27 June 2012
Following excellent results in the last four years, Go-Ahead has extended its fleet management partnership with MiX Telematics for another four years to further improve fuel efficiency on its 4,000 buses.
The telematics system was installed on all Go-Ahead’s buses in 2008 in order to measure, monitor and evaluate fuel efficiency and improve driving standards. The system is a key part of the Group’s carbon reduction programme, known as ‘Driving Energy Further’, to deliver a 20% decrease in emissions by 2015 per passenger journey.
In addition to the core telematics product, the RIBAS display system was installed. This onboard unit alerts drivers when five key parameters (over Revving, excessive Idling, harsh Braking, harsh Acceleration and Speeding) are exceeded. Encouraging drivers to operate within the RIBAS parameters significantly improves all performance areas.
Results across the Group have been impressive. Go-Ahead London, which accounts for half of the Group’s bus fleet, has seen its average fuel efficiency increase by 12 percent, with emissions decreasing by 17.6 percent.
"Go-Ahead’s introduction of Mix Telematics and RIBAS was the first large-scale deployment of a fleet management solution within the bus industry," says Go-Ahead Group engineering director Phil Margrave. "The long-term results generated by the system, which have been achieved in combination with our other efficiency-enhancing activities, have been impressive."
Initially, the systems were used to identify which drivers were performing well and who needed to improve. Thereafter, a more detailed examination of the data revealed where individuals were driving inefficiently, allowing detailed training and development programmes to be created for each driver.
To gain buy-in from drivers, various incentive schemes were introduced. In London, an initiative known as the Go Green Club was developed in parallel with the introduction of the system, offering members a range of benefits. Membership of the club is dependant on drivers achieving “green” driving reports over three consecutive months.
Phil Margrave said: "While fuel and other cost savings are key, the MiX Telematics solution helps us in other ways, such as training, where we use the system to identify training needs and monitor drivers’ progress."
These systems are now regarded as integral parts of the organisation’s drive for efficiency, and are routinely fitted to all new buses.
Phil added: "Passengers also benefit from the improved comfort and safety facilitated by the system – we have even heard of customers choosing to wait in the queue for one of our buses to arrive because the fuel efficient driving standards make the journey so much more comfortable!"