Catalonia trials measuring occupancy and punctuality of buses in real-time

By Isobel Duxfield / Updated: 08 Aug 2022

The Spanish region of Catalonia has started a pilot project that aims to improve the service on the region's interurban bus network by measuring occupancy and punctuality in real-time, using a technology that won an open competition.

The solution is known as ‘AquiBus’ and was developed by the Catalan company Nexus Geographics. It tracks buses and calculates service quality indicators, such as punctuality or occupancy, in real-time. 

The technology will operate on the buses of Autocars Gamón, which, together with the Metropolitan Transport Authority ATM of Lleida and bus users, will receive this information through an app. The aim of the service is to support the wider sustainable mobility work that is being developed across the region. This also includes a new bus rapid transit system (BRT) ‘exprés. cat’, which has 40 new bus lines with high levels of service with which the region aims to radically improve its interurban public transport network.

‘AquiBus’, which will be piloted until November, does not require installation in the vehicles or an investment in additional hardware. With the tracking of each vehicle in real-time, the system can optimise the management of public transport on the road, facilitating the detection of possible incidents and potential disruptions to the service.

‘AquiBus’ was developed following the SmartCatalonia Challenge, which is an open innovation competition promoted by the Catalan Ministry for Vice-presidency, Digital Policies and Territory as part of the SmartCatalonia strategy. The competition encourages small and medium enterprises and technology start-ups to create solutions to answer the challenges formulated by the municipalities and other bodies. In this edition, the General Direction for Transport and Mobility proposed five challenges to optimise road public transport, to be solved with an innovative solution. ‘AquiBus’ won first prize, valued at €15,000, along with the chance to do a pilot test.

This article was drafted using information from Generalitat of Catalonia.

Photo Credit: © JUAN ANTONIO ORIHUELA/ - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

Western Europe
Mobility management