PSI Blog

Best Practice: More Efficiency Through Personnel and Vehicle Dispatching From a Single Source

25 Oct 2023 - Transport, Technology, Sustainability

41 streetcar trains carry passengers in Mainz. Source: Mainz Mobility
41 streetcar trains carry passengers in Mainz. Source: Mainz Mobility

Mainz Mobility (MM) transports an average of 175,000 passengers on weekdays in Mainz and the surrounding areas by bus and streetcar. In order to operate efficiently and use resources in an optimized way, the company has digitized and automated numerous processes both in personnel disposition and depot management.

550 drivers transport more than 53 million passengers annually to destinations in Mainz and its surrounding areas in a total of about 130 diesel and 27 electric buses and 41 street cars. Responsibility for this lies with the Mainz Transport Company, which now communicates under the Mainz Mobility brand.

To improve their profitability, efficiency and transparency of operations and workshops, the transport company relies on digitized processes in both vehicle and personnel disposition.

Industry Standards With Many Benefits

MM benefits from the industry standards of both solutions. Depending on the day of the week, the personnel disposition system plans between 123 (Sundays) and 296 (Fridays) duties and automatically takes into account statutory driving and rest times, the qualifications of the driving staff and special operating conditions, such as multi-qualified drivers who have the qualification to drive a bus and a street car or drivers, which are restricted from certain operations for various reasons.

The best of both worlds: Mainz Mobility benefits from industry standards in vehicle and personnel dispatching.

In addition, the transport company manages vacation time planning via Profahr, maintains work hour accounts and calculates supplemental pay and flat rates for payroll accounting at the push of a button.

Especially during peak times, an easy and fast duty login with integrated driver's license verification via specially set-up terminals is particularly important for the MM.

Fast Login and Visualization in the Control Center

When a driver starts a shift, reserve or stand-by duties included, all they have to do is hold the driver's license with an RFID chip attached to one of two terminals with an integrated reader. The number of the RFID chip on the driver's license is stored in the personnel master file as a second selection number. As soon as the device has read the chip, a short confirmation appears on the monitor and immediately the login screen shows again, so that the next employee can log in. This is very simple and above all, it takes place with the necessary speed.

In turn, a web service of the PSItraffic depot management system requests all duty login messages recorded via Profahr in real time and displays the current data immediately for the employees in the control center.

What is RFID?

The term RFID comes from the English language and is the abbreviation for Radio-Frequency-Identification. Freely translated, the term means something like "radio identification". In other words, identification that works with the help of electromagnetic waves.

More Digitalization in the Future

Source: Mainzer Mobility

With Profahr, MM fulfills all legal, collective bargaining and company agreements on driving and working hours as well as payroll-relevant aspects such as supplemental pay and flat rates.

If there are changes, they can be easily configured or adapted. The company is planning several extensions for the future and with that is aiming to digitize and make even more processes easier to work with.  At the top of the list, for example, is the shift swap market. It is designed to allow the driving staff to swap duties/shifts at any time and anywhere, taking all necessary aspects into account, without having to contact a dispatcher. The same applies to the publication of open duty slots via a digital "Marketplace".

The company also sees great potential in a digital vacation time request log and optimized, automatic vacation time allocation. With the introduction of the ‘desired duty schedule’ module, the company wants to create an opportunity for co-design.

This means that drivers can enter desired shifts and rest days, which are checked against the duty needs by applying a system-based optimization run, and then are adapted and implemented as fairly as possible for all employees.

Block Planning Including Optimized Workshop Utilization

In vehicle management, the use of the PSItraffic depot management system (DMS) improves all work processes and information flows for and between the departments of vehicle service, workshop and transport service information. Due to the mixed operation of buses and trains as well as a diverse and partly topologically challenging vehicle lineup in an underground parking garage, this requires a particularly sophisticated disposition of vehicles and train allocation.

It is essential for Mainz mobility that the system schedules routes to vehicles in such a way that the workshop is also optimally utilized and that refueling and cleaning intervals are carried out according to schedule and with minimum downtime.

In addition, the DMS is designed in such a way that MM can also expand its fleet to up to 300 vehicles in the future.

Significant Relief for All User Groups

From MM's point of view, the benefits of PSItraffic can be summarized in three areas.

  1. The system optimizes operational processes and digitizes and automates essential information and the exchange thereof, including

    • schedules and duty rosters,
    • fault signals,
    • workshop orders,
    • supply orders,
    • current vehicle locations, and
    • report generation for the evaluation of operational analyzes.

  2. Furthermore, the digital representation and automation of information and processes within the system reduces extra routes and phone calls and thus ensures significantly faster processes.

  3. And in third place is the high level of acceptance and satisfaction among users in traffic control, workshop, driving staff and the supply services. Above all, they are the result of the noticeable daily relief that the digitization of many operationally relevant functions created.

Since both systems now are sourced from PSI, the MM company benefits from the resulting synergy effects – from better communication to system adaptations, such as the introduction of digital RFID login for the driving staff.

The Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft has digitized key processes and thus increased the efficiency and transparency of its operations. Source: Mainzer Mobilität
The Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft has digitized key processes and thus increased the efficiency and transparency of its operations. Source: Mainzer Mobilität

Ready for Digitization and Growth

The solutions from PSI Transcom for personnel disposition and depot management made it possible for the Mainz Transport Company to digitize and accelerate essential processes, thus increasing their effectiveness, efficiency and the transparency of their operations.

With the expansion options and scalability of the systems, the company is well positioned for further digitization and growth.

Read more about Profahr and other current projects in our magazine MOBILITY manager:

MOBILITY manager 2023

Peter Rosenheinrich
Key Account Manager
Personnel scheduling
PSI Transcom GmbH