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What does this mean?

Improve End-to-End Traveler Experience


How state and local government transportation and transit agencies can enable digital transformation in six key areas to improve traveler experience.

Government transportation agencies and transit authorities share a universal commitment to protect and connect people to places as they drive on roads, highways and bridges or travel aboard buses, subways, streetcars, and light and commuter rail systems. Managing transportation systems that people rely on every day comes with great responsibilities, especially as agencies work to improve services and transform the traveler experience.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, public transportation received a grade of D-, showing the immediate need of repair and modernization.

Microsoft and its partners offer an array of solutions for agencies to effectively manage the life cycle of major transportation construction and maintenance projects. Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are enabling transportation engineers to streamline construction design, build activities and field workers to quickly predict and solve problems. Seamlessly integrating with Microsoft Teams, these cloud platforms provide real-time collaboration from anywhere on secure Surface devices, resulting in on-time, on-budget projects and reduced maintenance costs.

Transportation leaders rely on Microsoft’s unique, connected, efficient and scalable digital ecosystem with customized industry solutions built on integrated solutions that empower people with the right technologies and products to achieve:

  • World-class cloud security, scalability, accessibility and availability with Microsoft Azure.
  • Low- and no-code solutions using the Power Platform to analyze data, build apps, automate processes and develop virtual agents or intelligent chatbots.
  • Modern workplace solutions with Microsoft 365 to collaborate and get work done from anywhere through email, chat, virtual meeting and document sharing resources.
  • Efficient field service, case management and project operations with the power and depth of Dynamics 365's portfolio of business applications.
  • Staying connected, increasing productivity and accessing the above capabilities through versatile Surface devices.

Accelerating innovation and transformation

Microsoft’s partnership with the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is a good example of moving in the right direction with connected solutions accelerating innovation and transformation. As one of North America’s largest transportation networks, the MTA initially turned to Microsoft to establish a hub for team collaboration with Microsoft Teams.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began escalating, the MTA heightened its focus on safety and cleanliness. With SharePoint Online and Dynamics 365 as the data sources, the MTA used Power Apps to create mobile-friendly apps to track disinfecting of subway cars and stations, with Power BI providing systemwide, real-time data to manage the effort.

Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, essential workers have relied on the MTA’s trains and buses to provide vital services. With thousands of trains and hundreds of stations, the MTA needed instant visibility into its round-the-clock sanitization procedures. Mobile-friendly apps built with Microsoft Power Apps and Power BI give the MTA real-time sanitization data for all the system’s trains and stations. A back-to-work app deployed alongside a Microsoft Teams call center helps monitor employee wellness. Topping off the transformation: The MTA’s field workers moved from clipboards and paper to Surface tablets to interact and monitor operations. Rafail Portnoy, the MTA’s chief technology officer, calls the outcome “probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”

Reimagining how to attract and retain transit customers

Another way transit agencies are moving in the right direction is to reimagine how they attract and retain customers by offering the ease, convenience and contactless travel advantages of ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. To improve the overall traveler experience, forward-looking transit agencies are adopting mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) strategies, affording passengers real-time information to plan, compare, book and pay for services on their smartphones.

Working on their own or in collaboration with Microsoft partners such as Cubic and TomTom, transit agencies are adopting secure mobile apps with location intelligence to create a seamless traveler experience. In addition to subscription-based, third-party MaaS services powered by Azure, transit agencies can easily build their own custom MaaS apps leveraging Azure services combined with APIs from Microsoft partners as well.

Creating operational efficiencies

Historically, state and local departments of transportation and transit have been underfunded. With the pandemic producing significant drops in revenue, whether from reduced fuel-based taxes or decreased ridership, a bad funding situation grew even worse. To counter this trend, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are creating operational efficiencies through real-time and predictive insights, enhanced collaboration and widespread automation of processes. For example, ITS allow:

  • Departments of transportation to generate “digital twins” of road networks for real-time traffic and weather monitoring, remote traffic signal control, automated accident and traffic flow detection and response. These intelligent systems also make electronic toll collection, congestion pricing and other road-use charges feasible.
  • Transit agencies to provide real-time service information and rider insights, online ticketing, optimized routing, prioritized bus movement at intersections, and advanced security to detect and prevent any compromises affecting traveler safety. Other benefits include real-time driver/operator assessments of fleet health, automated maintenance, and inspections, and streamlined scheduling activities, all of which can dramatically reduce service downtime and operational costs.

Driven by data

Whether at the state, city or county level, transportation and transit agencies are driven by data to improve infrastructure safety and reliability, operational efficiencies, internal and external workforce collaboration, and the traveler experience. Trusted Microsoft and partner solutions are helping agencies manage and leverage data to eliminate incidents and accidents; better design and build roads, bridges and other essential transportation infrastructure; reduce traffic congestion; assess equitable road-use tolls and more. Microsoft empowers transportation and transit agencies to capitalize on their data with:

  • Insights resulting in smart mobility opportunities, new revenue streams and improved profitability beyond core services.
  • A commitment to deliver trustworthy, secure, private and reliable computing experiences and a safer world built on trust by handling data securely and in compliance with privacy and legal requirements.
  • An Azure infrastructure covering 60-plus regions – more than any other cloud provider – to securely store and manage data.
  • Azure-powered Internet of Things (IoT) to increase safety, reduce costs and enable agencies to manage, track and monitor connected vehicles and other assets in real time.
  • A skilled partner ecosystem that shares Microsoft’s dedication to security and customer success.

Stepping up

This is just a fraction of how Microsoft and partners are supporting the state and local government transportation and transit sector. By recognizing and understanding the challenges faced by transportation and traffic authorities, Microsoft is stepping up with trusted, leading-edge cloud capabilities that dramatically improve infrastructure reliability and safety, operational efficiency, workforce collaboration and the traveler experience, all while advancing environmental sustainability. Learn more by watching the on-demand webinar: Enabling digital transformation in six key areas of transportation.