Case Study: Major Metropolitan Bike Share

The Client

intelligent management of a bike share network

Our client is a global service provider responsible for operating a major metropolitan bike share network, encompassing over 25,000 bicycles across more than 800  docking stations. 

Our client is required to:

  • Manage the distribution and availability of bikes.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the network.
  • Effectively distribute work orders amongst field staff.
  • Manage a fleet of maintenance vehicles.

Their Challenge

Managing a network of bikes that sees millions of journeys a year comes with challenges, and that is without considering the wide variety of devices, applications and data involved. From the cyclist returning a bike to a dock through to the executive reporting on performance—each piece of the network involves its own unique data and technology. 

In order to ensure effective operations of the network, our customer has to address a wide range of issues. They need to:

  • Capture a wide array of data, including real-time streaming data.
  • Analyze data to provide real-time insight into operations (such as bike availability).
  • Streamline operations by connecting applications.
  • Securely store and manage data and applications.
  • Ensure the system supporting the network never goes down.
  • Regularly archive data to external repositories.

Our Solution: The Intelligent Operations System

Our system at-a-glance

Delivered one month ahead of client's deadline

20,000 work orders sent each day

Messages from 25,000 bikes processed every 24 hours

Eight disconnected applications integrated

Availability of 99.95%

ISO 27001 certified

Our client required a system that could manage and analyze a wide range of data and applications, including streaming data from intelligent devices.

FuseForward delivers everything required to operate a network of distributed smart devices in one turnkey product—our Intelligent Operations System.  Our Intelligent Operations System is able to ingest, integrate, store, analyze and visualize performance information across the entire bike network. 

How it Works

1. Data Collection

Our client needed a way to manage and connect a wide-variety of data sources in order to effectively operate the network. Our Intelligent Operations System is able to ingest all data sources, including:

  • streaming data from bikes and docking stations.
  • operations data like work orders and maintenance records.
  • master data, including customer information.
  • third-party data sources such as weather information.

2. Application InTegration

There is no one single application that can be used to manage such a large bike network from end-to-end.  As a result, applications and data needed to be integrated to streamline the operations of the network. The diagram below provides just one example of how data integration can assist in operation management.

Bike flow.png

For this project a total of eight different applications needed to be integrated, including ERP software, location tracking software and work order management systems.  Our integration methods enabled us to complete this phase of the project faster than providers following traditional approaches.

3. Storage and security

Given the sensitive nature of this data and the importance of the bike network to the operations of the city,  secure and reliable cloud storage was absolutely essential. Because our Intelligent Operations System is delivered using our own cloud platform, we have the flexibility to tailor the environment to meet the needs of our clients.

Key features of this deployment include:

  • Enterprise-level security: Our security and access service provides an additional layer of security above the levels provided by major hosting companies. Our system was implemented in a way that means any applications related to the bike network operations are never exposed to the public internet. 
  • High availability:  We deliver a system with a service availability of 99.95%.  All aspects of the system were built with redundancy, this means that data will never be lost should any part of the system go down, whether it is a server, an application or an integration channel.

4. Analysis and visualization

Our client needed to analyze data from across the entire bike network in order to optimize the  service and to provide reports on performance, such as:

  • The availability of bikes for hire.
  • Docking station capacity (not too empty or too full).
  • Incident response times.
  • Bike maintenance performance.
  • Bike availability forecast from historical patterns and weather forecast.

In order to deliver these performance indicators, our Intelligent Operations System ingests over 68,000 messages from a bike location and tracking service every day. In order to calculate key performance indicators  in real-time, every five minutes our system must draw on around four thousand messages (from 25,000 bikes), along with all previous records (gigabytes of data).

We calculate all required performance indicators in less than 60 seconds,  providing operators with a near real-time view of the bike network. 

The Outcome of Our Approach

bikes in a city.jpg

The Intelligent Operations System met all of our clients requirements, providing a complete end-to-end system for the management of the bike network. This included:

  •  Calculation and delivery of key performance information in real-time. 
  • Delivery of data to enable an optimized map-based view of the network operations in real-time, enabling planners to react accordingly. 
  • Connected applications that share information, streamlining the operations of the network. 

Not only did this system meet all of our client's needs, our approach provided a range of additional benefits to the bike network, including:

  • Speed-to-Value: We exceeded client timelines, delivering the project one month ahead of client's anticipated schedule.
  • Faster performance: With better server capabilities we were able to deliver a faster system performance than the system already in operation.
  • Greater security: At no point are any applications exposed to the public internet. 
  • Ongoing operations: We continue to operate and maintain the system we delivered.

More Information

If you're interested in the application of the Intelligent Operations System to your facility, city, utility or transportation network, we'd love to hear from you. 

Please get in touch and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly.