Whether it’s the daily commute, shopping or going to visit family and friends, Translink is part of the fabric of Northern Ireland that helps keep us connected.
As Translink’s strategic partner, BT is working with the public transport provider to achieve its key business priorities of driving continual improvements in efficiency, sustainability and customer experience.
From installing passenger Wi-Fi to implementing a new ticketing platform and other initiatives, BT has supported Translink with the fast and efficient mobile connectivity they need to stay on the cutting edge of public transport.
Translink aims to deliver outstanding customer satisfaction at every touch point by giving passengers a reliable, professional and comfortable service at all times.
Translink is committed to continuous improvement, to pioneering green technology and high environmental standards, and to delivering cost effective public services that exceed expectations, exploiting new technology to drive efficiencies across the business.
The challenge was to harness the power of innovative new mobile technology to enhance customer satisfaction and efficiencies within the business.
Working collaboratively, BT and Translink have implemented a passenger Wi-Fi service on all NI Railways trains and Goldline bus services. This new service, along with new carriages and buses, had driven a substantial increase in passenger numbers pre COVID-19.
BT has also provided more than 400 mobile data connections for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which provide data to Translink management in real time. Information gathered from the devices includes vehicle performance, fuel efficiency and speed recommendations for drivers to improve punctuality.
Strong mobile connectivity has also been critical in Translink’s push toward contactless ticketing. BT has provided more than 300 mobile ticketing connections with in built Private Network Security. The new ticketing system is being rolled out in phases to provide an improved customer experience and deliver efficiency benefits such as reducing the resources required to count and manage cash.
Paul McGrattan, Information Services and Technology Manager, Translink, said:
“Our new ticketing system is going to completely change our business,” Paul said. “The new system will allow people to create and manage their account. We need data and strong mobile connectivity to facilitate these processes so it will only become more important across our services.”
The power of mobility and its ability to gather data has also helped Translink manage unforeseen circumstances.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, for instance, the Translink team analysed Wi-Fi usage aboard their services as a way to measure how many passengers were using trains and buses. This data equipped Translink with the information they needed to resource accordingly and estimate passenger numbers.
Translink has seen a number of positive results following the implementation of their new mobility strategy.
For instance, Translink has seen an annual increase in Wi-Fi utilisation of over 50% in recent years and expects this trend to continue. Customer complaints about Wi-Fi have also decreased in recent years following the addition of new sims provided by BT to improve mobile coverage across bus and rail.
Mobile connectivity has also helped Translink to improve its internal business efficiencies, such as providing Translink staff with mobile devices to empower them to share real-time information immediately when asked by a customer in a bus or rail station.
Mobile connectivity has also allowed Translink to collect and analyse data, including the monitoring of Translink’s impact on the environment. The organisation started rewarding drivers who operate in a fuel-efficient manner to help reduce Translink’s carbon footprint.
Overall, the mobile connectivity BT has delivered in partnership with Translink is enabling the public transport provider to meet its corporate goals and support the future priorities of Translink.
Paul McGrattan added: “We want to be your preferred method of travel so it’s all about improving the relationship between us and you. Technology becomes an enabler to help us constantly improve.”