New challenges: Next generation INIT systems provide the right support

Transport companies are increasingly confronted with new challenges. Reduced passenger volumes since the pandemic and the resulting decline in revenues increase pressure to improve cost efficiency. The demands that various stakeholders place on transport companies increase as each year goes by: Passengers expect the same level of convenience in ticketing and passenger information that they are used to in other consumer sectors. They expect reliable and constant real-time information via an increasing number of channels – demands that are also being made by local politicians. In addition, the political goals of fighting climate change must be acted upon, such as increasing the market share of public transport within the total transport sector and switching to emission-free electromobility.

All these challenges can only be overcome with the implementation of increasingly complex IT systems, the smooth functioning of which also places demands on employees. Not least in terms of IT security, which must be given ever greater importance. And all this in the context of a major wave of employee retirements and public transport providers having to compete with other sectors of the economy to recruit qualified staff.

New challenges – new solutions

These new and increased demands must be met with new solutions to relieve your employees. This is why many dedicated INIT employees have been focusing on our “nextGen” innovation campaign for quite some time. This results in nothing less than the development of the next generation of our modular overall solution, MOBILE, which covers all of the daily tasks of public transport providers. The “nextGen” campaign uses the latest in digitalization to make a technology leap in INIT systems and puts us at the forefront of the sector. As a result, our customers benefit from the latest in automation, optimisation processes, assistance systems and machine learning to make public transport more efficient and attractive. But how can these new INIT tools really help to meet the challenges described above?

Increase passenger numbers - offer safety and comfort

Reliable passenger information about how full a bus or train will be gives passengers the option to choose a less crowded vehicle if they prefer. This provides passengers reassurance to use buses and trains and also greatly improves travel comfort. Patented machine learning technology ensures highly reliable occupancy rate predictions, something that has been impossible until now, because it also takes into account the number of passengers alighting at each stop.

Increase service quality - improve passenger information

Machine learning improves any kind of prediction, including departure times in passenger information that can also be predicted much more reliably. In addition, INIT supports dispatchers to automatically provide passenger information and distribute it to all passenger information channels – with just a few clicks. This inspires confidence in passengers and the public.

Reducing access barriers - ticketing for all target groups

New, flexible ticketing solutions make it easier for passengers to choose public transport. This is particularly true for occasional public transport users who need appropriate offers, e.g. EMV ticketing using credit cards, which guarantees the best daily price for the journeys made. INIT now even offers this upgrade as a SaaS service. In general, tariff structures should take into consideration the way people work nowadays, such as hybrid working, which requires transport companies to offer creative tariff solutions such as mobility credits.

Increasing efficiency

The efficiency savings that transport companies need to make can be achieved by digitising some of their processes - which is exactly why INIT has developed new systems such as eMOBILE, the all-in-one solution for managing electric buses. INIT has also used optimization methods for quite some time, for example, in integrated timetable and duty planning, but also in optimized routing in on-demand traffic. In addition, the automation of tasks in RESPONSEassist helps to increase work efficiency. The aim of these systems is to replace as many groundwork as possible to allow employees to concentrate on their core duties.

Relieving the burden on employees

Talking about automation and assistance systems can initially trigger fears amongst the workforce. However, due to high staff turnover rates in the sector and employees’ increasingly complex tasks, it has become essential for public transport providers to offer their staff greater levels of support. INIT offers this support, for example, with assisted incident management (also for disaster scenarios), but also through situation recognition for dispatchers or navigation support for drivers. Thanks to these solutions, new employees are ready for the job much more quickly and can therefore carry out their duties faster and more efficiently.

Ensuring IT security and mastering complex systems

IT systems must be resistant to increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. Particularly in public transport, which, depending on the size of the company, is part of the critical infrastructure. The term ‘critical infrastructure’ refers to companies that are of the utmost importance for any functioning society. As a manufacturer, we already take important aspects of information security into account during the development of our systems, i.e. we pursue a "security by design" approach. We were the first ITCS supplier to be certified according to ISO 27001 and are a member of the Alliance for Cyber Security of the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik).

Providing solutions to climate change

Mobility platforms play a decisive role in the transition to more sustainable mobility. They combine attractive public transport with individual mobility offers on a digital platform, enabling intermodal travel chains with attractive first/last mile offers. The use of-buses makes mobility more sustainable, but turns operational processes upside down. This is because the range of the buses becomes the limiting factor in everyday transport operations. INIT’s eMOBILE software suite takes a holistic view of the entire process and enables the efficient introduction and management of the e-bus fleet.

IT support on a new level

With a variety of innovative solutions which we will highlight in more detail in future issues of INITiative, INIT enables transport companies to provide even greater support to their employees in the delivery of their increasingly demanding tasks.

This is because INIT’s IT systems will offer even more comprehensive and precise information, recognize situations automatically, and will be available in both cloud- and web-based formats. Automated or semi-automated processes will also speed up response times and help ensure service quality.


Klaus Janke

Executive Director