Fastrack – Data Led Bus Patronage Recovery – How Kent County Council are using Smart ways of finding new markets and have proved a correlation between better journey times and increased bus usage.

Shane Hymers

Bus Rapid Transit Development Manager at Kent County Council

Session Description
Introducing Shane Hymers: Bus Rapid Transit Development Manager at Kent County Council. With a rich background of 20 years in public transport strategy, he is driving Fastrack’s progress through data-centric strategies and successful funding initiatives. We’re honored to feature him as a distinguished speaker at the Smart Transportation Conference 2023. In this blog, we delve into the intricacies of Fastrack – a Data-Led Bus Patronage Recovery initiative. Discover how Kent County Council is employing smart strategies to explore new markets, backed by evidence of a strong correlation between improved journey times and increased bus usage.

In the dynamic realm of public transportation, where adaptability is key, Kent County Council has harnessed the power of ‘Big Data’ to orchestrate an inspiring resurgence. At the heart of this success story is Fastrack, the Bus Rapid Transit network that has not only reclaimed its pre-Covid patronage levels but has continued to soar beyond. This remarkable achievement makes Fastrack one of the UK’s first bus services to achieve such a feat. Central to this accomplishment is the implementation of a ‘Big Data’ approach. By leveraging intricate data patterns and insights, Kent’s Fastrack has navigated the challenges of fluctuating travel behaviors and regained its popularity among passengers. The correlation drawn between improved journey times and increased bus usage has been instrumental in this resurgence. As the world grappled with the pandemic’s repercussions, Fastrack’s innovative strategy paved the way for a remarkable recovery.

Kent County Council’s commitment to innovation doesn’t stop here. Having secured funding from the DfT BSIP, the council is set to embark on an exciting journey over the next year. The focus of this endeavor is the piloting of a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform, and Fastrack stands poised at the center of this transformative initiative. However, what sets Fastrack apart is its unconventional approach to MaaS, challenging traditional notions and exploring novel perspectives to drive ongoing patronage growth.

Fastrack’s journey time metric is a testament to Kent County Council’s ingenuity. Employing a simple tool fueled by pertinent data, the council has achieved remarkable results. This endeavor has not only elevated Fastrack’s performance but also significantly bolstered the case for national Bus Priority funding in the Kent region. Through the seamless integration of data-driven insights, innovative strategies, and a commitment to bettering the commuting experience, Kent County Council and Fastrack have created a model for the entire industry to follow.

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