Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) is the local bus system serving Nassau County, New York and eastern portions of the New York City borough of Queens. Once part of the MTA, the system has operated as a public-private partnership between Nassau County and Transdev (formerly Veolia) since 2012.
NICE chose the Optibus platform for its scheduling software.
“Scheduling is critical to the success of NICE. Today, it takes us a long time. We change our schedules about four times a year, and the entire process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months” says Jonathan Feldman, Manager of Planning and Scheduling at NICE. “NICE handles the entire planning and scheduling process, all the way from planning the route to delivering the service, from running times all the way to blocking, runcutting and rostering”.
“I first came across Optibus a couple of years ago and I was instantly drawn to the interface because it had looked like nothing I had ever seen before” says Feldman. “The system makes use of good design principles to show us our bus system, our trips, our shifts, our rosters, in ways we have never seen before”.
“During the pilot process with Optibus we fed all of our inputs and preferences into the system and checked what kind of schedule will come out. The results really blew us away, both in terms of cost savings and the quality of the schedule. Now we really can’t go back to the way we used to work”.
“Optibus is really going to revolutionize the way that we work” says Feldman. “It will take a process that now takes us anywhere from a couple of months, shorten that down to a couple of weeks , and now, because we have the extra time, we can spend more time designing better transit systems, and spend less time being bogged down in the process of building the schedule”.
Feldman added: “We’re expecting the results that we get from Optibus to not only improve the quality of the transit service we provide but also help us better retain our operators. We want to continually improve the quality of the rosters and schedules, and really give them an honorable schedule so they can come to work and do their jobs well”.