Bus operator Nobina and Telia work on smarter transportation

Nobina, the largest bus transport group in the Nordic region, is cooperating with Telia in Sweden on a new project to develop solutions for smarter travel and public transport in the future by analysing anonymised mobile data.

When bus traffic is being planned it is usually based on ticket statistics and travel habit surveys as well as statistical data. For example, statistics from Statistics Sweden show the trend for commuting. However, only 40 per cent of those who travel are commuters, so enhanced understanding is required of how the other 60 per cent of passengers travel. In addition, better knowledge is required of the entire trip – what is the destination of the trip? What route did the passengers take prior to getting on the bus? How long is the actual total travel time?

Innovation divisions work together
This is why the innovation divisions Nobina Technology and Telia Company Division X have tested the use of aggregated and anonymised mobile network data to better understand travel patterns.
“The cooperation with Telia is aimed at helping us gain better insight into how passengers move, and not only when they travel on our buses. This gives us insight into how we can adapt to people’s actual mobility needs. By using this method, we also hope to gain information more quickly regarding new travel needs to be able to offer better solutions that meet the requirements of society,” says Henrik Dagnäs, Vice President of Nobina.

Friday traffic is special
Analysts from both Nobina and Telia work together in the pilot project to test live how mobile network data can be used to analyse travel patterns.
In the test, mobile data was used from Södertörn south of Stockholm, where Nobina operates bus services on behalf of SL. The result indicates, for example, considerable travel to a centre in Södertörn, which gave rise to the matter of a new bus route. It also showed that morning commuting declines by 16 per cent on Fridays and that many people go home earlier on Friday afternoons. By analysing modes of transport into Stockholm, it was possible to identify where passengers have the greatest need to be able to take their bikes on the bus.

“The results show that new technical solutions combined with data can contribute to a large number of different improvements in society, such as improving mobility and communications in this instance. This is an innovation area and part of our focus on smart cities,” says Magnus Leonhardt, Head of Strategy and Business Development at Telia Sweden.

Facts about the project
Nobina and Telia have used so-called Crowd Analytics. This means that by using anonymised and aggregated data, it is possible to analyse actual behaviour and mobility requirements in society and thus improve societal functions such as public transport.

The cooperation between Nobina and Telia is being conducted within the framework for the strategic innovation programme, Drive Sweden.