis.

Solution

To address these challenges, Grupo Ruiz chose Optibus’ Planning and Scheduling products, which enabled them to leverage new transportation technologies and real-time data to improve operational management and deliver a better passenger experience.

“Once we realized that it was possible to have a solution that optimizes our operations using real-time data, we were sold on working with Optibus,” said Antonio Martín-Ventas, Director of Operations at Grupo Ruiz.

Andrés Ruiz, Deputy Chair at Grupo Ruiz, was particularly interested in how Optibus’ digital software solution would enable them to speed up scenario-building, compare service plans, and make more informed planning decisions.

Impact and Benefits

With Optibus Planning and Scheduling in place, Grupo Ruiz gained the ability to seamlessly create and validate route variations and corresponding timetables. By using Optibus to optimize timetables based on real running times and to avoid overlapping routes, Grupo Ruiz elevated their on time performance to record levels of 97%, and improved their vehicle efficiency by more than 2% by reducing deadheads.

“Optibus has allowed us to quickly adapt our service plans to suit constantly changing road situations, such as traffic and shifts in arrival and departure times. That enables us to improve our service quality indicators as a company,” said Andrés.

The software’s powerful optimization algorithms made it easy for them to quickly generate multiple planning and scheduling scenarios, assess the outcomes and their operational impact side-by-side, and identify the ideal service plan for their operation. This led to more realistic planning and improved their quality indicators, mainly on-time performance (punctuality).

“Optibus’ software has completely changed the way we work. Because of the great results we have seen so far, we continue to roll out Optibus across our operating companies, which means our entire team can collaborate on the same platform on a daily basis,” said Antonio.

“Above all, Optibus has introduced a new level of professionalism to our operation,” Antonio added. “We now have access to Optibus’ team of transportation experts and to digital tools that let us use data to achieve optimal results. Grupo Ruiz is now capable of providing higher-quality services than ever before.”

The main reason for buying the Optibus software was the strength of its optimization algorithm.

Conclusion

The investment in Optibus’ digital software solution has been a game-changer for Grupo Ruiz. By embracing innovative technology, they have elevated their operations and services to new heights, significantly improving on-time performance. Passengers have enjoyed a remarkable enhancement in their overall experience.

By streamlining their planning and scheduling processes, Grupo Ruiz can now optimize routes, manage resources more effectively, and proactively address potential disruptions. All of this empowers Grupo Ruiz to meet the evolving needs of passengers, guaranteeing a seamless, punctual travel experience

“Optibus provides a highly efficient solution that complements our company’s interest in using the most innovative technologies to improve the passenger experience,” said Andrés.

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