Cardiff Bus (Bws Caerdydd) is the main operator in the Welsh capital. With a total fleet of 252 vehicles, including 19 articulated and 13 double-decker buses, they have been providing passenger services in and around Cardiff since 1902. Although the future of Cardiff Bus’ownership has, more recently, fallen under the media microscope, the company is one of the few municipals to survive the effects of UK bus deregulation of the 80’s. It has done this by ensuring that it maintained its competitive edge.
“To move Cardiff Bus from the 1970’s to the present we wanted to improve efficiency and accuracy by changing from a manual to computer aided scheduling and timetabling system”, commented Commercial Manager, Peter Heath. “We wanted a product which was produced by people who understood the way the bus industry works and its unique requirements and problems, and who were happy to tailor their product to our specific needs”.
So, starting with OmniTIMES and OmniBASE, Cardiff Bus strategically (and over a period of time) put together Omnibus solutions that would maximise the efficient use of its timetable data, and bring further return on investment. “In a world where information on bus services has to be available in many forms – paper based timetable, real time shelter based sign, web, mobile phone, telephone enquiry service – the seamless interchange of data between the various Omnibus products and outside suppliers ensures Cardiff Bus can keep its customers informed with accurate and up to date information”, added Peter.
Cardiff Bus now uses OmniTIMES, OmniBASE, OmniROTA, CrewPLAN, OmniSTOP and PocketBUS to assist in the management of operations. “The ease with which data can be extracted from Omnibus software and used in other applications assists us in the financial appraisal of not only current operations but also plans for the future.
Using Omnibus has enabled us to both improve the quality of the operation and deal with the unique challenges of the Cardiff operating environment. For example, we have recently completed a programme of ensuring every bus stop – that’s over 1700 – has a timetable display listing all bus services using that stop. Such a project would be impossible without the integrated systems Omnibus provide in particular the powerful OmniSTOP product.
In addition to this, the presence of the Millennium Stadium in the heart of the city centre produces many one day only changes to operations which would be difficult to both schedule and link into our driver allocation process without Omnibus software.”
“The relationship with Cardiff Bus has been very much a two way thing”, Michael Meilton of Omnibus said. “We are keen to listen to our clients’ stories, and adapt software to fit with their requirements. With Cardiff Bus, this has led to a firm partnership between us – a position that benefits everyone involved”.
Is there one statement (that we can publish) that sums this up from Cardiff Bus? Peter Heath again, “It is a pleasure working with Omnibus. They are always keen to help with problems and queries and quick to respond to requests for changes to software, yet do not charge the king’s ransom that some of their competitors seem to believe in”