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Case Study

CoastConnect

An in-depth look at a point-to-hub on-demand public transport trial in New South Wales, Australia.

This commuter transport service connected residents to their local train station during peak periods. By creating a convenient, safe and reliable service— CoastConnect increased patronage month-on-month and retained loyal passengers.

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Overview

  • Fleet size: 5
  • Cashless payments
  • Service hours: Peak Hours, Monday - Friday

In February 2018, Liftango deployed an on-demand solution as part of a State- wide multi-site On-Demand Public Transport trial on the Central Coast of NSW. The deployment is a point-to-hub service connecting residents to a nearby train station.

The Problem

The City of Woy Woy is a regional, low-density area on a peninsula that makes travel in and out challenging during peak periods.

Being an hour from Sydney, many residents choose to commute to work via rail. The subsequent congestion at the station is a direct result of peak demand and insufficient parking.

It results in the following challenges;

  • Lack of parking disincentivises mass transit use
  • Poor lighting and parking far from the station raises safety concerns
  • Single-occupancy vehicle use only increases the peak-period bottleneck leading in and out of the peninsular

The Solution

Liftango and CTCCL launched CoastConnect. A commuter transport service connecting residents to the station during peak periods.

To encourage usage and create loyal patronage the service launched with ‘door- to-hub’ capabilities. This meant residents received the highest level of convenience, and are picked up from any point they choose within the service zone.

Later the service was modified to a ‘meeting point-to-hub’ service. This enabled CTCCL to service more demand during the operating hours. By condensing multiple passengers within a close proximity to a single pickup location, vehicles can pickup more passengers.

Ettalong Wharf was also introduced as a secondary hub in addition to the train station.

By creating a convenient, safe and reliable service CoastConnect increases patronage month-on-month and retains loyal passengers.

The Results

  • 57% increase in trips since launch
  • 72% current retention rate between months
  • 400+ times our most loyal passenger has used the service

Learnings

  1. An innovative procurement process means best-in-class technology can emerge. This meant TfNSW was enabling multiple tech providers across many projects. By doing so, it provided an open forum creating competition, resulting in innovation. The benefit to the Agency is more choice, and a greater control of project outcomes.
  2. Convenience and marketing are crucial during the launch phase. This enables appropriate density to form a loyal passenger base. Chasing the best operational efficiency straight out of the gate can lead to poor uptake. Our data shows passenger retention remains high when additional constraints are introduced post-launch phase. By this time you have already ingrained the bene- fits of the behaviour shift in passengers. You are then free to increase operational efficiency by introducing ways to consolidate demand for greater throughput.

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