Thompsons Bus Services School Network Survey

Data Collection and Analysis

Thompsons Bus Services School Network Survey

Client: TransLink, Queensland
Date: June–August 2013

Project Description

As part of the Thompsons Bus Services (TBS) schools review, Phillip Boyle & Associates conducted a complete survey of all school special services. All trips were surveyed twice, on different days and at different times during the school term.

Data collected on-board was to a stop level. At every stop, we identified which school each passenger attended.

Phillip Boyle & Associates’ survey team was supported by TransLink Customer Liaison staff.

Survey Type: On-board count

Survey Approach: Automated collection using iPads; an advanced GIS tool was developed, as the bus stops were not known and we had to track who got on where

Outputs

Outputs provided to TransLink included:

  • Detailed maps in our specialised format, showing patronage data
  • Detailed database providing boardings by trip, location and school, in a queryable format
  • Matrix containing comprehensive information about student transfers (from hubs where buses connect and students swap between buses)
  • GIS outputs
  • Matrix of stop boardings and transfers by school
  • Maps showing expected route paths compared to observed route alignments.

Key Challenges

School service surveys are extremely sensitive and the process required extensive daily liaison with schools, TBS and TransLink. The set-up required a large amount of data for existing school runs on a very complex route network. The high number of transfers also made tracking difficult.

The process of managing survey staff and getting them to remote locations and schools was also challenging. For example, on some days over 15 trips were being simultaneously surveyed.

Testimonials

"Phillip Boyle consistently provided a high level of expertise, advice and management of the scheduling process. His strong technical skills and thorough understanding of transport operations were major assets to the provision of the Olympic and Paralympic games transportation services."


Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games, Athens 2004

"Phillip Boyle & Associates has supported the development of the SmartBus program through the planning and implementation phases. In particular on Route 901 and 902 he developed the timetable and worked with the multiple bus operators to create scheduling solutions for implementation. This included not only creating the vehicle runs and crew shifts but also development of information for the systems that support SmartBus technologies. In each case implementation went very smoothly and high levels of scheduling efficiency were achieved. Phillip’s operational expertise and ability to successfully work with the bus operators involved was critical to the successful implementation of these services."


Chris Bright, Manager SmartBus, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding expertise in assisting Sydney Ferries with development of its successful operating bid, driving the development of a range of “outside the box” options aimed at improving service quality and increasing efficiency levels. Phillip Boyle’s combination of technical operations capabilities and commercial experience provided Sydney Ferries with significant benefits during this process."


Denis Mole, Chief Operating Officer, Sydney Ferries, NSW

"A highly successful implementation has been achieved, complete with substantial network changes and a complete rewriting of all operating timetables. During the scheduling process Phillip Boyle & Associates worked closely with both TransLink and ourselves to achieve the best possible outcomes. As a result the operation has been made simpler and substantially more robust. Implementation was helped significantly by Phillip Boyle’s operational planning and scheduling expertise."


Paul Davies, General Manager, Westside Bus Service, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding planning, operations and implementation expertise. The project was difficult due to the complex nature of the service (local, intertown and line haul services operating under a timed-transfer system) and the number of stakeholders involved. Phillip Boyle’s hands-on approach ensured a difficult implementation went smoothly. He worked effectively with a variety of stakeholders ranging from large and small bus companies, Department of Transport staff, Metlink and local government representatives. Not only did Mr Boyle help to redesign the service, but he also drove the implementation, including development of a regional timetable in a new format."


John Storrie, General Manager – Strategic Planning & Policy, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle provided scheduling support for Brisbane Transport over several projects spanning almost ten years. The range of projects he has assisted with cover the scheduling, planning and human resources disciplines. In that time he has demonstrated high levels of scheduling, planning and operations expertise. I look forward to working with Phillip Boyle & Associates in the future and would highly recommend them to an organisation looking for planning, operations or scheduling expertise."


Roman Gafa, Network Scheduling Manager, Brisbane Transport, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates developed our operating bid for the V/Line services. Not only did they assist with format, structure and content, but also developed our operating plan and pricing strategies. Our bid success was due in no small part to the professionalism of Phillip Boyle, his ability to prepare a high-quality operating bid, and his detailed understanding of operations. Upon winning the bid, Phillip Boyle & Associates provided implementation support and advice necessary to ensure a successful implementation of the services."


Frank Bono, Managing Director, Firefly Express, Victoria

"Having worked with Phillip Boyle over many years I can say without a doubt he provides industry-leading expertise in the planning, scheduling and operation of public transportation services. His recent work on the Advanced Transit Scheduling Manual reinforced this view."


Dan Boyle, President, Dan Boyle & Associates, USA

SHS