Optibus, which makes cloud-based software to manage public transportation, has added functionality to allow users to work on multiple bus routes at the same time, hoping it will allow for more rider-focused scheduling.
Optibus, a transit software startup, has added functionality to its platform allowing users to work on multiple bus routes at the same time.
The company, which has grown fast and pulled in millions of investment dollars since its 2015 founding, began with artificial intelligence-driven technology focused on optimizing bus routes to save time and money. But in February, it started offering users the ability to plan and redesign routes as well.
The new feature will let users do that for an entire bus network, which its leaders say will open up a host of possibilities. By better coordinating multiple routes, for example, transit operators could reduce the number of times that multiple buses pull up at the same stop. It could also better coordinate the timing of buses that riders like to transfer between, or help "interline" buses — that is, switch them to a new route to avoid transfers altogether.
In a press release announcing the new functionality, Optibus CEO and co-founder Amos Haggiag acknowledged that bus operators in the U.S. are battling a long-term downward trend in ridership.
"The way to increase ridership is to improve transportation in ways that directly affect existing and potential passengers," he said in the statement. "Our multi-route planning capabilities empower transit providers to do exactly that."