National Transport Authority
Partners With OpenSky
For Smart Taxi Regulation

Business Situation

Organisation

National Transport Authority – Taxi Regulation Team.

 

Customer Profile

Irelands National Taxi Regulator with responsibility
for over 26,000 drivers nationally.

Industry

Government; Public Sector; Transport

Business Situation

A legacy solution for taxi regulation required modernisation and expansion to cater for rapidly evolving regulatory and policy requirements.

Solution Description

Digital eco-system, based on Microsoft technologies, enables the creation of a wide range of interaction functionalities serving back office staff, passengers, taxi drivers, vehicle owners, industry partners, and other government bodies.

Country / Region

Ireland

Situation

Irelands National Transport Authority is responsible for public transport strategy, financing, licencing, promotion & provision in Ireland. The NTA are also responsible for the regulation of the small public service vehicle sector ie (i.e. taxis, hackneys and limousines).
 
The NTA’s Taxi Regulation function is highly regarded as one of the leading global regulatory establishments, both in terms of policy and use of technology. Providing a well regulated and best in class public service is very important to the Authority and they invest in smart systems to ensure very high standards in public transport service provision in Ireland.
 
The National Transport Authority awarded a contract for ICT support and software development services for its business systems to OpenSky Data Systems in 2012, a period of time where Ireland was undergoing rapid changes in taxi regulations.
During the ensuing years of the partnership, the strategic use of technology has provided a significant range of capabilities and insights to the Authority.

Key Solutions

Microsoft
Solutions:

– SQL Server

– NET

– Android/iOS

– Power BI

Key OpenSky
Solutions:

– Strategy Consulting

– Solution Architecture Design

– Solution Development

– Managed Service Support

– DevOps

Solution

Ireland’s Taxi Regulation was subsumed in to the NTA in 2011. As part of this consolidation, the NTA inherited a number of business solutions known as CABS (Central Automated Business Solutions). At its core, the CABS systems provided licensing databases for Driver and Vehicle licensing. It was this set of systems that were taken over by OpenSky as a result of the award.
 
At the commencement of the NTA contract, the focus was on the Taxi Regulation Implementation Programme (TRIP). The TRIP programme was a major ministerial initiative.
Core to the programme of work was the need to deliver a robust taxi regulation platform that would deliver on the needs of the Authority over the coming years, in particular providing for the flexibility of integrating the CABS systems with third party bodies in the industry and partner government organisations.
 
Moreover, the solution needed to support public facing consumers, including taxi drivers, members of the public, vehicle inspectors, road-side auditors, amongst others.
Prior to commencing any technical work, it was critical that OpenSky’s management team were fully conversant with NTA’s strategic view, not only relating to the TRIP objectives, but also their wider corporate strategy.
 
Our team needed to be fully familiar with the organisational structure of the NTA, the leadership team, and the reporting requirements and timelines to which we were working.
 
Initial strategy workshops where opensky Business Analysts worked with NTA to document and redesign:

– Programme organisational chart & reporting

– Programme Timelines and Priorities

– Financing

– Delivery methodologies

Rapid delivery of Phase 1 of the programme of work was critical, set against an implementation deadline of just 6 months for the successful delivery of a consolidated data centre migration, consumer facing apps, industry facing apps, and an industry portal.

Results

10,000

Monthly Driver/Vehicle
links

40m

Trips per
Year

90,000

Realtime audits
on drivers/vehicles

21,000+

National
Drivers

500,000

Dowloads of passenger
safety app

10

Collaborative Government Agencies

1

Digital Taxi Regulation
Platform - CABS

5,000

Vehicle Inspection
Scheduled

20

External Contractor Organisations

998

Annual
complaints

200+

Users
Login daily

5,000

Driver knowledge
test

15

Fulltime Taxi
Regulation
Staff

Benefits

  • Efficiency
    Efficiencies achieved enables a small core team toregulate a large national taxi industry
  • Real-time-data
    Realtime Monitoring of Compliance,Safety & Service Standards
  • Contractor Independence
    Contractor Independence for services such asinspections, knowledge tests, call centre etc
  • Single View
    A Single View for all Driver & Vehicle Historicaland Current Engagements
  • Online transactions
    Online transactions with the industry have increased significantly
  • Realtime collaboration
    Realtime collaboration with partnergovernment agencies
  • GDPR Compliant
    A GDPR Compliant Single Source of Truthfor all Taxi Related Information in Ireland

Testimonials

Partnering with OpenSky Data Systems has enhanced greatly the flexibility and capability of the NTA’s resource model enabling us to rapidly develop and deploy cost effective digital transport solutions such as Real-Time Passenger Information and Taxi Industry Management Tools amongst many others. OpenSky’s investment in learning about the NTA’s business context and strategic vision has cemented the partnership model and has paid dividends at all stages of the development process.

Philip L’Estrange – Director of Finance & Corporate Services at the National Transport Authority

It’s in the range of solutions and capabilities that have been added to the CABS eco-system since 2013 has shown that the architecture and technologies ̧ that were put in place provide a taxi regulation platform that is future proofed and will continue to be a vital asset for NTA for years to come.

William Flanagan – Director Commercial & Technology at OpenSky Data Systems

In Ireland, we have a professional industry of committed drivers and an excellent track record which is reflected in our low level of complaints. Only 998 complaints in a year regarding over 26,000 drivers and 40million trips. Our 90,000 mobile inspection audits are a key part of maintaining high standards in the industry and drivers actively encourage passengers to check their Driver Check App to reassure passengers that both they and their vehicle are registered correctly with our authority.

Wendy Thompson – Head of Taxi Regulation, National Transport Authority, Ireland 

The Partnership Continues

During the subsequent years of our partnership with NTA, significant additions have been added to the CABS eco-systems, to cover wide and varied capabilities such as:

– New web based vehicleinspections system for test centres

– Skills testing system for drivertesting centres, including booking,and kiosk systems

– Tax compliance system, integrated with Revenue commissioners

– Portals for taxi signage franchisees

– On-line driver portal for annual return submissions

– Public facing apps for consumers to validate driver’s credentials

– Realtime link between driver and vehicle registered with the

– Authority

– GDPR Compliant

All modern systems must be inter-operable, and CABS provides the ability to exchange information with the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Transport, and the National Standards Authority of Ireland (among others). Moreover, the capability to access CABS functionality remotely is a vital function. For example, the iCABS module allows NTA’s enforcement officers to remotely validate and link both the taxi and driver licence details on the roadside before an audit by use of a powerful QR based search tool on their mobile device.
The QR scanner on their phone scans a tamper proof licence sticker on the vehicle that speedily searches the back end system and selects the correct vehicle record. The app facilitates the performance of a scripted audit check, based on what if scenarios and to finally choose and issue a fine (if appropriate) by collecting a digital signature.

Key Features

IRELAND: A Case Study In Innovation, Efficiency And Value In Large Scale Smart Digital Taxi Regulation.

Around the world, transport authorities, regulators and transport network companies are seeking new ways to ensure that the citizen experiences a safe, reliable and sustainable taxi experience. Taxi Regulation at Irelands National Transport Authority has become a blueprint for others on how to achieve high standards within the industry, not only through investment in technology but through collaboration, regulatory evolutions and a committed and expert team, led by Irelands National Taxi Regulator.

Our Success

Cork City Council

An Bord Pleanála

DLR Country Council

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