Christchurch company Connexionz experiences rapid growth with launch of numerous transportation technology projects

Connexionz has two-decades of history deploying Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) into public transport fleets across the world. With international headquarters in Christchurch, New Zealand and a growing U.S. regional office in Valencia California; Connexionz is rapidly expanding their team and winning new contracts.

Connexionz recent achievements include the deployment of three Intelligent Transport Systems within the past 12 months,

  • A deviated fixed route solution for San Joaquin Regional Transit District which enables operators to make deviated pickups via direction from a mobile data terminal on their popular “Hopper” fixed route service
  • Increased functionality of a real time tracking system for the NYC Ferry Service which provides accurate real time arrival predictions for over 4.6 million passengers per year; and
  • The custom development of a system for iTransitNW, a regional project covering three states in North America which integrates data from 7 transit agencies, a solution which is already expanding

Heading the important expansion of Connexionz U.S. office in California is Tracy O’Garro, newly-appointed Customer Experience Manager and a member of the Connexionz international senior management team.

Tracy brings more than 20 years of global experience providing service management and training. Tracy now oversees all post-sales customer contact for US customers, ensuring the United States get a heightened level of service and enjoy local support in real time.

Meanwhile, Connexionz’ New Zealand agencies will now have the Christchurch customer service and operations teams dedicated to their needs. Wayne Smith, CEO of Connexionz, sums it up best: “Recruiting more staff to our US office enables us to better service customers in both our main markets.”

Connexionz is well-placed to support a fast-growing number of US and international transit authorities that are listening to their passengers, meeting market demand, and offering competitive services. With high demand for reliable and trusted systems, Connexionz’ ITS installations in the US continue to see growth.  In addition to the focused US growth, the Christchurch New Zealand headquarters has also seen an increase of staff with 6 developers and engineers joining the staff over the last two months.

The rapid growth of Connexionz in the public transportation space makes it quite evident that innovative services and software applications continue to play a crucial part in worldwide mobility.

New CEO Appointed – Wayne Smith

After a rigorous search process Connexionz Limited are delighted to announce that Wayne Smith has been appointed as its Chief Executive Officer effective 29 October 2018. The Board unanimously agreed that Wayne’s considerable international commercial experience and successful track record of launching and growing a customer focused technology start-up in New Zealand made him the ideal candidate to lead Connexionz on the next stage of our journey.

Previously Wayne was CEO of Aeropath where he expanded sales from New Zealand across the Pacific, throughout Asia and into Europe, significantly exceeding growth aspirations for four consecutive years. Wayne has also held senior international roles with Airways, Thales and Hewlett Packard.

The Board wishes to thank Richard Riley for acting as Connexionz Interim CEO during the search process. After a transition to Wayne, Richard will continue to serve as a Connexionz Board Director.

Connexionz Board Chair Tony Kan says, “Today’s announcement follows a strong year in the United States on the back of the Valley Transit (Oregon) project and winning the San Joaquin tender in California. Positive outcomes from strong prospects from both East and West coasts and increasing revenues from customers demonstrates a real confidence in our RTT solution.”

Significant attendance at Smart City Tech Event

Our Christchurch, New Zealand staff have reported as being ‘amazed’ at the level of interest in Connexionz’s products and services during the city’s Smart City Innovation Expo, which forms part of the week long Tech Expo in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Kate Foister, customer service manager at Connexionz reports, “People from all over the country came to see us to learn about ways in which we may be able to help with our sensor based services and data analysis, as well as our range of solar powered information displays. We were rushed off our feet!”

Connexionz has been working with Christchurch City Council’s Smart City team, including providing real time data feeds currently in use by the city’s brilliant web application which can be accessed here:

To learn more about how Connexionz may be able to assist you with your smart city or real time projects, please feel free to contact us.

Connexionz Newsletter – May 2018

Hi everyone! Would you believe we’re almost half way through the year already?! Since our last newsletter we’ve had an industrious few months with sales staff and customer orders keeping us on our toes, while our development team has been working on upgrades that take advantage of open standards. In this issue we share news of our latest sales, conference exhibits, product developments, an update on iTransitNW, and more. So, without further ado, please read on to learn more.

New GTFS-RT upgrade gives agency flexibility

More and more transit agencies are looking at ways to achieve cost efficiencies through collaboration initiatives, such as shared technology costs and services. Having good relations with neighboring agencies, Pasadena Transit recently contracted Connexionz to upgrade its BusFinders to support multiple RT feeds and ETAs. The aim is to make it quicker and easier for riders to access arrival information on all connecting Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Foothill Transit buses at the stop.

Connexionz’ R&D team rose to the challenge and upgraded the units to support Google’s transit feed specification (GTFS) –  a popular transit standard for collecting and sharing real time (RT) data feeds. Pasadena Transit couldn’t be happier with the result.

The upgrade is significant for the transit industry as it opens a communication channel between an agency and potential new riders. For Connexionz it’s a major commitment that will also appeal to transit agencies that share stop locations with other transit agencies that use Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) transit manager systems.

Brian Garrett, Connexionz US Sales Director says, “The GTFS RT feed upgrade is another positive step towards helping public transit networks improve and consolidate services, while making life easier and more convenient for riders.

“Our focus is on creating an all-inclusive ITS experience. By delivering innovative solutions that adopt widely accepted open standards, the Connexionz wayside solar BusFinder is now at the pivotal stage where it can be utilized by any agency without the need for additional software investment.”

Pasadena Transit Senior Planner – Transit Division, Sebastián Hernández, said, “Transit apps are great for trip planning, but BusFinders are the most direct way to communicate ETA’s to our passengers. There is no need to download apps, find websites or call someone. The times are active and ready to show our passengers when the buses will arrive at a push of a button.  The Connexionz’ solar BusFinders are very popular with our riders for enhancing their journey experience.

“Within six months of deploying the BusFinders we saw an 86% drop in phone calls for bus arrival times through our call center. These were two thirds of all our daily calls.  BusFinders were installed at all transfer points, major points of interest and at bus stop locations where passengers most often called for bus arrival times. At the same time, we have received a lot of praise for the BusFinders from our passengers – especially since we added feeds from connecting agencies. Pasadena Transit shares bus stops with both Metro and Foothill Transit, so we wanted a stop display system that has the flexibility to display arrival times of all connecting buses. By enabling the units to support open standards and accept AVL feeds, Connexionz was able to meet our needs. It’s about making public transportation easier and more seamless for riders.”

Simplicity and solar makes BusFinder a hot seller

In recent weeks our second generation solar BusFinders have been racing off the production belt to meet increasing demand. Seventy new units have been ordered by the Christchurch City Council in New Zealand as part of its vision to becoming a leading Smart City. Pasadena Transit ordered 80 GTFS-RT BusFinder upgrades, with plans to acquire a further 30 units this year, plus 30 units were installed across California for other existing clients.

“The more we can do to get people out of their cars and using public transport, the better,” says Brian Garrett. “With the ability to support multi-agency feeds our GTFS-RT solar BusFinder is improving both cost-efficiency and rider convenience. Plus, with flexible options, this wayside display can also deliver helpful information to the riders while they’re waiting, such as route updates or upcoming events. Of course, being solar-powered is a key feature, making the BusFinder a more sustainable, easy to install, upgrade and maintain option, and an obvious choice for smart cities.”

New orders follow successful completion of core NYC Ferry project

After winning the contract last year to integrate Connexionz technology on New York’s newest commuter ferry service operated by HornBlower, we’re pleased to announce that the core project was successfully completed last month. 

Connexionz’ technology has had a positive impact on the successful launch of the new ferry service. “When our ferry service launched last year, it was an instant hit with City commuters,” said Paul Lambson, Head of Rider Success at NYC Ferry. “The demand has been such that we’ve decided to expand the program with orders to Connexionz for ongoing technological enhancements that will continue to improve the passenger experience.”

The aim of the project was to install Connexionz smart transit technology to provide an enhanced commuter experience, while ensuring optimal maintenance and performance of NYC ferries.

Mayor of New York, Mr. Bill de Blasio, originally presented the idea of a ferry service as an alternative to the subway. According to the New York Times, he committed about $390 million to build docks in waterfront neighborhoods that were poorly served by the city’s public transit system and hired HornBlower to build and operate a fleet of boats. The city launched the service a year ago and quickly found that it had underestimated the demand.

HornBlower is currently ferrying an average of 12,000 passengers a day, with expectations for this to climb given that half a million New Yorkers live within walking distance of a ferry stop. With two of the four ferry lines already carrying more passengers than expected, the city is looking at adding new express routes to get commuters to and from work more quickly.

With City officials now projecting that NYC Ferry will attract as many as nine million riders annually (twice their initial forecast), the Mayor is committing an additional $300 million to expand the service and double the capacity of its fleet.

“To meet this demand HornBlower is building more ferries to launch new services for customers. Now that we’ve seen what Connexionz can do, we’re looking at where else we can integrate modern technologies to improve operations and passenger experience,” said Lambson.

Multi-agency ITS “iTransitNW” tracking well

Connexionz is making excellent progress on the development of the new iTransitNW regional passenger information system announced at the end of last year. Contracted by Valley Transit, the soon to be launched “iTransitNW” portal and smartphone app will connect several transport networks across three US states to enable passengers convenient access to real-time information on all rural and intercity transit and transfer connections. News of the initiative has generated several excited enquiries with many regional agencies keen to jump on board.

The aim of the iTransitNW project is to create an effective and service-enhancing web portal that would provide a single point of entry for riders to access relevant real-time bus arrival and departure information. When connected to on-board technologies, the portal would support and display multiple feeds of data from all participating networks in the region. 

This is a technically challenging project and a unique initiative for the transit industry. The goal of iTransitNW is to fulfill a widening gap between small urban, city, and rural transit. It will enable smaller regional agencies to meet urban-standard customer expectations through affordable shared access to an advanced intelligent transit system.

“Most FTA funding is dedicated to urban systems and infrastructural projects, while State funding rarely reaches the level for rural agencies to procure ‘high end’ technologies,” explains Brian Garrett, US Sales Manager. “This often leaves them with heavy recurring yearly costs, as the SaaS solutions become most affordable. The iTransitNW project has laid the groundwork to give these rural agencies a chance to procure modern technologies that focus on increasing ridership and service improvement. The regional public portals we’re developing will make it easy for new riders to ‘take a chance’ on transit.”

Photo: New battery-electric buses under construction for Tri Delta Transit and Valley Transit. Both transit agencies will proudly feature Connexionz advanced AVL hardware and software.

The shared ITS model makes obvious sense for regional transit: it’s cost-effective and makes use of modern technology to deliver a more informative, safe and appealing experience for riders. The Connexionz development team are currently working on completing the web design and server configuration, while our technical team work on deploying the hardware and meeting with interested partner agencies.

For more information about iTransitNW, or to request a demo, email [email protected]

Urban Solar and Connexionz leading a solar transit revolution

As our urban centers grow and become more congested, ensuring a reliable, safe and secure transit service is imperative to keeping our cities moving.  Modern advances like solar and open standards are making big impacts in transit; providing new and environmentally friendlier opportunities for improvement, while also reducing upgrade, install and maintenance costs.

Connexionz is introducing the flexibility of our GTFS solar BusFinder to the US market and discovering products that will work well for seamless integration and service enhancement. These include lighting, solar spas, bus shelters, and more.

At Pasadena Transit, we’re working on a pilot with UrbanSolar and their popular PV shelter lighting which can provide additional useful solar power to our BusFinder unit. Our two products work well together as the PV shelter lighting not only makes people visible to bus drivers, it makes them feel safer at night. And with clear viewing of real-time bus arrival information on the PV stop’s solar-powered BusFinder, riders can have more control over how they spend their time.

Connexionz Sponsors SWTA Expo

In March this year, we sponsored and participated in the South West Transit Association’s Annual Conference and Expo at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. It was a fantastic three days of innovation indulgence and networking. According to former Denver resident and Connexionz US Sales Manager, Brian Garrett, there is no better group to showcase Connexionz’ newest innovations in solar powered real-time applications than the sunny southwest.

“After talking with many excited southwest USA transit professionals, it was no surprise that in this sunny metropolis, solar is a hot topic. The BusFinder demos were well received and numerous agencies are curious about how they might be able to procure technologies that use the sun for power and disperse real-time information across numerous stops; without the use of a smart phone,” he said.

During the expo Connexionz entered and won the fun ‘lunch table’ contest with the decoration themes ‘Freedom through Transit’ and ‘Denver Big Blue Bear’. The prize was a free booth for next year’s event in El Paso, Texas. Thanks, SWTA!

Transit networking at CalACT Expo in sunny California

Just days after packing up from SWTA in Denver, Brian Garrett headed across to Newport Beach in California to attend one of our other favorite transit expos – CalACT. The expo is the largest state transit association in the US, with over 300 members dedicated to promoting effective community transportation. Connexionz has been a member of this association for many years. 

“CalACT’s focus on digital display technology allows us the opportunity to develop relationships with content providers, hardware providers, and partners in the market. We’re looking at opportunities where we can potentially integrate technologies to create the most advanced real-time passenger information tools in the market,” says Brian.

Events coming up

May 22-23, 2018

Virginia Transit Association Annual conference and expo

Greater Richmond Convention Center – Richmond, VA


June 10-14, 2018

Community Transportation Association of America Annual Conference and Expo

David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


In the Spotlight: Brian Garrett

We first introduced Brain Garrett when he joined Connexionz as our US Sales manager back in January last year. Since then he’s made an enormous impact in helping to drive new sales, enter new markets, and open our first US office in Santa Clarita.

Brian always had a healthy personal ambition. He first developed his passion for technology when he helped lead CloudBlue, an eRecycler startup, in to a successful acquisition by Ingram Micro in 2013, while continuing to manage business development and sales personnel.

In the ensuing years, Brian also managed to achieve a major personal goal to lose a few pounds – a whopping 220 of them! The accomplishments gave him the confidence to move to Colorado and pursue a career in innovative technology with smaller sized firms. Luckily for Connexionz, it ended up being a great fit and through the experience he has since gained, he developed a passion in transit mobility and service and the people it serves.

“I’m grateful to utilize my knowledge and provide a fresh perspective on technology innovation while also helping clients make their way through the maze of providers and options,” says Brian. “My motto is ‘project over product’ and I enjoy working with Connexionz as we grow our family across the US focusing on the difference we can make to each individual agency. It’s exciting to be surrounded by dedicated staff focused on manageable growth and a level of candor and project management that is often lacking in competing firms.”

Prior to entering the tech industry, Brian graduated from Illinois State University in 2009 with a double major in business and theatre arts. He spent the next year as an “underpaid” traveling actor while also leading the occasional production of a music festival, charity, and art event. Nowadays, he enjoys his spare time with his dog, Simon, and his supportive partner, Isabella. He’s also a huge music fan and a serial concert goer. In the last decade, he’s travelled all over the US to support his favorite band Phish ‘almost 150 times’!

Have you visited our new website yet?

If you haven’t seen our new website yet, check it out at It’s packed with news and helpful information about our products, services and customer case studies. There’s also our Facebook page where we often post news as it happens. Please like our page and add your feedback, we’d love to hear from you!

Hotspot Access

You can access the wireless Internet access service whilst riding the Airport Shuttle Service. Data usage is limited to 50Mb per device per day.

Environment Canterbury provides public wireless services (“Services”) to users (“you”) based on the following terms and conditions:

You agree to:

  • Not use the Services to annoy or cause harm to others or for any illegal purpose or activity;
  • Not resell the Services to others
  • Immediately report any suspected misuse of, or breach of security in relation to, the Services.
  • We will use all reasonable endeavors to provide the Services to a high standard on this bus at all times but it is not possible for us to guarantee perfect, continuous or fault-free services or ensure that the coverage or speed of the Services remains constant. The quality, coverage and speed of the Services will depend on your location, the configuration of your equipment and the configuration of our network as well as factors like radio interference, atmospheric conditions, geographic factors, network congestion and other operational or technical factors.
  • While we will endeavor to make the Services compatible with most software packages, wireless devices and computer configurations we are not responsible for ensuring that the Services will be compatible with and will not damage your equipment, software or data.
  • We are not responsible for ensuring the integrity, privacy or security of your data or the content of any information accessed by you on our network.
  • To the maximum extent permitted by law, we exclude any liability of any kind to you, or any person claiming through you, in respect of any loss of any type arising from the use of the Services or a fault, interruption or failure of the Services.
  • Have fun. Be considerate. Enjoy the ride!




[email protected]

Do you have a background in software development, customer support, field services, government and/or senior sales? If so, we may have positions available in either our Christchurch or United States offices that may be of interest to you.

Current vacancies can be found below:

Posted 1st May 2018

We’re currently seeking applications for the position of Support Engineer to be based in our Christchurch offices.

Based in Christchurch, with likelihood of some international travel, the successful candidate will join an established team providing support services to our customers. In addition, the right candidate may also provide sale support services for our US and NZ sales activities.


  • IT/Networking
  • Microsoft and/or Cisco certified may be an advantage
  • Customer service and/or sales experience
  • Excellent written and oral skills
  • University qualification or equivalent
  • We value attitude and aptitude over qualifications.
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Highly resourceful, self-helping and you do what is necessary to get the job done
  • Resolving alerts relating to our systems and infrastructure via monitoring systems
  • Troubleshoot a wide array of technologies and platforms
  • Carrying out assigned support ticket or project work


  • Customer support
  • Installation and maintenance
  • Customer/staff training

You will be required to undergo a police background check.

Please only apply if you currently have the legal right to work in New Zealand. We will not accept nor respond to applications received from individuals who do not currently have the legal right to work in New Zealand.

Email your CV and a covering letter to [email protected]

Posted 1st May 2018

We’re currently seeking applications for the position of Field Technician to be based out of our Valencia, California offices.

Field Service Technician

  • Full US driving license
  • Own their own vehicle
  • Experience in installing electrical or electronic equipment
  • Basic workshop skills – soldering, use of multi-meters
  • Computer literate. Experience in working with Excel spreadsheets, emails etc
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Work safety certification a bonus
  • Capable of working as part of a tight team as well as autonomously
  • Formal qualifications welcome, but not mandatory
  • Full on job training provided
  • Opportunity for career advancement

General description of likely daily duties to include:

  • Installation of electronic equipment on-board vehicles as well as roadside and indoors
  • Basic repair of electronic equipment
  • Site/customer visits

Working as part of the company’s operations team, the successful candidate will work as part of a close team assisting with, or undertaking on their own, the installation of electronic and electrical hardware on-board vehicles as well as roadside equipment.

Email your CV and a covering letter to: [email protected]

Improve Agency Efficiency – Metro Magazine Article

Moving to the Cloud to Improve Agency Efficiency, Customer Experience
Posted on February 15, 2018 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor, Metro Magazine

Connexionz offers an array of hardware and software solutions, including onboard annunciation, real-time signage, CAD/AVL, and real-time passenger information systems. After 20 years of experience on large transportation projects internationally, the company enhanced their U.S. operations and support by opening a west coast service office in Valencia, Calif. — a necessary step to supporting the growing client base across the West coast. Over the last few years, Connexionz has been focused on bringing their tried and tested applications to medium-sized operations in the U.S.

“Arrival predictions provided by companies like Connexionz are now used to feed a lot of open source applications for both the public and other technology partners, so if you’re going to connect your ITS system to Google Real Time, a custom iOs or Android App, or any of the other third-party system, you better hope its super accurate,” says Brian Garrett, U.S. director of west coast sales for Connexionz. “We’re proud to boast a system at Connexionz, which has been fine-tuned enough over the years to have a distinct level of confidence in our prediction. It helps that our system was road-tested on some of the largest and detailed schedules in the world. This real world experience has served us well with more medium-sized agencies who have less demanding schedules, rosters, and run-cuts.”

Recognizing that not all passengers have a smartphone, the company has introduced a solar-powered digital signage product that provides real-time bus arrival information at the bus stop. The BusFinder™ is the latest version of a bus stop sign created for cost effectiveness and rider inclusivity and now with the solar version — efficiency and sustainability.

“In many cases in most U.S. communities, these consistent riders don’t have smartphones and it is important to not lose sight of this market,” Garrett explains. “Things have gotten really exciting lately with a lot of different rider tools available for agencies to invest in, but we have to remember the foundation of what we do is serve people who are transit dependent, and in that case, we can’t assume that all of the riding public has access to the latest and greatest tech, as much as we wish it were true.”

Because Connexionz has a host of communications options available, including 450 MHz radio, cellular, and LTE, the solar real-time signage can be implemented anywhere, including rural areas like King’s County, California — per a more recent installation. Garrett adds that not only do the signs have the ability to provide stop-based arrival information in a way that may have not been available before in those areas, but the inclusive nature of the signs can help build brand, as well as public transit awareness.

“In Pasadena, Calif., for instance, the bus signage actually started to pique the interest of people who are driving down the street and saw these interesting, blue boxes” he says. “According to the agency, people would end up checking out the E-Ink Real-Time arrival signs and giving the transit system a try, and in the process, they realize it made doing so much easier than they assumed.”

Connexionz’ digital signage product is compatible with any ITS system through its open sourced architecture, providing next bus arrival information for up to 12 routes, and is cost-effective to install since it does not require access to power or infrastructure and can be easily pole mounted. There are a number of custom options available with BusFinder™ implementation including custom splash screens, importing arrivals from partner agencies, and the company is just beginning to explore interactivity through Bluetooth and partnerships with companies providing other solar products like UrbanSolar with their lighting solution.

The company also recently landed the iTransitNW contract, which will initially tie together seven transit agencies in Washington State with real-time bus arrival information, with the potential to scale and link up to 18 separate transport operators across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

“Valley Transit made the initial investment and these other regional rural agencies are able to purchase off of this contract and participate in these regional real-time systems, and it’s really the same premise as the goal of bus-finder products, which is to build a bit more excitement about getting around — and include everyone we can in the process.”


Exert of article published on Metro Magazine’s online page:

Connexionz welcomes new board member

Connexionz Appoints Mark Figgitt as Board Director

Connexionz Limited (CNX: Unlisted), Christchurch, New Zealand – The Connexionz Board today announced the appointment of Mark Figgitt as Board Director.

Mark has a solid reputation in the New Zealand technology industry over the last 20 years having held several product development and senior management positions for companies including Telecom, Meridian Energy, Arc Innovations, and Airways New Zealand. Throughout his career he has been involved in technology, initially as an engineer and project manager and latterly in management and leadership of technology focussed companies.

He is the Director of Development at McKesson, leading the software development activities in New Zealand and Australia, and is responsible for ensuring global product integration within the wider McKesson global group.

Connexionz Board Chair Tony Kan said, “We are delighted to have Mark join us on the Connexionz Board and adding his skillset to the table. Following the retirement of Bruce Sheppard who stepped down as Chair and Director of the Board in April, we have been seeking a new Director with the skills and experience needed to help grow the business.

“We are focussed on our US expansion strategy and strengthening our market position and product offering. Mark’s appointment will bring valuable experience of business and product development strategy to the Board and considerable technical knowledge and expertise.  We look forward to benefitting from his contribution.”

Mr Figgitt says, “My focus and strength are on developing and executing strategies that deliver profitable growth for the business.  Since arriving in New Zealand my career has included pivotal management, product development, business development, marketing and general management roles that have been both rewarding and successful. I am passionate about technology and business success, and I am excited to be given the opportunity to contribute to the Connexion Board.”

Mark is currently an appointed Board member of Gymnastics NZ and has held previous governance positions as Board member at Flightyield International and Board Member Strategy & Planning for Olympia Gymnastics. Once his position become effective, the Connexionz Board will again consist of five directors: Tony Kan, Brian Olorenshaw, Richard Riley, Mark Figgitt, and Sandy Maier.


Connexionz wins contract to connect multiple transit agencies across three U.S. States

Connexionz, a leading provider of smart transit innovations, has been awarded a unique contract to deliver a multi-agency regional passenger information system.

Integrated rural transit solution enhances community mobility, improves traveler experiences, increases driver and passenger safety, improves operational processes and access to important vehicle diagnostics.

The new “iTransitNW” portal and smartphone app will connect several transport networks across three US States to enable passengers convenient access to real-time information on all rural and intercity transit and transfer connections.

Connexionz will initially manage and support seven partner agency fleets, with potential to scale and link up to 18 separate transport operators across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

valley transit connexionz real time vehicle tracking cad/avl Valley Transit based in Walla Walla County, Washington is the lead agency in the contract. General Manager Dick Fondahn says, “We have an excellent interconnected public transportation network that provides a lifeline for people to important services, such as medical appointments, human services, and government offices. But, despite brochures and websites, transit providers kept receiving feedback from medical providers and social service offices that their patients and clients did not have transportation for appointments, even though a transit service was available.

“Passengers were also saying that they did not understand how to make a transfer from one transit to another and they did not feel ‘safe’ because they did not trust the transfer system would work. Also, with repeated acts of assault against transit operators in cities across the United States, concern is increasing over the security of both transit riders and employees. We needed an integrated solution that would help riders feel more aware and assured of their transit options.”

Valley Transit and its partner agencies wanted a solution that would provide a single point of entry for current riders and prospective customers to access relevant information for where they live and want to go. Accurate bus arrival prediction times would also enable riders to confidently minimize their time spent waiting at bus stops.

With several parties involved in the project and more joining over time, the iTransitNW contract is one of the most thorough proposals ever presented and won by Connexionz.

Connexionz CEO Rhod Pickavance explains, “The solution is based on the TransitManager ITS suite. However, instead of managing just one agency network, the iTransitNW system will manage multiple networks across a wide geographical area. Live data feeds from multiple regional transit operators across the three US states will be captured and shared on both a website and a smartphone app, enabling riders to see all the connecting rural and intercity public transport services in the region.”

The contract includes the provision of on-board technologies for partner agencies with optional add-on services such as multimedia, next stop audio visual alerts, vehicle diagnostics, automatic passenger counting, farebox integration, and more.  Automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems with covert alarms and audio/video capability will also be installed to allow dispatch centers to direct first-responders to the precise real-time location of the bus in the event of an emergency.

“In addition, the system will input feeds from regional agencies that have their own existing real-time service information to provide a fully connected regional transport service,” says Pickavance.

“Our scalable solution makes a regional project quite easy and allows each agency to assemble only the extra parts they need or can afford at one time.  Some agencies in the area may take advantage of features like real time engine diagnostics, onboard media systems, and people counting; while others may elect something as economical as an Android based tracking device.”

Development of the iTransitNW portal and supporting smartphone app is now underway and is expected to go live by mid-2018. Ongoing support and maintenance services including onsite support is also included, together with an extended 3-year warranty period for all software and hardware.

“Connexionz showed they really understood the purpose of this project and the goals that Valley Transit is trying to achieve in developing a regional passenger information system,” says Fondahn.

valley transit, cad/avl, itransit, itransitnw, connexionz, real time passenger information, washington, idaho, oregon, its, intelligent transportation
Dick Fondahn General Manager of Valley Transit.

“They were the most responsive proposer in demonstrating their understanding of (a) this geographically large regional project made up of many independent transit providers, which include city and county transit agencies, non-profit human service agencies, and tribal transportation systems, and (b) the funding challenges facing Valley Transit in acting as the lead agency for a large number of small transit providers in a rural area covering parts of three states.

“It is unusual that a technology company with a rich set of features and options to suit any large urban transit system is also able to be flexible in offering a cost-efficient solution for small rural transit agencies. This is a larger geographic area, touching more states, and more independent transit providers than done heretofore.  Connexionz prior project success, flexible technology, and willingness to work with a new business model confirmed that theirs is the right solution, at the right cost, and at the right time.”

Valley Transit operates 10 bus routes in the cities of Walla Walla and College Place in Washington, United States, and is one of the four major bus services in the area connecting the region’s cities. The agency connects to several intercity transit routes operated by multiple agencies including: the Travel Washington Grape Line, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Public Bus Service, Columbia County Public Transportation, and the Milton-Freewater City Bus.

Download Press Release