Trinity Metro, serving Fort Worth, Texas, and the surrounding Tarrant County, operates fixed-route bus services, TEXRail, ZIPZONE services, ACCESS paratransit, vanpools and Trinity Railway Express (a joint operation with Dallas’s DART).
In mid-2021, Trinity Metro began a search for a centralized system to help increase the productivity of its fleet and help maintain the fleet more efficiently and effectively. The ultimate goal, as with any project by the agency, was increased livability and economic growth for the community.
“Livability through transit is what it is all about,” said Bruce Lewis, senior director of IT, Trinity Metro. “Public transportation provides access and mobility to help customers get where they need to go.”
After reviewing numerous solutions on the market, the agency ultimately partnered with Vontas to deploy and utilize TransitMaster.
TransitMaster is a fleet management tool which presents significant efficiency and cost savings for Trinity Metro. The system reviews vehicle locations from a modem to track vehicles in service, and uses the GTFS-real-time standard to send passengers accurate arrival predictions, vehicle locations, and service alerts, to keep them fully informed on their journey.
“The TransitMaster solution will provide Trinity Metro advanced communications, device management, real-time situational awareness, ability to adjust services on the fly, and the ability to access in-field devices on our buses remotely and effectivity, thereby providing a better ridership experience,” Lewis said.
Having such a feature-rich ITS solution will help Trinity Metro make decisions more efficiently based on the real-time information and data the agency has at its disposal. Managers receive real-time information regarding vehicle status, vehicle position, delays, and re-routing that dispatch and operational staff can utilize without delays. More than ever before, this allows Trinity Metro to react quickly to changing conditions.
“They can also use all that information and historical data to then plan more effectively, improve route planning, improve frequency, and get information from other systems they have deployed,” said Peter Aczel, general manager of Vontas. “The data helps them to plan their operations for success. TransitMaster has a large functionality set that seamlessly integrates with the full solution set Trinity Metro has already deployed, which helps the agency improve frequency and level of service to the riding public. It all comes down to working together to help them win.”
Aczel added that TransitMaster will be particularly helpful for some of Trinity Metro’s critical concerns, such as improving scheduling and on-time performance.
System integration was also a big selling point for Trinity Metro. TransitMaster integrates with Trinity Metro’s automated passenger counters, farebox, and signage, and is the only solution to offer seamless native integration with the Trapeze Group solutions that Trinity Metro already uses.
“More and more companies every year offer the latest and greatest solution for transit,” Lewis said. “With all these great new solutions, there is a major task of integrating them all into a single bus unit. Vontas’ TransitMaster provides Trinity Metro with a consolidated single-solution point where we can have the best of all worlds – and only one vendor to call if any issues arise.”
“Trinity Metro currently has many Trapeze Group solutions, and the ability for those solutions to integrate with TransitMaster is a significant benefit because it reduces their risk,” said Ed Baldzicki, vice president, sales at Vontas. “That reduction of risk really shows up in overall efficiency, and in many of the daily tasks required of Trinity Metro staff.”
Vontas and Trinity Metro both anticipate that TransitMaster will accommodate future ridership growth and service expansions. The solution is completely scalable, and will handle as many expansions and additional services that the agency requires.
“Ridership is critical to any successful transportation system,” said Wayne Gensler, vice president and COO of bus and paratransit at Trinity Metro. “By continually working to improve our software and processes, we strive to provide a better transit experience for our customers.