Data about planned and real-time routes are a complicated group of information spread upon different business areas. Trenord chose Mia‑Platform to organize, centralize and exhibit all those data towards users thanks to the app for mobility in Lombardia.
Who is it
Trenord in the railway service in Lombardia, the most “moving” region in our country, where everyday over 820 thousand people are taking the train.
It manages the railway service in the hinterland of Milan, the regional railway service, the Malpensa Express train service for the airport, and the cross-border routes Como-Chiasso and Malpensa-Bellinzona.
Transformation of Trenord from a railway company to a new digital platform for mobility
The mission of Mia-Platform is to focus on the creation of a Unique Digital Platform of Trenord, capable of aggregating all the data about planned and real-time routes and exhibit them towards users of the official Trenord App. In this way, the App becomes the focal point of every traveler that uses the mobility service, integrating into a single tool all the features used daily.
Analysis and Development
Based on our market analysis, we:
- designed the connectors that could find and reorganize routes data in order to move them to the Digital Platform;
- defined the services and logics inside the Platform;
- realized the UI/UX of new application through a Personas and Customer Journey analysis.
Afterward, we developed the first pilot project to use all routes data gathered by the different touchpoints. Gradually the Platform has integrated other business units and additional services have been developed. Finally, we deployed to production both the Platform and the two applications Android and iOS.
Support and Services
Thanks to the App, the users can now consult the data about planned and real-time routes; acquire tickets; save stations, trains, and lines in the favorites; activate notifications in specific days and times, and receive news and promotions.
Mia-Platform and Trenord introduced a feature of geo-localization in the App to allow real-time communication between users and the platform. Whenever a user enters a train station, this feature enables Trenord to instantly send to the user notification on the level of crowding inside the station. The App also communicates the level of crowding of trains, calculated through sensors that Trenord has on its facilities. Moreover, we recently integrated a joined service with ATM, through which users can use the Trenord’s App to access Milan’s metropolitan trains.
Time to Market
In only 6 months, Trenord could arrive on the market with the official application for transportation in Lombardy that today allows passengers to perform a wide range of actions. Every update happens in a few weeks and the communication between the user and the platform enables real-time response to the needs of the user, integrating all the touchpoints.
Analytics and Sales
Thanks to a listening channel with users, to a Beta Testing project and to Mia‑Platform analytics, Trenord can design and plan new functionalities and services for employees.
With more than 50 thousand active passengers everyday, Trenord App has reached the remarkable goal of 800 thousand downloads and mobile tickets sale have overcome the website ones.
Scalability and Flexibility
Thanks to the available data, Trenord can now plan and realize commercial agreements with third parties that can be exploited with no additional investment in technologies and time. A first concrete example is the agreement signed with Moovit that allowed - thanks to an easy exposure of Trenord APIs - to sell tickets directly from their app, the first one in the world for public transportation usage.
With the aggregation of routes data, the continuous activity of listening to users and so the planning of new releases, today Trenord app is the reference point for passengers. Moreover, thanks to the easy exposure of data through APIs, Trenord can turn into a real Data-Driven Company and use data to stipulate new business agreements with very little investments in time and technology.
How to travel safely during the Covid-19 pandemic: Mia-Platform released new features for Trenord mobile app in record time
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Trenord’s crucial challenge has been to protect passengers' health by adopting measures that facilitate social distancing both on the trains and at the stations.
In this scenario, Mia-Platform has been confirmed as a reliable and efficient partner, releasing in record time new app features that ensure travelers’ safety.
Starting from May 2020, Trenord app provides users with real-time crowding information of trains and sends alerts in case of high crowding at the stations. Real-time data about seat availability is gathered by the Automatic People Counting system, now installed on approx. 30% of the entire network. On the remaining lines, such information is estimated from crowding data registered during the previous days.
Since April 2021, passengers who buy the train tickets on the official Trenord mobile app can give real-time feedback about train crowding directly from the app. How does it work?
- A few minutes before the departure, the user receives a push notification with the information about the train progression and with the invitation to give feedback about train crowding during the ride
- During the ride, the user has the chance to specify the train crowding level choosing between four options: low, on average, very and extremely crowded.
- To enable further improvement in data collection, the user can add the information about the position on the train: at the front, in the middle or at the rear of the train.
- Train managers can give the same feedback using a dedicated app interface.
Mia-Platform Fast Data
Thanks to Mia-Platform Fast Data ready-to-use microservices, Trenord can quickly collect reliable data about train crowding from several sources: from data history of the past rides, from live apc data and from users’ feedbacks.This data is then aggregated in Single Views, which show the crowding data history of each train in one visualization.
- All these functionalities support Trenord in the delicate task of ensuring the health and the safety of travelers.
- Thanks to the real-time feedback function, Trenord can easily and quickly gather reliable and up-to-date crowing data.
- The feedback function allows Trenord to open a new communication channel with its customers, engaging and strengthening the passengers’ community.
The challenge to ensure travellers’ safety is evolving every day. Therefore, Mia-Platform is constantly developing new features to support Trenord in protecting all passengers traveling by train in Lombardia.
How Trenord has managed the issue of proforma invoices and receipts
The challenge was to boost the service of issuing tax receipts and of proforma invoices by delegating the functionality to a tool entitled to sending the documents and offering users a reliable, stable, and fast service.
- If an error is reported, the system manages the problem by moving the event within retry queues and DLQ (Dead Letter Queue). By doing this, the system avoids the automatic retry that can be overloaded when there are too many problems to handle.
- By using Prometheus and Grafana, dashboards and alarms were created to notify service or sending issues in real-time.
An initial release of a single category of products allowed to test and improve the system, granting stability and performance for future implementations.
We incrementally introduced new product types, such as carnet tickets and passes. In the end, we added the proforma invoice service which is integrated with the electronic invoice sending service.
In less than a month, Trenord saw the new service 100% operational for its customers. The fast development, testing, and release made it possible to achieve the goal and ensure a stable user experience while maintaining high performance thanks to the systems offloading via DLQ.