Stations in the Netherlands have been troubled by faulty escalators and elevators for some time now. Travellers who depend on these facilities for their travel are greatly inconvenienced. "It even happens that passengers are advised to continue their journey at a further station when an elevator is broken at the destination station," says Van Aartrijk. "The passenger can travel back and arrive via the other direction on the platform where the lift is not broken. It's better to know where you stand much earlier, so that smarter solutions become possible," he continues.
Negative traveler experience
Broken escalators and elevators cause delays as travelers are forced to seek alternative routes. This leads to great frustration and inconvenience, especially during busy periods when efficient flow is critical. The overall travel experience of travelers is significantly compromised when essential services are not operational. This can result in a negative perception of public transportation and can discourage potential travelers from using this form of transportation.
On the other hand, it is currently difficult for station managers to monitor the elevators and escalators in a simple and efficient way. They often have to deal with many different suppliers, a variety of systems and maintenance contracts.
That is why InTraffic, together with OrangeNXT, has come up with something to tackle this problem preventively and to provide a better service to travelers. "With our IoT monitoring solution, we generate real-time signals about the status of elevators and escalators on one platform. This not only makes it possible to fix defects, but also to act proactively by detecting early signs of malfunctions," says Linders.
Our IoT solution is vendor-independent and is not limited to specific carriers. It can be integrated into the processes of different providers. "The maintenance team maintains control over the process from monitoring to repair. Then there is the possibility to bring in external suppliers if necessary," says Linders.
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A remarkable feature of the product is the translation into travel information. InTraffic ensures that travellers are informed through various channels such as journey planner apps, information screens in vehicles and websites. "Research has shown that passengers who rely on the lift or escalator system at a station have a better experience if they are informed in advance of any disruptions. They can then adjust their travel behaviour accordingly," says Van Aartrijk.
"We are in the process of further roll-out of the product. We hope to be operational soon, so that public transport takes a step forward in accessibility and reliability of stations," says Linders.
This project illustrates how innovative technologies can be used to not only solve problems, but even prevent them, resulting in an improved travel experience for everyone. "We look forward to further developments and hope that this initiative can serve as an example for cities worldwide that are striving for more inclusive public transport," Linders concludes.