Some 20 guests attended last week’s Service Lunch of the expert group “Smart Services” to find out how the SBB utilizes data and information to guide passenger behavior and improve the customer experience during the train journey.

As part of the SBB’s initiative to promote clever commuting, Roger Krähenbühl presented a challenge the SBB is facing: Passengers tend to occupy certain carriages, leaving other carriages, especially at the front and the end of the train, underused. This uneven distribution of passengers across the length of the train reduces the customer experience because the passengers in the middle carriages experience the trains as (too) crowded.

The second speaker, Fabian Fluri, project manager, presented the SBB project “Clever commuting” which aims at addressing this challenge. For this purpose, the SBB developed and tested a model predicting the number of passengers per carriage. The idea: By providing this specific information to customers via the SBB mobile app, passengers are motivated to move to less busy carriages. A lively and interesting discussion started when Fabian Fluri asked the audience to share their ideas on the factors influencing the number of passengers on the train as well as in specific carriages. And in a later discussion, the audience was invited to share their thoughts on how to measure the number of passengers in each carriage. Fabian Fluri then presented the final model. The project is now implemented: passengers using the SBB mobile app can not only see a prediction on how busy a train is in general but also how busy each carriage is.

The discussion after the presentation was equally lively: Participants discussed the impact of the project on customer experience as well as the challenges the SBB is facing due to restrictions in data collection, storage and usage.

Overall, this Service Lunch presented a showcase on how data can be used to improve the quality and customer experience of a mobility service.

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