Digital transition: a fundamental of sustainable mobility

At Keolis, innovation is helping us meet our goal of providing sustainable, efficient and resilient mobility solutions that help improve everyone’s daily lives. Data in particular is an essential tool in the transition to greener forms of shared mobility. By providing greater insight into how transport is used, data enables us to enhance our operational performance and improve the passenger experience.

Arnaud Julien, Chief Innovation, Data & Digital Officer, Keolis, explains

Why is innovation important for Keolis?

ARNAUD JULIEN − lnnovation allows us to develop and deploy safe, sustainable mobility solutions that meet each community’s specific needs. It also contributes to the creation of seamless, personalised passenger journeys, which helps cut down on solo driving. Our efforts are focused on the Group’s four strategic stakeholders: passengers, PTAs, our employees and the planet. Digital tech and data play an essential role in meeting our objectives.

How is data used today to enhance the passenger experience?

ARNAUD JULIEN − The first step is to help public transport authorities get a clearer picture of mobility trends in their community, so that the transport offering is as efficient and attractive as possible for users. Our Patterns solution, for example, leverages smartphone GPS data to analyse the movements of passengers across all modes of transport, helping us design and adapt services accordingly. Our Impulse solution, on the other hand, analyses all the data relating to a network — everything from ticketing to the fleet management system. This makes it possible to measure the performance of the public transport offering in order to help reduce its carbon footprint and align it more closely with users’ needs.

How does Keolis's innovation strategy strengthen its position as an actor in the green transition?

ARNAUD JULIEN − These days, managing a transport network generates an ever-increasing volume of data about usage trends, operations, maintenance and more. This invaluable information can be used to optimise the network’s energy consumption, carry out preventive and predictive maintenance, and even tailor the offering to the realities of ridership. To handle all this data, we’ve established a data governance framework, defined guiding principles and optimised data organisation to enhance the service offering.

What role does a transport operator like Keolis play in this dual - environmental and digital - transition?

ARNAUD JULIEN − In relation to the green transition, we accompany PTAs that want to invest in low emission vehicles, taking into account the data at our disposal and the specific features of each network. Regarding the digital transition, we harness data on network usage, including journeys, connections, passenger numbers, to enhance the passenger experience. Operational data enables us to optimise network performance, while maintenance data helps us anticipate breakdowns, prevent service disruptions and minimise vehicle downtime for fleet optimisation purposes. That’s why we call it a twin transition: the digital transition feeds into the green transition, and vice versa.

Mobility data: an evolving legal framework

Personal mobility data is governed by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), part of an evolving legal framework. In the four years since it came into effect, the GDPR has been fully integrated into Keolis’s anonymised data management processes, notably thanks to the recruitment of a data protection officer. In Europe, a proposal for an EU directive on digital transport platforms – transposed into French legislation via the “LOM” mobility law – provides for a national access point (NAP) in each country, so that Europe-wide mobility data can be collated and shared to improve understanding of users’ needs and enhance the performance of transport networks.