The municipality of Craiova is introducing an advanced fleet management system for the local public transport company, RAT Craiova, in order to meet the need for a modern, efficient and reliable public transport system.
Background & Objectives
The EU’s quantitative objectives for 2020 include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% of 1990 levels, reducing energy consumption by 20% of the projected 2020 levels and increasing the share of renewable sources of energy to 20% of total energy generation. In order to comply with these objectives, the municipality of Craiova developed and implemented a Plan for Sustainable Development. Part of the plan is dedicated to the sustainable urban transport within the city. One of the measures initiated in this area is the introduction of Infomobility tools for fleet management. The main objectives of this initiative are to increase residents' trust in public transport by providing a reliable, predictable, comfortable and safe service, to reduce traffic levels by encouraging people to use the public transport system instead of their own cars and, by doing so, to reduce the levels of pollution and fuel consumption. One of the measures taken to achieve these objectives is the implementation of a complex management system within the public transport company, RAT Craiova. This system utilises GPS based tracking components in order to increase the efficiency of public transport and to optimise energy consumption.
For the first time in the city of Craiova, a fleet Global Positioning System (GPS) and fleet real time information was introduced. The basic function of the system is vehicle tracking. Besides locating the vehicles, the GPS transmits to the software application information about speed, direction of travel, etc. This enables the software to create driver/vehicle profiles and trip profiles, and to analyse the vehicle’s efficiency. Details such as mileage or fuel consumption can be gathered into a central database by advanced fleet management systems which can connect to the vehicle’s onboard computer. The information gathered about the positioning of the vehicles can also be used with the information panels installed in a number of bus stops to make public transport more predictable and attractive, and also for better route management during rush hours.
After the research stage, eighty buses and twenty-seven trams were equipped with GPS and e-ticketing systems and twenty digital panels with real time information were installed at the most important stops in the city.
The municipality of Craiova is taking active steps to comply with EU environmental policies. The modernisation of the public transport system will help change people’s minds about using their cars for getting around the city. Apart from modernising the old vehicles and buying new, more energy efficient and comfortable ones, an efficient fleet management system is an absolute must in order to provide a reliable service and an attractive alternative to the use private cars.