David Cutts, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Singapore, talks about how the London-based Go-Ahead Group won its first international tender and started operations in Singapore.
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Go-Ahead Group is the largest bus operator in London. We’re one of the United Kingdom’s leading public transport operators, providing over one billion journeys a year in the UK on both bus and rail.
In 2014, we decided to expand internationally. We decided Singapore was the ideal place to start, as the bus franchising model here is similar to London’s.
A package of 26 routes in Pasir Ris and Punggol came up for tender and we engaged Trapeze Group to assist in the planning and scheduling solution towards our bid.
We’ve used Trapeze’s Planning & Scheduling solution in London for 15 years and it’s considered the best because of its flexibility and powerful algorithms for producing efficient vehicle and staff schedules. So it flowed naturally for us to use it in our tender for Singapore.
Trapeze Group provided a hosted environment for the Go-Ahead team to model timetables, hours and so on for the bid. Their staff also performed additional scheduling services to help us put together an efficient combination of crew duties, vehicle usage and driver rosters.
As a result of both teams’ hard work, Go-Ahead was successful in winning our first international tender.
We began operations out of Loyang in 2016 and continue to use the Trapeze Planning & Scheduling solution on a day to day basis for timetabling, mapping, duty scheduling for crew and rotas as well as making incremental improvements to increase operational efficiency.
We visit and revisit different scenarios to find the optimum balance between the amount of driver – or bus captains, as we call them here – time on duty, staff morale and cost-efficiency.
Often I’ll ask my schedulers what-if questions, they come back to me with a list of options and I’ll ask them to investigate variations on those choices – that’s how we find the best possible solution to achieve our goals. Trapeze’s software allows us to do that quickly and efficiently.
We also continue to use the Trapeze solution for costing and scenarios in tender applications in other regions. Since Singapore, we’ve gone on to expand to other countries like Germany and Ireland.
We look forward to growing our operation in Singapore and into other parts of Asia and will be using Trapeze scheduling system in our growth.