Public Transport Victoria, Victoria Australia

GT develops Unified Data Model to improve data exchange between public transportation service providers and Public Transport Victoria

Business Challenge
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) is the statutory authority that administers Victoria’s train, tram and bus services. It provides a single contact point for customers wanting information on public transport services, fares, tickets and initiatives.

PTV has responsibility for Victoria’s extensive bus, train and tram networks. The bus network alone is comprised of over 320 metropolitan routes and 290 regional routes, serviced by 90 bus operators. Within Melbourne alone over 100 million passenger trips are made on the bus network annually.

The complex data interrelationships between agencies and public transportation service providers that underpin the delivery of these services had evolved beyond the capacity of the data acquisition and sharing models PTV had implemented over time.

Similar, but not identical, information was being provided to PTV by multiple stakeholders to varying levels of quality and completeness. Inter-data relationships were incomplete and did not represent what was actually being exchanged between agencies. Furthermore, some PTV systems lacked processes for data capture or for controlling access to this data.

Services Overview
PTV turned to Geomatic Technologies (GT) to develop a new, unified data model for bus, train and tram services information. This would provide PTV and other stakeholders with a framework to manage the capture, access and exchange of data to support Victoria’s public transportation services delivery.

As data requirements are generally not provided clearly and concisely within business, user, functional and non-functional requirements, GT adopted an approach that connected ‘use cases’ to data requirements from which data entities could be modelled. This approach of identifying requirements before modelling data entities helped to produce a robust model that accommodated all existing data capture/creation scenarios.

The development of the unified model was a collaborative approach between GT’s business analysts, data modellers and PTV’s subject matter experts. Consultation and workshops to gather information and refine data relationships and requirements were led by the GT team with input from the relevant stakeholders and reference to international standards.

This process allowed stakeholders to identify errors and propose changes early in the process and resulted in a data model capable of adapting to PTVs changing business needs.

Consulting Outcomes
GT delivered a range of specialist advice and documentation that included:
–  A Unified Conceptual Model that mapped entities that PTV collected information about, their
characteristics (attributes), and the associations between these entities.
–  A Unified Logical Model to capture the importance of data entities to PTV and how these data  entities related to each other.

The Unified Data Model provides a means to manage the quality, accuracy, completeness and currency of transport related information. It helps both PTV and transportation services providers to realise continuous improvements in services delivery.