Transdev Bassin d’Arcachon and Hubup

Publié le 15 November 2023
Today, meet Marion Valery, Operations manager at Transdev Bassin d’Arcachon.

Can you introduce yourself and present your organization?

I am Marion Valery, the Operations Manager at Transdev Bassin d’Arcachon. We are an urban transport company operating in the South Bassin d’Arcachon community of municipalities, encompassing five different towns. We handle urban transport activities with a significant seasonal variation.

Do you observe a significant change in activity between the summer and the rest of the year?

Yes, even more so this year, as the contract actually ended in December 2021, and we won the new contract starting from January 1, 2022, for a duration of seven years.

In this new contract, an increase in service and workforce costs was planned. We had six months to prepare, and from July 4, 2022, the launch was real with new routes and additional services.

This year, with the new contract, we had a greater need for people for the seasonal activity.

Is it this situation that prompted you to feel the need for a training support tool?

In fact, we reached out to you because we almost doubled our workforce for the summer. Additionally, with the changes in the new network, all the routes were altered, some were shortened. That’s why we opted for GPS Flexnav, simply to save time in training and route familiarization.

Have you observed peaks in the tool’s usage at the beginning of the season?

The solution Flexnav has been used pretty much all the time, both by new drivers and those who were already with us, as all the routes have changed. Even if they are familiar with the territory, we introduced ten new routes, and there was a reassuring aspect to using the GPS tablet, either to track the route in real-time or just to reassure themselves and make sure they stay on the right path.

How did the integration and learning of the tool go for both operators and drivers?

It was a relief for them! We had planned online training, trained driver trainers who then trained their colleagues.

It’s not possible to grasp ten new routes in just a few days and know everything by heart, even if you are familiar with the territory.

The tool provided support, and they were reassured with its use throughout the period. Even for us in operations, the integration of new drivers was made easier with fewer errors during the routes. Each driver is versatile as they are not assigned to a specific route; and versatility inevitably leads to errors. So even for us in operations, with a network launch, the errors were minimal, and we save time to focus on other tasks.

By extension, did the reassuring aspect lead to a decrease in accident rates?

Exactly! When a new driver joins the operation, the stress level is often very high, with questions like “Do I know my route?”, “How will I handle my passengers?”, and “how will I manage traffic uncertainties?”.

Additionally, during the summer in the Bassin d’Arcachon, traffic is very dense with significant parking issues, and accident-prone areas become more numerous. So, by removing one of the stress factors regarding route recognition with Flexnav, they can focus more on the road and passengers. We observed this reflected in accident rates, which were low.

And in terms of numbers, how many drivers do you have throughout the year, and how many drivers during the summer period?

This summer, we had 80 drivers, whereas before the implementation of the new network, we had 47.

In your opinion, was the deployment sufficiently easy and fast? Do you have any suggestions for improvement to offer?

We encountered some glitches with the tablets themselves, but not necessarily issues to the software. Otherwise, no, creating routes is quite fast. The ability to set diversions is great. Getting started is relatively easy. Even in terms of learning to use the tool, it’s done in two or three minutes.

Oh yes, and integrating external batteries into the units is really a plus because not all our vehicles are equipped with USB ports, so the battery life is sufficient for the day.

Were some people reluctant to the integration of digital tools?

In general, individuals who were reluctant to change for the implementation of the new network were also hesitant about the integration of digital tools. However, the provision of digital assistance was seen more as a relief, both for new drivers and for the versatile drivers already integrated. Whenever they have any doubts, they use the GPS to reassure themselves.

How was the support for the implementation? Were we attentive enough?

Yes, very well. You were responsive when we had questions. In terms of logistics and support, I have nothing to complain about.

Do you have any suggestions for improvement, or features you would like to see in the product in the near future?

No, for now, it’s quite comprehensive.

And if you had to describe Flexnav in three words?

Reassuring for the driver in the first place. Significant time-saving for us, which translates into financial gains since we saved on training by shortening them when we learned that we would have GPS. Without the GPS, we would have needed to emphasize certain routes to ensure proper integration, so financially, it has been beneficial. Drivers also benefit because it is a real aid, and it is simple and intuitive.

I am convinced that it has been a great help for the launch of the new network and in the day-to-day operations.