Transport for New South Wales

Replacement Bus Management System (RRMS)

Overview of Project 

The Transport Management Centre for Greater Sydney (TMC), operated by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), was tasked with management of transport network recovery throughout Greater Sydney across all modes (bus, light rail, heavy rail and ferry) as a result of a restructure of network operations throughout 2019. This Government-led project represented a significant reorganisation of roles and responsibilities for transport network operations and was instigated by the Coordinator General of NSW and required the development of a centralised bus management system designed to integrate and coordinate network response across all modes.

 

Throughout mid-2019, TfNSW conducted internal and external market sounding to analyse existing systems that have the capability and capacity to support the TMC in delivering integrated Replacement Bus Management Systems throughout the Greater Sydney transport network.

 

Upon reviewing the existing systems, clients and operating systems developed by WCL Management Services, the organisation was sole-source appointed as the technology provider to work in partnership with the TfNSW RBMS project team to develop a comprehensive scope of services and required applications for an RBMS and to subsequently develop, test, implement and manage the RBMS on a long-term basis.

 

The transition to an integrated management system between the State, Modal Operational Control Centres, Operators and TfNSW utilises detailed Key Performance Indicators and reporting capabilities designed to enhance visibility of emergency and pre-planned transport operations, reduce/eliminate significant time-theft experienced by TfNSW through the existing service providers, and to provide highly detailed audit trails that would be incorporated into financial performance payments required of the State.

The Challenge

WCL’s commission was to capitalise on our existing systems and platforms to design an integrated transport technology management system to manage emergency bus operations throughout the Greater Sydney network.

The development of the RRMS represented a fundamental change to operating practices within TfNSW and in turn, vehicle and driver providers. The introduction of technology systems designed to assign services to vehicles based on proximity to a planned or emergency location required significant strategic planning from first principles to contract management, operational implementation and on-going support. In addition to the proximity aspects of service assignment, for the first time, operators would be GPS-tracked from depot-to-depot

The structure and operating environments within the Greater Sydney region are reputationally, one of the most complex and challenging systems in the world. Examples of these complexities include:

  • Throughout the road network, bus-only, timed exemptions (access in specific areas at designated times), dedicated bus-ways and dynamic operating locations.

  • The integration of multi-modal operations across bus, light rail, heavy rail and ferry operations into a seamless central platform required detailed understand of each modal operating system, the unique complexities associated with each mode; and the interaction between these networks into the centralised control system

  • Contractually, operators are assigned to single or multiple operating regions across Sydney with KPI measurement determined based on variable terms. 

  • Restricted Areas – within the Greater Sydney network, there are 40+ restricted areas including airport precincts, vehicle stabling areas and vehicle marshalling locations that are not accessible via standard public mapping/navigation systems. The success of RBMS is the utilisation of customised mapping layers provided by our mapping partner (HERE Maps).

The Solution

Critical to the success of this engagement was the customisation of the existing WCL Metropolitan and Regional technology solutions into an integrated solution that addressed the 300+ functional requirements and 100+ user cases prescribed by TfNSW. Recognising the size of the project, WCL and TfNSW staff implemented detailed strategic planning into the key deliverables required for a staged development/release program that aligned to contract performance criteria, whilst allowing for development of customised elements to support multi-modal integration.

 

In addition, complimentary WCL-developed systems including training and on-ground coordination systems were identified as value-add support systems that would assist in achieving the strategic objectives of the program and enhance existing service levels. Throughout this initial planning period, the WCL project team successfully rose to the challenge of planning and implementing a test system on a significantly greater scale than first envisaged.

WCLMS' solution included: 

  • Delivery of a complete Emergency Bus Management System that has the ability to create and manage pre-planned and emergency operations throughout the Greater Sydney region with the allocation of replacement vehicles to specific services are required

  • The ability to request various numbers of vehicles from selected Operators to provide for emergency operations. 

  • The integration of multi-modal operations across bus, light rail, heavy rail and ferry operations into a seamless central platform required detailed understand of each modal operating system, the unique complexities associated with each mode; and the interaction between these networks into the centralised control system

  • Contractually, operators are assigned to single or multiple operating regions across Sydney with KPI measurement determined based on variable terms. 

  • Restricted Areas – within the Greater Sydney network, there are 40+ restricted areas including airport precincts, vehicle stabling areas and vehicle marshalling locations that are not accessible via standard public mapping/navigation systems. The success of RBMS is the utilisation of customised mapping layers provided by our mapping partner (HERE Maps).

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