by Hamish Barwick

Data analytics keeps tabs on Victorian cabbies

Mar 04, 20152 mins
Big Data

The Taxi Services Commission (TSC) of Victoria is using a data warehouse to access the data of more than 100 million trips made by taxi drivers in the state over the past 2.5 years.

The data warehouse was rolled out in May 2014 following the lt;igt;2012 Victorian Taxi Industry Inquirylt;/igt;, which recommended that service improvements needed to take place across the industry.

One recommendation was that the TSC receive timely and accurate trip, shift, driver and booking data from taxi companies to improve the choice, quality and reliability of taxi services.

Geomatic Technologies (GT) designed and deployed the TSC data warehouse, and Tableau provides the analytics and visualisation software.

GT’s business manager for transport, Dave Presley, told CIO Australia that prior to the rollout, the TSC didn’t have comprehensive data coming in from taxi companies so it was hard for the regulator to measure compliance or compare data from different taxi operators.

“You have the start and end location of taxi trips over the last 2.5 years. There is also shift data which details start and end times of taxi driver shifts,” he said.

“They [TSC] are using the data to assess information such as wait times for booked jobs.”

In addition, the regulator is analysing the data to see if there is a difference between wait times for able bodied passengers and disabled passengers. This is to see if some taxi drivers are displaying a bias towards able bodied passengers or if wait times are longer for passengers who require a wheelchair.

GT’s senior project manager, Tim Moran, said the TSC can create what he called spatial reports.

“It’s like visualising trips on a map and being able to drill down to see wait times, distance, who the taxi driver was and the taxi company.

“The main outcome has been the ability [for TSC] to see all the data in one place. The regulator can now answer internal business questions to inform compliance monitoring of the industry,” said Moran.

The next phase of the data warehouse project will be to collect real-time data from taxis. It will be rolled out by Q4 of 2015.

Hamish Barwick travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Tableau.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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