Demonstrating innovation is increasingly becoming key for many companies, across a wide variety of industries. The rail industry is no different. With a £1.4 billion contract to run the Crossrail franchise on behalf of Transport for London, serving 200 million passengers per year, Crossrail was the franchise to get.
With so much attention on Crossrail, demonstrating innovation was a key part of the bid for rail operators. It was important that the winning bidder could successfully demonstrate how it could deliver excellence in customer service, through all 40 stations along the Elizabeth Line, providing approximately 700 timetabled services per day, with a peak timetable frequency of 24 hours.
In early 2014, MTR Europe – part of MTR Corporation, the best performing rail operator in the world, operating metro systems in six major cities worldwide – contacted Mubaloo to find out more about Bluetooth Beacon technology and the potential of apps. MTR Corporation is famed for its use of mobile in its operations, featured on Apple’s iPad in Business section here. For Crossrail, MTR needed to showcase innovation beyond just apps.
Working together, MTR Europe and Mubaloo Innovation Lab ran a number of workshop sessions to determine how custom apps and Bluetooth Beacons could be used to deliver a highly efficient service by improving processes for rail staff.
On the 18th July, 2014, MTR was announced as the winner of the contract to run the Elizabeth Line for TfL. On the 30th July, MTR Crossrail, a 100% owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation was awarded the concession for operating the new Crossrail services – with its approach to utilising beacons cited as one of the deciding factors.
As a result of the use of beacons, MTR Crossrail is the largest deployment of beacons, for enterprise, anywhere in the World and is a World first for the rail industry.