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TransportME transit management system brings unique perspective to fleet management

TransportME has become a market-leading Transit Management System and Driver Console Unit for bus and coach businesses

As the managing director of family bus company Ryan’s Bus Service, Nigel Tooth was well aware of the frustrations bus and coach operators had jumping from different management systems to other programs.

In 2013, Tooth took action, founding TransportME and reinvigorating the transit management system, or TMS, and driver console unit (DCU) spaces in the local bus and coach industry.

“Being an ex-bus operator myself, I knew how annoying these issues could be,” Tooth told ABC.

“I wanted to be able to provide companies with a solution that allowed them to log in and then just complete their work from that point.”

When Tooth first started TransportME, he was still working at Ryan’s in Coffs Harbour, NSW. It involved many long nights and stressful early mornings, but Tooth’s intention was to create a clear and user friendly solution that would revolutionise the way companies operate buses and coaches in Australasia.

It took plenty of hard work to develop the solution while still leading the family business.

“There were a lot of 2AM knockoffs and 6AM wake-ups when I first started TransportME,” Tooth says.

“I was also doing this while being the managing director of our family bus company, so it was somewhat stressful trying to manage time.”

In the past decade, TransportME has grown from Tooth’s pipedream of creating a clear and accessible DCU for operators to making history in the Australian market. In just over 10 years, TransportME now has a wealth of clients onboard – including two government contracts – having forged new ground by providing the bus industry with a DCU that combines compliance tasks with ticketing operations and GPS tracking and route guidance.

“Connecting the DCU to the TMS in the office via the cloud was another gamechanger for bus companies,” Tooth says.

“It’s allowed for real-time reporting, GPS information and passenger data to be combined on the one system. All of a sudden, vehicles, drivers and management were instantly connected and sharing information in real time.”

Tooth didn’t have to look far to witness the impact TransportME’s system is having on operators. At Ryan’s, Tooth has seen how the solution has become “a huge time saver”, with operators around the nation getting into contact with Tooth to contract TransportME’s services.

Image: TransportME

Nowadays, the TransportME suite includes a range of products that provide solutions for metro and regional public and school transport services across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The cloud-based solution doesn’t require any software to be pre-loaded, with the end-to-end system ensuring management have all the operating information and data tools at their fingertips to efficiently run operations without needing to jump to other systems.

Through TransportME’s TMS, operators can create routes and manage fares, SmartCards, drivers, vehicles, maintenance, compliance and instant messaging, to name a few.

“Our product ecosystem is the most diverse on the market, covering off on a TMS and DCU system,” Tooth says.

“With our revolutionary clear of bus check system, vehicle maintenance system, push to talk, student manifests, electronic driver/vehicle handbooks and much more in the ticketing, compliance and GPS sectors, we cover a wide range of capabilities.”

This variety of abilities also gives rise to plenty of benefits for bus and coach operators. Tooth says the TransportME solution is the most cost-effective of its kind on the market, while it combines systems for areas like ticketing, reporting and vehicle maintenance that traditionally have been run by separate products.

“We solved all of this by pulling these needs together and creating the TransportME solution,” Tooth says.

“Operators have been able to reduce their time and paperwork immensely by moving into the TransportME digital age.”

This one-stop shop of transit management has always been at the heart of Tooth’s venture with TransportME. While he admits there’s still more developments to come, he’s satisfied that TransportME’s solution is constantly improving and that the company’s aftersales support and service is “second to none”.

“Most operators will be able to realise that TransportME does have it all,” he says.

“Initially TransportME focused on rural and regional bus operators and their ticketing and reporting needs. Now, the beauty of it is that we can solve the problems of a one-bus operator or a multi-national company with 500 vehicles, or even a government that needs a solution for their public passenger or school services.”

Recent updates to the TransportME solution has allowed the system to play a huge role in accessibility in the bus industry, as the system allows operators to add vehicles with wheelchair accessibility, which is then displayed within the passenger app. The solution has also been engineered to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as per government contract requirements.

Tooth is now looking for the solution to further its market presence in the private school sector to improve this industry’s revenue, patronage information and safety compliance aspects.

“The defining aspect of the TransportME solution that stands out and keeps ahead of the competition is our ever-growing product ecosystem,” Tooth says.

“There is no other offering that can compete with our product suite, which is comprehensive and the most cost effective. Clients love that we can tick off on all of their needs.”

To keep information secure, TransportME also holds both ISO27001 (information security) and ISO9001 (quality management system) certifications to give peace of mind to clients. All of this has allowed the company to exceed Tooth’s initial goal of having around 600 vehicles to build on to reach a current fleet of more than 3500 vehicles.

TransportME has 10 employees onboard, with offshore development partners also in Ho Chi Minh City to expand the product. Tooth notes the release of the TransportME passenger app as one of the company’s most enjoyable and exciting developments, while the formation of its own card based SmartCard ticketing solution was also a major moment in TransportME’s history.

Now, TransportME’s client base ranges from large government bodies to international operators like Kinetic, Keolis Downer and ComfortDelGro Corporation, as well as long serving clients in Martins Albury, Osborns Transport, Hannafords Bus Service, Southern Cross Transit and Warrnambool Bus Lines.

“Without the support and help of clients such as these, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Tooth says.

This client base is only set to grow as TransportME prepares to expand its Australasian footprint into global markets courtesy of new updates. Starting with its recently completed Vehicle Maintenance System and Route Guidance System updates, TransportME will also soon release its Shifts/Rosters/Charter (SRC) module before turning its attention to an electronic work diary (EWD) and student database (TSD).

It’s all being developed with the goal in mind of continuing to provide a helpful tool for many bus and coach operators.

“We’ll continue improving our solution with developments such as TODIS/Hastus importing ability, Portal Sync work and various other improvements,” Tooth says.

“We want to ensure we’re always market leaders with our next-gen solution while also meeting the needs and changes that the bus industry requires.”

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