STM’s iBUS fleet information system

The challenge: enhance the customer experience on Montreal’s often overcrowded buses by providing passengers with real-time information to plan trips better. Riders are more likely to choose transit or use it more if they can plan travel with better information like route information, live schedules and arrival times, and service alerts.  

Société de transport de Montréal (STM) needed to replace its aging radio communication system with a smart system. With SNC-Lavalin’s long history in the design and implementation of various radio communication systems, we modernized their fleet of 1,850 buses. Vehicles were equipped with advance communication and GPS systems. The result is a new mobile communication network; an information system that provides STM a plethora of real-time data that can be delivered to passengers through web, phone apps and digital signs at bus stops. STM operators can use the data to improve scheduling or to adjust routes facing delays or high demand after a special event. Passenger benefits include:

  • Through a smartphone app, knowing exactly where a bus is.
  • Electronic signs and automated announcer on buses alert you of upcoming stops, especially helpful to tourists and people who are sight or hearing impaired.
  • iBUS map will display which buses are equipped with wheelchair access ramps.
  • Passenger tracking will let dispatchers monitor overcrowding and make improvements.

STM entrusted us to conduct system studies, undertake the design and engineering, as well as procure, implement and commission the update. Our deliverables included: 

  • Communication hardware installations on 1,850 buses
  • Main control center - furnished, equipped and secured
  • Fail-safe backup control center 
  • Computer interfaces
  • Performance report system
  • Operations support system and management system to maintain on-time performance

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