Helsinki Bus Firm Cuts Fuel Use, Offers Improved Transport

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Unlike some other major cities, Helsinki has a transportation system that is operated by multiple vendors rather than a single private company or municipal department. So although bus company Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy (HelB) is fully owned by the city, it must compete with privately owned bus operators in a public bidding system to serve the city’s bus routes. As a result, HelB needs to find ways to lower costs and operate more efficiently to win business.

HelB worked with Council member Microsoft and technology partner CGI to extend its existing data warehouse system to collect and analyze data generated by sensors installed on all buses in the HelB fleet. These sensors generate more than four million lines of data each day, so it was important to have a highly scalable solution.

A careful analysis of the bus sensor data has brought

  • HelB numerous benefits since the solution deployment:
  • Overall fuel consumption across the bus fleet is down by 5%, helping to reduce the city’s carbon footprint
  • Customer satisfaction among HelB riders has increased by 7%, based on biannual surveys conducted by the city
  • HelB monitors bus driver performance, including speed and emergency braking, and it shares this information with drivers to improve their driving efficiency and safety
  • Sensor data about fuel consumption and engine temperature helps HelB identify vehicles developing mechanical problems to proactively address issues

To further improve its performance, HelB began a pilot project using Power Map for Excel to analyze and visualize sensor data in areas of the city where emergency braking is most common. HelB can then physically examine trouble spots and find solutions to help drivers pass through these areas more smoothly.