General Support Level
Description / objective
This level has been taken to cover the range of functions that are needed to support the delivery of public transport services. It therefore covers traffic and operations control; management of payment systems; fleet (and facility) asset management and environmental programs; infrastructure maintenance; and the management of operating entities and systems. These functions range from the routine to the periodic, and have their own tactical and operational perspectives.
Many of these functions would be carried out by an integrated public transport enterprise, and some by a passenger transport authority. However virtually all of the functions would be sub-contracted within a para-transit operated system, and some might not be provided at all where there is no transport authority or equivalent city institution in place. Management of payment systems will again be addressed in more detail in the Public Transport Fares Toolkit.
There are very few direct ITS applications at this level of passenger transport, as most support activities are carried out away from the network or ongoing operations, or involve agencies remote from the public transport system. However ITS technologies such as automatic vehicle location and vehicle systems monitoring can be used to support public transport priorities and vehicle maintenance planning respectively.
Advantages and cautions
The operations support level does not justify investment in ITS systems or technologies in its own right. However the justification for ITS applications may be enhanced by benefits in this domain when the investment case is being prepared.