Mass Transit - 16

Move to digital

Working toward integration of
mobile ticketing within the MBTA
Commuter Rail app is one part of
what KCS Vice President Digital
Solutions Ric Salvatici calls an "unprecedented" app deployment effort. Salvatici says Keolis currently
has 24 apps in total consisting of 18
operational apps, three administrative apps and three passenger apps.
The level of app deployment is
an example of KCS's larger digital
transformation. Salvatici explains
that utilizing specialty software
has allowed for real-time data
input, improvements in digital
operations, scheduling and payroll, as well as the digitization of
more than 2,000 paper records.
One of the more significant areas of impact involving the digital
transformation can be found in its
application to event management
and passenger information.
In February 2019, the commuter rail system moved more
than twice its usual weekday ridership - and the largest single day
ridership ever - during the New
England Patriots Super Bowl parade. Part of the move to digital
includes a centrally located single source of information that can
be accessed for events such as the
Patriots parade. The information
can be shared quickly with passengers and helps drive a templated response to major events.
Linda Dillon, KCS director of
customer service, uses this information in the Passenger Information Center (PIC) on a daily basis
and during special events.
"PIC provides a single source
of truth to push information out
to stations, to dispatch and to social media using customer-friendly language," explained Dillon.
"It's a circle of communication."
The same code providing PIC
information also feeds information to the EOC during extreme
weather events, which helps drive
decisions based on real-time commuter rail information.

16 |

Mass Transit/Mischa Wanek-Libman

Center is
activated during
major events,
such as extreme
weather, and
allows a total
system overview
from a single

By The

A third area where digitalization is key is an Internet of Things
project regarding "smart cars."
The project was jointly developed
by KCS and MBTA and calls for
all cars in the commuter rail fleet
to be outfitted with sensors and
transponders to deliver real-time
information that includes an accurate passenger count by car,
information on car temperatures,
information on door opening and
closings, vibration and noise levels and GPS. Salvatici says the
systems, which are all rooted in
passenger comfort, have been
undergoing testing and the project should be mostly complete by
December 2019.

Better fleet

All the technology being put into
"smart cars" will be useless if the

cars, or the locomotives powering the trains, can't operate. The
maintenance management of the
commuter rail fleet, as well as how
the maintenance facilities operate, have seen major improvements during the past five years.
Ernest Piper, chief mechanical officer at KCS, explains that
it took a full 18 months to deliver improved processes on the
mechanical side of the commuter
rail network. One of his first objectives was to fully implement an
asset management data system
to build historical data on which
trends, costs and labor hours
could be planned and based.
"Prior to Keolis taking over
the contract, work wasn't planned
or recorded, and you need good
historical data to plan properly,"
said Piper.
The commuter rail fleet consists of four classes of locomotives
ranging in age between five years
and 42 years old and five coach
classes ranging from the 42-yearold Pullman cars to the five-yearold Rotem cars. The Commuter
Rail Maintenance Facility (CRMF)
can perform full overhauls or rebuilds of coach cars, as well as light
to medium locomotive repairs and
partial overhauls.
The range of fleet that requires
maintenance coupled with the
fact that the CRMF services and



service delivery*

21 percent
increase in
since 2012


more train
services operated
annually since
July 2014
*Q1 2019

Mass Transit | | JULY/AUGUST 2019

Mass Transit/Mischa Wanek-Libman

THE PIC provides a single source of truth from which
information is provided to passengers, dispatchers and station

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Driven by Data
Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Best Practices
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - 16
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - 26
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - Driven by Data
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - 31
Mass Transit - 32
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - Best Practices
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - 38
Mass Transit - Products
Mass Transit - 40
Mass Transit - 41
Mass Transit - 42
Mass Transit - 43
Mass Transit - 44