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Value of Mobile Technology for Rail Transportation

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Mobile technology has evolved rapidly over the past few years and today affects every aspect of our lives, including transportation. As transportation managers seek new ways to compete in a challenging market place, many are implementing mobile technologies to optimize their operations. 44 percent of transportation executives surveyed globally said mobile is their top strategic priority, and 83 percent mentioned mobile as one of their strategic goals.

The global rail industry, both public and private sectors, plan to use the potential of implementing mobile technology to their advantage. With innovative mobile solutions, industry leaders seek to optimize rail performance, improve network and commercial operations, increase workforce safety, and achieve an engaging traveler experience. In this regard, mobility can bring the highest value in the following areas in particular:

  • Commercial operations
  • Traveler engagement
  • Network operations

Commercial Operations

From a commercial perspective, mobile solutions can add value to passenger rail providers. Mobile commerce (mCommerce) solutions can be used to analyze network and service performance, traveler trends, financials, risk and other data with a view to reduce service costs and improve sales. 36% of private transportation executives say increased revenue is one of their top mobile initiatives.  Additionally, mobile services enable rail employees to identify, locate, and engage travelers anywhere in the station, from yard to the cabin.  This can be used to personalize passenger treatment and build loyalty. 

Traveler Engagement

With smartphone penetration on the rise, travelers’ reliance on mobile apps to simplify their journey is naturally increasing. 51% of transportation providers confirmed their travelers currently purchase tickets, passes, and packaged trips with their mobile devices. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that more travel-related apps continue to appear. The most popular of them makes it possible for rail passengers to easily and quickly plan their travel, book and purchase train tickets, board using m-ticket, check timetables and train status, receive schedule and destination updates or other information, request and manage on-board services, and finally receive personalized offerings and recommendations. In other words, these apps free passengers from queuing and fuss, thus making the travel process a pleasure.

Network Operations

Successful rail providers make safe and on-time network operations the cornerstone of their mobile strategy. They are empowering their workforce with mobile solutions to keep the trains running and people moving. By using a mobile hand-held device, rail workers can operate locomotives and switches, maintain track and rolling stock, and conduct rounds or inspections. It helps not only to stay on schedule, but also foresee and avoid incidents, or respond to unavoidable incidents better and faster. On the whole, such appliance of mobile technology contributes to accomplishment of the key railroad objectives – optimized network performance, improve service, and enhanced safety.

PSA will soon release a comprehensive white paper focusing on the use of mobile solutions for efficient railroad operations. Subscribe to our blog, so you won’t miss it!

Sources:

  1. http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/rail_transportation/ideas/
  2. http://www.eiuperspectives.economist.com/technology-innovation/how-mobile-transforming-passenger-transportation/white-paper/how-mobile-transforming-passenger-transportation

PSA Marketing Team

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