Metro transit significantly reduces costs using Ubisense precise Real Time Location System


Ubisense, the market leading provider of precise Real Time Location Systems today announced that Metro Transit of the Twin Cities has selected Ubisense to improve the operational efficiency of scheduling and dispatching more than 900 buses at five garages in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of the USA.

By precisely locating buses to the exact space in and around Garage and Maintenance facilities, Ubisense can improve operational efficiency of scheduling and dispatching 

Metro Transit manages the 18th largest transit system in the US, an integrated network of buses and trains with approximately 240,000 rides provided each weekday. Today there are more than 900 active buses, which return to one of five garages after every completed route. Currently, bus locations are handwritten on bus/bay markup sheets by walking the aisles of the garage at the end of each completed route. Dispatchers at each garage must then manually enter the location of each bus into the dispatching system, each time the bus is parked and must be assigned again for duty. Savings on automating this process alone is expected to bring an immediate return on investment for METC.

In 2003, Metro Transit deployed an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system, which utilizes global positioning system (GPS) to track buses on their routes, providing valuable information to operators and transit users. When the bus enters the garages, however, they are parked at specific positions in one of up to 30 lanes, divided into several bays. With the installation of the Ubisense RTLS, tags placed on the buses' rooftops send signals to a sensor network inside the garages providing an exact location to within one meter of accuracy, allowing the system to automatically determine which position within a particular bay and lane a bus was parked. If a bus moves to another location, this information is automatically updated and sent back to the system. Ubisense will provide the location of the bus to Metro Transit's scheduling and dispatching system, instantly providing the dispatcher with the location of each bus in the garage at all times, removing errors in bus assignment at the beginning of each period of service.

"Metro Transit already utilizes a very effective system for tracking buses along their scheduled routes," said Sam Jacobs, Director of Bus Operations for Metro Transit. "The goal of Ubisense's real time location system is to help us further reduce our operating costs by automatically logging the location of each bus as soon as it is parked in or around one of our garages, making it possible for the dispatchers to assign buses to operators without having to manually enter the location of the bus, which is not always up to date."

"Transit authorities today are striving to reduce operating expenses during challenging economic times," said Richard Green, CEO of Ubisense. "Having solved difficult location problems within challenging indoor environments in manufacturing, logistics, and military markets, Ubisense has been able to leverage this capability to solve the precise bus location problem within yards and depots in a very cost effective manner for several cities in Europe, already. Metro Transit represents a large transit deployment for Ubisense in North America, and we hope the first of many."

About Metro Transit
Metro Transit is a service of Metropolitan Council. Last year, customers rode Metro Transit buses and trains 77 million times, the highest annual ridership in 25 years.

About Ubisense
Ubisense is the market leading vendor of precise RTLS (Real-time Location Systems) based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. The company delivers complete solutions based on a highly scalable and reliable real-time location platform that is being deployed in mission critical applications around the world.



Russ Chandler


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