Technology Trends for Public Transit 2019

Technology Trends for Public Transit 2019

Smart Transportation for Smart Cities: Technology Trends for Public Transit

During this webinar, LILEE Systems, Trapeze Group and VIA Metropolitan Transit discuss challenges and benefits of adopting the latest technologies for public transportation such as mobility-as-a-service, autonomous vehicles and real-time onboard data.

Note: This webinar was originally broadcast live on January 23rd, 2019. Questions from audience are available at the end of this page.


  • Paola Realpozo, Director of Marketing, LILEE Systems


  • Eric Bauer, Senior Sales Director, LILEE Systems
  • Edward Brandis, Business Development Manager, LILEE Systems
  • Jeff Moore, Vice President of Industry Solutions and Alliances, Trapeze Group
  • Steve Young – Vice President of Technology and Innovation, ‎VIA Metropolitan Transit


Questions from audience:

1. What is the biggest issue working with multiple private companies?

This question was answered live.

2. To truly achieve MaaS we likely need integrated trip planning and fare payment. What are your thoughts on creating a “Netflix” like model where all transport is billed at once?

This question was answered live.

3. Trapeze, Jeff Moore was mentioning a survey about what riders want and how they want to interact iwth transit. Is that survey available for public viewing?

This report is not available to the public. However, we would be happy to provide an agency with a copy of the report if you reach out to us.

4. For VIA, Steve Young. Do you collaborate with other agencies in Texas to share experiences, learned lessons, plans and benefits? Do you also discuss technology with them when defining your requirements?

This question was answered live.

5. For VIA, Steve Young. Has VIA provided any customer education in regard to the AV pilot projects? If so what was done?

This question was answered live.

6. For Trapeze, Jeff Moore. Has Trapeze successfully implemented an integration of TNC apps with Trapeze Scheduling for a demand response service?

We have a number of projects currently underway but none have officially been launched.

7. Autonomous vehicles or not (plug & play once the technology is proven) – should Uber/Lyft be subsidized only for geofenced suburban neighborhoods to connect to 2 destinations only: fixed route transfer hub & a grocery/pharmacy?

VIA: I think this an an agency by agency decision, based on a lot of factors. In many cases this could proved to be much more cost effective than current service. I know OCTA is doing this in southern Orange County in San Clemente.

8. I look forward to an autonomous vehicle with full-accessibility and a Star Trek tractor beam to assist riders with severe disabilities board and alight – especially after a group shopping trip. I also look forward to an autonomous vehicle who can rescue lost toddlers and direct confused or lost passengers, as do those fine bus operators on a daily basis.

Trapeze: We don’t see the need for Customer Service individuals going away with the advent of AVs. We fully expect that agency employees will be onboard AVs providing assistance to individuals who have disabilities or otherwise need assistance boarding/alighting or finding their way through the transit system. We believe that there will be a re-orientation of the skills needed for in-vehicle personnel to align with customer service objectives that the agency may have.

LILEE / Eric: I love the idea of a Transporter being used to load disabled riders onto a bus (vs. just using it to transport them to their final destination) – but your point is on the money. As Jeff describes above, the future of public transportation autonomy (at least for the next several years) will still require a “human touch” to satisfy rider expectations and safety requirements.

9. I think Blue-Tooth is an alternative to 5G, particularly in urban canyons.

LILEE / Eric: It may be. Bluetooth is an ideal solution for smaller, battery-powered devices like those required for the IoT revolution. But the infrastructure needed to support it on a city-wide basis poses several challenges. Since the assets we’re dealing with are always powered (paratransit vehicles, buses, LRVs, etc.), we don’t have the same limitations as other IoT devices (so we can leverage 802.11 Wi-Fi). In any case, I believe that the future of mobile connectivity will consist of “ANDs”, rather than “ORs” (i.e. a mix of technologies to cover all use cases).

10. For Trapeze, Jeff Moore. What is Trapeze’s role in the AV?

Trapeze: We see our role as facilitating the integration of AVs into existing transit operations. We have been working overseas and here in North America to build integrations between our modules and the AV manufacturers’ systems. We believe it is critical that operators have one place to go when managing their operation and Trapeze plans to act as the bridge between AV systems and existing communications and dispatching systems. Whether operating a mixed fleet of traditional and autonomous vehicles or operating a fleet of AVs from various manufacturers, you as an operator should be able to see the status of the operation and make adjustments to it from one place.

11. For VIA, Steve Young. Does he think smart contracts are the way forward for transit agencies

VIA: I am not real knowledgeable on this, but I do not see this coming anytime in the next few years to the public sector – there are so many legal and procurement hurdles that need to be addressed.

12. Why a transit-branded app, rather than the Transit App, for example?

Trapeze: We believe it is important for transit agencies to maintain control over their brand and message. In addition, we also believe that it is valuable for the agency to have access to the data being generated by the rider apps to assist with real time disruption management, future transit system planning and ridership analysis. All of these things are only possible when you are in control of the app that your riders are using. This allows you more control and flexibility when interacting with your customers and ultimately allows for a better passenger experience.