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This Startup is Disrupting Public Transit (With Ford and Samsung Along for the Ride)

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BY Tom Popomaronis - 10 Feb 2018

This Startup is Disrupting Public Transit (With Ford and Samsung Along for the Ride)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Imagine being able to improve how public transit operates around the globe. From better bus scheduling to predictive analysis for transit riders, creating improved transit operations via technology is the stuff dreams are made of. Today, those dreams are actually becoming a reality, which is pretty amazing.

Swifly is a transportation platform based out of San Francisco, CA, and funded by industry leaders like Ford Smart Mobility, RATP Dev (5th largest mass transit operator in the world), Via ID (subsidiary of Mobivia, a multi-billion dollar mobility leader in Europe), and Samsung NEXT to name just a few, Swiftly is bringing big data and predictive algorithms to transform how public transportation systems operate. In short, their technology is helping to create more efficient public transit networks and eliminate inefficiencies that currently exist.

As for the technological solutions are being provided, there are two:

Swiftly Insights: a data analytics platform for transit agencies and operators that sheds light on where and when on-time performance issues are occurring in their network.

Swiftly Transitime: an algorithm that provides highly accurate real-time information for passengers around when the next bus will arrive.

Legacy Systems -- Disrupted

This disruption of legacy systems is why Swiftly's technology is being adopted by public transportation providers around the globe. From inaccurate transportation scheduling data influencing rider satisfaction rates to understanding why inefficiencies are occurring and impacting transit system operating costs, the current system is broken and in need of repair. As Tahmina Amin-Nawabi, Transport network and service planner, RATP Dev describes that, "a typical punctuality analysis is a 3-month project that requires costly equipment investments. Swiftly compresses this down to days with no new infrastructure investments".

The ability to offer cost savings to public transportation providers while improving efficiency at the same time is the reason investors and customers alike are enthralled with the potential of Swiftly. Jon Feldman, Planner & Scheduler at Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works puts it, "this is one of the smartest transit technology products I've seen. You have taken data that was previously cumbersome and overwhelming and packaged it in an incredibly clear and useful way".

And as Swiftly CEO, Jonathan Simkin, explains:

"We built Swiftly to improve the way people move in cities. Today, we are working with over 40 cities improving public transit for 2 million riders per day.

In an industry saturated with legacy systems, processes, and technology, public transportation is ripe for the massive overhaul -- and it's happening. All aboard.

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