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19.8.14

BUSES & TAXIS * Australia: Analytics pinpoint the cheapest way to travel

* ACT - NICTA trial replaces some Canberra buses with taxis


(Photo: Canberra taxis and cabs at bus terminus at Jolimont Centre) 
Canberra,ACT,Australia -it News, by Paris Cowan -Aug 15, 2014: -- NICTA is in the final stages of readying a pioneering trial of a new off-peak transport solution in Canberra that could see locals hopping in a taxi at the bus stop for the price of a normal bus ticket... NICTA's sophisticated analytics tools, developed in-house by the technology research organisation, have modelled out the ACT's underutilised ACTION bus network and calculated that it would be cheaper to put some passengers in taxis than continue to run empty buses to the Canberra fringes on weekends and at night... Rob Fitzpatrick, director of infrastructure, transport and logistics at NICTA, outlined the 'hub and spoke' model to a packed room at CEDA's transport innovation briefing yesterday... Under the scheme, outlying passengers will essentially 'book' a bus trip online or with a smartphone app, which is automatically planned out for them from bus stop to bus stop... A taxi will pick them up from the designated stop and drop them at any one of eight 'hubs' between which ACTION buses are shuttling passengers on high rotation... When they get off their bus, another taxi will be waiting to take them to their final bus stop... The NICTA modelling, powered by machine learning technology, predicts that journey times could be cut by as much as a third...

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