Keolis develops public transport solutions worldwide, and commits to a sustainable and connected mobility. We spoke to CJ Bright, senior operations planner at Keolis North America on how Keolis uses Optibus.
Prior to using the Optibus platform, Bright and fellow schedulers and planners at Keolis created run cuts by hand, a process that consumed weeks of time. For Bright, this inefficiency was particularly challenging, as it distracted from business development, the main focus of his role.
“The idea that I can create a solution, say well, what if we tweak these preferences, go back and redo it in five minutes – that’s powerful.”
Optibus’ Biggest Advantage
“It allows us to be very flexible with our scheduling. We’re able to investigate many different scenarios. We change preferences to really see how every little specific modification will impact the overall service. One of our GMs […], during a union negotiation, he literally took their feedback, we’re on a 15 minute break, reran the optimization and came back and said ‘this is what it will look like’ “.
“There are some properties where I’ve done a run cut from building the duties to completing the rosters in a day. I go through the entire process and that’s essentially unheard of. […] For me, as somebody who works in business development, where I am going from property to property, from proposal to proposal, I can spend not much time on the run cut and it’s workable, where the union’s okay with it, where it meets our goals, [and] meets the client’s goals for efficiency and productivity.”
On Customer Service
“I’m also surprised by the level of support from the team. Optibus takes our feedback seriously and will make changes based on what we say as the users. You know, they have the engineers, the algorithm experts, but at the same time they’re also listening to the guys on the front lines who are doing the schedules. It’s a great partnership.”
“There’s no technology that is going to ever replace a scheduler or a planner. I’m a firm believer in that what we do is science and art, and machines can’t do art. But if we are empowered with the right tools to support our science and art, we can really change communities. And I’m a really big proponent that transit is an agent of change and I’m really happy to see that Optibus is listening to its consumers and making the changes necessary to really empower us in the future.”