Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Technology will monitor Wellington bus drivers

File photo / Cliffano Subagio
File photo / Cliffano Subagio

Wellington bus drivers will have the quality of their driving monitored by new technology, which will keep an eye on poor behaviour such as speeding, harsh braking and rough cornering.

The telematics technology will be installed across its GO Wellington and Valley Flyer fleets, after a successful introduction in Auckland.

The new system would alert drivers when they were approaching the safety or efficiency thresholds NZ Bus had set for particular behaviours.

For each different behaviour a visual signal would start out green, changing to amber when the threshold was being approached and then to red when it was crossed, NZ Bus chief executive Zane Fulljames said.

The system was part of a broader training programme for drivers that would increase their skills and deliver smoother journeys for commuters, while reducing fuel emissions and the physical wear and tear on buses, he said.

"Drivers have never before been able to receive this level of objective feedback. Telematics provides them with direct, accurate data," Mr Fulljames said.

"They can then use it to self-manage their performance and we can use it to identify patterns over time so we know which drivers will benefit the most from further training."

Since the technology was introduced in Auckland buses in May, driver performance had improved by over 70 per cent in the first month, Mr Fulljames said.

The information generated also detailed the real time bus trips were taking around the city at all times of the day throughout the week, tracking the speed the bus was able to travel at in different locations depending on the level of traffic congestion.

"If we are going to boost the use of public transport then we need to be continually innovating, investing and delivering reliable services. A big part of this is consistency and introducing telematics enables us to be more efficient and cost effective in our operations," Mr Fulljames said.

Telematics will firstly be installed on GO Wellington buses, with the Valley Flyer fleet to follow in October.

Telematics monitors:

* ride comfort (over-revving and cornering);

* excessive idling;

* harsh braking;

* harsh acceleration; and

* speeding.

- APNZ

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