NXWM and CitySwift: Driving Public Transit Success

by | Jul 2, 2024

National Express West Midlands (NXWM) has recently announced a significant extension of its partnership with CitySwift, a leading firm in performance optimization for public transport. This renewed three-year collaboration aims to further enhance bus punctuality and operational efficiency using advanced AI technology. Initially established in 2019, the partnership has already demonstrated notable improvements, and the new agreement promises to build on this success.

Since the introduction of CitySwift’s AI and data technology in September 2023, NXWM has achieved remarkable results. The company has reduced late running by over 20%, decreased customer wait times, and increased the number of passengers per journey. These advancements have been instrumental in enhancing the overall passenger experience and operational efficiency of NXWM’s services. Consequently, NXWM is now extending CitySwift’s platform across its entire fleet of over 1,400 buses.

Operating in the largest UK urban bus market outside of London, NXWM serves approximately 210 million passenger journeys annually in the West Midlands. The company has been working closely with CitySwift to develop innovative transport solutions that utilize passenger and service data to drive optimal performance and resource efficiency. This collaboration has significantly contributed to CitySwift’s product development, and the renewed partnership is anticipated to further enhance the region’s public transport network.

A key component of CitySwift’s latest offerings is Spotlight, an intelligent recommendation engine designed for bus network enhancements. NXWM is the first UK transport operator to adopt Spotlight, making the West Midlands the inaugural region worldwide to benefit from this innovative tool. Spotlight facilitates quicker, more customer-focused decisions that balance resources, passengers, cities, and operators. This technology is designed for schedulers, enhancing decision-making by providing AI-powered insights into performance and resource considerations such as timeliness, cost, and vehicle numbers. It scans the entire network, offering service optimization options and efficiency improvements, and is expected to play a crucial role in building smart cities and regions of the future.

Ed Rickard, Network Director at National Express, emphasized the significance of the collaboration, stating, “Our collaboration with CitySwift to deliver Spotlight for the benefit of bus users across the West Midlands, and in major cities across the UK, is a groundbreaking achievement for the National Express West Midlands and CitySwift teams. We are delighted to continue working in partnership with CitySwift over the coming years and proudly leading the charge in the UK when it comes to the use of AI-powered data and insights that are key to an efficient, cost-effective delivery of bus service performance for customers across our network.”

The renewed partnership with NXWM comes on the heels of other significant developments for CitySwift, including the opening of its first UK office in London earlier this year and announcing additional partnerships with Transport North East, Transdev Blazefield, and trentbarton. Since its inception, CitySwift has expanded its presence across the UK, US, and its home territory of Ireland, covering transport networks in all major UK cities.

CitySwift’s AI-driven platform optimizes over 1 billion passenger journeys annually, working with public sector transport authorities and private bus operators to break down the barriers to accessing and interpreting transport data. The company’s technology enhances efficiency, benefiting drivers, passengers, partners, and cities, while remaining human-centric throughout. Andy Foster, Director of Bus Planning at National Express, highlighted the impact of CitySwift’s technology on NXWM’s operations, stating, “We are excited to be extending CitySwift’s performance optimization capabilities across our bus network in the West Midlands. Traffic conditions on our region’s roads have worsened and can negatively impact the reliability of our services. However, using CitySwift’s analytics and optimization tools, our skilled schedulers and network planners have been able to respond effectively, maximizing our productivity and efficiency while also reducing late running for customers that rely on our bus services.”

The expanded partnership between NXWM and CitySwift marks a significant advancement in utilizing AI technology to improve public transport services. By leveraging advanced analytics, simulations, and optimizations, CitySwift is helping NXWM deliver more efficient, reliable, and in-demand services. This collaboration not only benefits the West Midlands but also sets a precedent for the future of public transport on a global scale, ultimately making public transport the travel mode of choice for all people.