Viação Alvorada recently won a major tender from the AML (Metropolitan Area of Lisbon) to operate 33% of the bus transportation in Lisbon, Portugal. Through this tender, one of the largest in the country, Viação Alvorada will oversee transportation in Lisbon’s largest district.
To manage such a massive operation, Viação Alvorada chose Optibus’ end-to-end, cloud-native software platform to help them efficiently plan, schedule, and roster the optimal operating scenarios.
Within three months of onboarding to Optibus, Viação Alvorada saved over €600,000 through more efficient vehicle and crew management, became 100% compliant with tender criteria, achieved ninety percent efficiency for vehicle and duty schedules, and increased their operational agility by eliminating limitations on custom events.
Viação Alvorada is part of the Vimeca/Lisboa Transportes consortium, co-owned by Grupo Barraqueiro, the biggest operator in Portugal, and Scotturb. Created through the merging of two large public transportation companies in Lisbon, it operates a fleet of 450 vehicles across the Amadora, Cacém, Carnaxide, Oeiras and Sintra regions of Portugal.
Challenges and Results
Automation & Flexibility: Eliminating 95% of Manual Work
Viação Alvorada wanted to add many custom events such as reserve time, which is regionally unique to Lisbon, but were stuck with preset preferences and limited to less than 100 rules. This prohibited their flexibility and created manual work that required every single duty needed to be understood in its specific context. Optibus offered a more effective approach: create a set of rules, set those up in the Optibus system, and let the software automate your work for you.
By replacing manual adjustments with Optibus’ computing power and optimization algorithms, Viação Alvorada is now working ten times as fast and eliminated manual work by 95%.
“The magic is that with the click of a button, we can now do many things we did not even know were possible. Even if complex, Optibus can create rules and logic and follow them with extreme accuracy,” said Teresa Almeida, Scheduler, at Viação Alvorada.
Optibus introduced to Viação Alvorada hundreds of templates and preferences, such as work limitations, layover times and duration, and break preferences, and enabled them to create detailed, custom events relevant to their operation. Viação Alvorada can implement many different templates, even with just slight variations of the same rule. Break rules, for example, can be challenging to automate due to many specificities regarding length, frequency, and more. Optibus created a custom template for Viação Alvorada to achieve this automatically.
“The system operates at the speed of light. There is no way we could work this quickly without Optibus”, said André Caseiro, Operational Lead, Viação Alvorada. “The user-friendly interface, flexibility, and speed of optimizations have been met with nothing but compliments, all the way from the schedulers, who are hooked to the platform, to the management.”
Vehicle and Crew Efficiencies: Saving €600K in Three Months
Over a three month period of using Optibus, VA reduced six vehicles, a cost savings of over €600,000, and reduced driver duties by five percent, saving additional thousands of euros each day.
“I would be crazy if I was not happy with these results,” said Fernando Costa, Project Director. “This is what we have seen in just a few months.”
By automating and digitalizing their operation with Optibus, Viação Alvorada has also achieved ninety percent efficiency for their vehicle and duty schedules.
“With Optibus, you get the best scenario for the rules you set up. The software considers all of the options, of which there are many, and the algorithms pick the best one. You can’t beat that,” said Vitor Mendonça, Scheduler. “Our entire team recognizes that Optibus’ software is the future.”
“Aside from the immediate resource savings, we found value in the ease of use and speed of the optimizations, allowing us to quickly generate multiple scenarios,” said André. “The Optibus training really set us up for success. Our team quickly began using the software with confidence and gained proficiency in about one week.”
Staying Compliant with Custom Rules and Notifications
With the Lisbon tender, Viação Alvorada faces increased pressure to be on-time and compliant. They needed an advanced software that ensures no regulations slip through the cracks and that protects them from substantial fines for violations.
With Optibus’ software, Viação Alvorada’s operation stays 100% compliant with the rules setup by the authorities and unions. Driven by artificial intelligence, Optibus’ system validates all changes, even manual ones, with a click of a button, ensuring all regulations are respected. If a rule is broken, Viação Alvorada receives automatic notifications from Optibus, giving them full visibility into all rules, how they are enforced, and their impact on operations.
“Optibus’ compliance-checking abilities do all the work for us. This protects us financially with little time or effort on our end and puts us on great terms with the city and passengers,” said André.
Using Optibus, Viação Alvorada can generate various reports, such as reserve time, custom paddle, and stop timetable, that integrate with the authority’s protocols. Optibus also regularly meets with third parties involved in the operation (PTA, AVL, salary processing, operations) to ensure all protocols and integrations are met.