To upgrade route management, an innovative route management system was installed at Riga International Coach Terminal (RICT). It will allow to process most information on passenger carriage digitally. The new route management system was developed by LMT, the local technology company. It is expected that other bus and coach terminals of Latvia could also start using this system in the nearest future to plan and manage their traffic flows.
Riga International Coach Terminal (RICT) is one of the main passenger hubs in Latvia. At the beginning of the last year, it served as a point of departure for 750 passenger buses daily, with one platform serving as many as 55 buses per day. Until now, the management of RICT bus routes took place in the dispatcher service and relied on the Baltic Lines system introduced in 2003. However, a large part of operations had to be performed manually that increased the processing time and the risk of human error during information exchange processes.
"Implementation of the Rail Baltica project is a challenge. Due to this project, the area of the terminal will decrease, and we will have to manage the routes ever more efficiently and accurately. We are really pleased that we had an opportunity to cooperate with LMT that was really forthcoming and willing to study each and every detail. They not only carried out an in-depth analysis and identified all challenges, but were also able to create an effective solution that we can proudly call one of the most advanced in Europe,” claims Vaira Gromule, the Chair of the Board of RICT.
According to the RICT, the development of the new route management system started in 2020, when the LMT together with RICT dispatchers studied the current systems and processes in extreme detail. One of the key criteria that guided the developer of the new route management system was its long-term functionality, as well as the compatibility with the latest IT technologies.
“In Latvia, we can boast a highly developed mobile data transmission infrastructure that in combination with modern technologies not only allows to create innovative solutions that can significantly improve various processes in various sectors of the economy, but also enables their efficient use day-to-day. Transport and mobility are no exception. On the contrary, along the rapid development of 5G data networks this will become one of the sectors that will gain most from digital solutions,” explains Juris Binde, the President of LMT.
The new system is capable of automating and upgrading a number of processes to make the day-to-day life of terminal employees much easier. Now, all information from the Road Transport Directorate and passenger carriers is processed automatically. The dispatcher service no longer has to manually process documents, emails or phone calls. The system also uses AI and computer vision to identify and record all buses that have entered the terminal. Passenger announcements are generated with Tilde language synthesis functionality, while on-screen information is displayed automatically to react to real-time developments.
"This is the time when almost no area of our lives is conceivable without the latest technologies. They also increasingly affect the transportation and passenger carriage sector. The new route management system is only the first step in modernizing passenger carriage in Latvia. To make transportation services competitive, we have to digitize not only the route management and information exchange processes, but also billing, etc. It requires targeted long-term efforts, but we can safely claim that they are well warranted as such developments can make the sector more competitive and efficient,” explains Kristiāns Godiņš, the Chairman of the Board of the RTD.