The Optibus Academy blends academic theory with real-world applications, bringing in practicing professionals to speak to transportation studies students.
Emerging technologies are quickly changing how public transportation is planned and scheduled. As part of the Optibus Academy, transportation management students at Malmö University in Sweden recently had a chance to get hands-on training with Optibus, one of the industry’s fastest-adopted AI planning and scheduling softwares, as well as insight into planning on the ground at Bergkvarabuss, a part of Mekka Traffic Group, one of Sweden’s largest and premiere public transportation operators.
Held on October 23 and 24, the two-day “Introduction to public transportation planning and scheduling” workshop co-hosted by Optibus and Bergkvarabuss dove into the environmental and societal importance of public transportation and how new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), optimization algorithms, and the cloud, can streamline planning and scheduling, leverage data, and cater to passenger and driver needs.
Students of the “Business Information Systems for Transport and Logistics” course led by Ola Johansson, senior lecturer at the Malmö University Department of Urban Studies, receive training in timetable planning from Optibus Senior Consultant Anders Wedel
As part of the workshop, Optibus Senior Consultant Anders Wedel and Solutions Engineer Vasilis Kyrligitsis led a training in Optibus’ Planning and Scheduling software. Johan Järpell, Chief Traffic Planner at Bergkvarabuss, who himself is a graduate of Malmö University’s transport management programme, presented his experience and insights into how planning practice and theory are applied in a real-world operation.
The workshop was offered as part of the “Business Information Systems for Transport and Logistics” course led by Ola Johansson, senior lecturer at the Department of Urban Studies within the Faculty of Culture and Society. Mr. Johansson’s course is designed to train final-year undergraduate students in managing information technology (IT) systems used within the transportation industry and to explain how new IT systems and applications can support logistics businesses and transportation planning at different levels, including improving overall efficiency and resilience to disruptions.
Johan Järpell, Chief Traffic Planner at Bergkvarabuss, presents insights into how planning practices are applied in real-world settings.
“Our students will be graduating in the spring and looking for work in the fields of transport planning and traffic management. Our mission is to equip students with the skills needed to be competitive and successful, and the Optibus Academy was very relevant to giving them practical planning and scheduling skills and knowledge,” said Ola Johansson, senior lecturer at the Malmö University Department of Urban Studies.
“Practical training is key to preparing new graduates. I am happy to work with Optibus to return to Malmö University and help prepare the transport planners of the future,” said Johan Järpell, Chief Traffic Planner at Bergkvarabuss.
“Transportation technology is changing so quickly that universities need to constantly be in touch with practicing professionals in order to make sure their students receive the most relevant education and training. Our goal with the Optibus Academy is to make it easier for academics to provide students with practical knowledge of digital tools, and to ensure that future graduates have the skills needed to make impactful decisions, as they are working in an industry that influences the future of our cities, environment, and society,” said Zacharie Chebance, Presales Engineer Team Lead who heads the Optibus Academy initiative.
The Optibus Academy was launched in May 2023 to bring academia closer to real-world transportation practices, inspire the next generation of public transportation professionals, and equip the sector’s future leaders with modern skills and tools to provide essential public transportation services today and in the future.
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