Transport for London Expands Fleet with PTT over Cellular Solution

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Transport for London (TfL) had to quickly add more school buses to its fleet so school kids could adhere to social distancing regulations. To provide radio communications to the additional buses, TfL and Tait worked together on a quick response. Critical Communications Today writes about this award-winning PTToC solution in their May 2021 issue.

Tait provides TfL with high-reliability digital radio communications

Tait was awarded a contract to upgrade TfL’s communication system in 2019, which included Tait TeamPTT, a Push-to-Talk over Cellular solution that integrated Radio and Smartphone users into a single network. It was meant to extend access to TfL’s communications network to ‘street users’ – staff that relay information back to the control center about what’s happening on the roads and bus stations – but it has since found a greater purpose due to unexpected circumstances.

TfL and Tait Solution Featured in Critical Communications Today Magazine

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 forced TfL to quickly adapt and establish ways to help keep passengers safely distanced. Critical Communications Today takes a closer look at the solution that won TfL and Tait an ICCA award for ‘best use of critical communications in Transport’.

“It is the speed of roll-out which is truly impressive, however, with Transport for London (TfL) having to rapidly expand its comms capability at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.” – (Source: Critical Communications Today)

TfL and Tait Work Together on an Award-Winning COVID response

In the article, Thomas Brewster, Transport for London’s service delivery manager for surface transport technology and data, goes into more detail about the project. Thomas explains “TfL was asked by the Department for Transport to provide additional capacity on our designated school routes.”  

“At the same time, we had to provide some kind of comms solution for the vehicles, which frankly – because they weren’t TfL stock – could have been anything. That provided its own unique set of potential problems, particularly in terms of things like fit-out, as well as training of the drivers.”

“We didn’t know when the buses were going to arrive, or what we would be able to install in the cab.” – (Source: Critical Communications Today)

Read the Article for More

Head on over to the Critical Communications Today website to read the article for more information about the specifics of the solution and the challenges TfL and Tait needed to overcome to adapt the Tait PTToC app for use by external bus drivers, and the extra measures that were taken to ensure safe and efficient operation.

“Arguably the biggest issue was figuring out how PTT could be achieved without actually picking up the device.” – (Source: Critical Communications Today)


Keeping London Moving

Tait has been providing Transport for London with innovative, flexible and cost-effective solutions to help TfL keep London moving.

Read more about the Tait and TfL partnership and solutions here.

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