Exclusive: Providing a seamless passenger service

August 18, 2021


David Aindow, Business Development Director at Synectics delves into the technology solutions helping transport operators improve their services.

Delivering the best possible passenger experience is the goal of all transport operators. Improved customer satisfaction from experiencing stress free, efficient travel inevitably means repeat ridership.

Ensuring that passengers feel safe is a vital component in this mix. It is also a tricky balancing act because this often means dealing with any issues before members of the public are even aware there is a problem – or in such a way that any potential impact is minimised.

How this is achieved is changing. This is because technology is evolving. Transport control rooms are in a better position than ever before to make ‘safety’ seamless. What’s more, the same solutions can also deliver wider operational improvements which only add more points to the overall passenger satisfaction score.

With this in mind, let’s look at three areas important to service provision and the security solutions that can help.

Identifying issues early

Transport operators need a way to quickly identify risk indicators and events before they have a chance to escalate. Moreover, before they can cause any kind of service disruption or, worse still, any harm to passengers. 

For this you need data – and lots of it. So, it will come as no surprise that an effective solution relies on system integration. What’s different today, however, is the level of integration and analysis required.

Complex threat detection across single stations, multiple hubs or entire urban networks now dictates the integration of ‘traditional’ safety and security systems with a much wider range of operational systems, sensors and devices crucial to delivering safe and efficient passenger services.

Surveillance command and control solutions specifically designed to integrate and interoperate with third-party systems make this possible. What’s more, they can facilitate – either natively or via integration with sophisticated third-party analytics software – automated risk identification and alerts based on pre-defined rules and criteria being met; for example, the detection of certain event combinations, matches for face images, license plates, vehicle or clothing attributes as well as people counts.

Dispatching the right member of staff

So, you receive an alert. What next? It’s no use having an early warning system if you then can’t take fast and appropriate action to resolve the problem. Transport operators need to be able to quickly deploy the right person or team for the job.

For some time, automated workflows have provided part of the answer – step-by-step on-screen guidance for operators that dynamically adapts according to live data received.

Now however, it is becoming increasingly common for major operators to also request dedicated ‘intelligent dispatch’ and ‘workforce management’ solutions as part of their overall control room setup (ideally as a function of centralised command and control). These are solutions that automatically manage and coordinate dispatch of appropriate personnel – based on skill, specific training, incident proximity etc. – according to the information received and subsequent alerts/workflows generated.   

The work that Synectics is doing with S-Bahn in Berlin, Germany is a great example. By leveraging cloud technology, a mobile application of Synergy, workforce management tools and computer-aided dispatch functionality, the solution we’re delivering for them will enable S-Bahn’s workforce to receive automated task assignments based on their role, skills and location and to directly update the system on their delivery of those tasks. 

Involving outside agencies

Of course, sometimes ‘the right person for the job’ might not work for the transport operator at all, which is why critical information needs to easily, and securely, flow between control rooms, operational control centres, law enforcement and local authorities in order to achieve the necessary level of situational awareness.

I mentioned leveraging the cloud before when talking about facilitating the dispatch of field-based personnel. It’s also highly relevant here. For example, incident lockers and digital evidence management capabilities held in the cloud offer a fast, secure and resilient mechanism for sharing critical data with external third parties.

With authorised, authenticated users able to receive and send data via devices connected to the cloud, efficient safety, security and operational management moves out of the control room, into the field and beyond organisational barriers.

What it means for the passenger

The technologies and solutions I’ve mentioned here may be ‘behind the scenes’ in nature, however they are helping to deliver a safer and more efficient environment for both passengers and those working in the transport industry. They support informed decision making, optimised processes and efficient collaborative action – this all adds up to seamless service provision. That is something passengers will notice.

Box Out

Title: The power of the cloud

In addition to supporting greater levels of collaborative multi-agency working, cloud-based solutions also have excellent credentials for safeguarding privacy and protecting data. A concern for both transport operators and the public.

For instance, cloud-based evidence sharing solutions support improved operational efficiency without operators having to relinquish any control over the data they hold. What’s more, features such as encryption and multifactor authentication mitigate potential cyber-risks.

To find out more information, visit: www.synecticsplc.com

This article was published in the August 2021 edition of Security Journal UK. Pick up your FREE digital copy on the link here

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