New features enable operators to react to coronavirus

Plymouth Citybus has used new features from tech specialist

Software solutions specialist Omnibus has worked with a number of bus operators throughout the coronavirus lockdown to help them react to a rapidly changing situation.

It has seen a number of new features rolled out that are designed to address and simplify the unique requirements necessary to operate under the current conditions, such as managing staff safely while maintaining social distancing.

They include the next generation of CrewPLAN.NET and changes to OmniBASE that include a new meal break graph to show how many duties are on break at any given time. This aims to help operators manage canteen and rest area capacity.

Users of the OmniDAS module myDAS Touch now have a remote sign-on facility by scanning a QR code at a virtual sign-on point, enabling them to comply with social distancing. Also, additional codes have been set up in order to assist customers with making staff furloughed. These ensure that once staff are required again, they can be made available very quickly.

One of the operators using some of the new features is Go-Ahead subsidiary Plymouth Citybus. It has been running CrewPLAN to compile duties as each new challenge arises.

We’ve been able to instantly generate a workable set of duties in a matter of moments

Mark Collins, the operator’s head of commercial, commented: “We’ve been able to instantly generate a workable set of duties in a matter of moments. This really has been absolutely invaluable to us in recent weeks; knowing that we have the software at hand to be able to tackle whatever challenge comes next.

“To be able to run CrewPLAN on a schedule, and get a workable, efficient and reliable answer, all agreed with our Trade Union representatives in less than an hour, is absolutely fantastic.”

The operator has also been using the new meal break graphs feature. It has enabled operations managers to plan additional facilities for staff members at the busiest times of day in order to ensure social distancing is maintained.

“It’s great to be part of such a positive industry which has shown unwavering determination to carry on and overcome all of the obstacles this current situation has brought,” said Omnibus MD Peter Crichton. “We’re very proud to have been able to help where possible, by providing assistance, support and advice as we all adapt to the ongoing situation.”

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