Travel Industry Strategy

Rolling with Ruter

Digitization is rapidly changing people's travel habits and expectations. We’re helping Ruter rise to the challenge, designing smart, personlized, digital products and services.

Ruter oversees over 300 million separate journeys a year in Norway´s capital city Oslo. As the public transportation authority they fund, administer and promote the bus, metro, tram and ferry services. Ruter aims to give travellers the right tools to better plan and use the city’s public transport system. Making Waves are actively rolling out Ruter’s digital ambitions.

As their strategic partner, we work with design and technology development at both micro and macro levels, both on products and innovation processes. Multidisciplinary teams are creating user-centric solutions for a market where the interaction between public transport, private and hired road vehicles, walking and cycling is key to the city’s sustainability goals. We've delivered:

  • Their new public service website, including travel planner
  • Revised channel and content strategy for all customer dialogue
  • Facilitated continuous innovation processes
  • NextGen digital service platform & Big Data processing
  • The deviation messaging application for Customer Service

New website - Data driven decisions

Ruter’s websites receive millions of visits every month, so the main challenge is to ensure that the information available online meets the needs of the individual traveler. Ruter knows that providing easy-to-understand information to its users is vital in ensuring public transport is the preferred means of travel.

To be able to tackle this challenge we need to understand Ruter’s users as well as we possibly can. We work with continuous improvement on the site and monitor all usage of the different sections. We use frequent, cyclical analysis of data from Google Analytics, online surveys, along with A/B testing and concept testing on real people. Establishing clear KPIs, provides us very clear goals. The User Experience is constantly evaluated and improved, as well as technical features and improvements in the Episerver platform. 

The right results

Users are now finding the travel information they are specifically looking for, leading to:

  • 19 percent increase in travel searches on 
  • Doubled the usage of "My Location” as search phrase
  • 70 percent reduction in downloads of static timetables in pdf
  • 26 percent increase in mobile phone searches
  • 40 percent of existing dated content was removed
  • Improvement of the self-service contact form

Channel & content strategy - Consistency is king

Ruter lacked a clear strategy for optimizing and harmonising their various digital channels to consistently deliver value to customers. Ruter's digital presence appeared fragmented, and with the same style of communication in all channels. How they organised and delivered communication work could also be improved.

Through our work with Ruter we were able to streamline by clearing old content, improving information architecture and defining exactly where content belongs. We also implemented more efficient ways to work editorially.

Through this process we developed a customized content and channel strategy. This included: a channel matrix with suggestions for digital channels, differentiated content and CPIs, a management model, guidance on editorial design, workflow, style and tone, along with a roadmap for developing new content. By simplifying the complex, and by structuring the unstructured, we have helped Ruter create both a more efficient and focused work environment and improved the value of information customers receive.

Innovation processes - Sprinting towards future solutions

Ruter has clear ambitions of creating new, digital, innovative products and services. Early in 2017 Ruter established a new entity within their organisation. Future Customer Services has the mandate to innovate based on opportunities found in new technology and customer insight. Among several projects exploring future products and services for Ruter, the team has worked with future ticketing and payment systems, personalized travel information and combined mobility. 

By introducing Google Design Sprints as methodology ideas are captured, prototyped and user-tested during a one week cycle. Design Sprints have given comprehensive insight and ideas for tomorrow's collective experiences. Frequent user testing prevents the creation of solutions people neither need, nor want. 

In addition to hiring multidisciplinary teams from Making Waves, Ruter has done what every organisation should do while searching for tomorrow´s user needs: people from their own organisation are fully dedicated to the innovation processes, and are integrated with our team. By doing this Ruter is tearing down silos, both internal and between themselves and their partners.

Business Developer Sales and Payment Solutions, Ruter AS

“We have talked about this for two years - and now we have made it within five days!”

Digital service platform - Finding hidden value in data

Ruter aspires to continually improve its customer-friendly ticketing and real-time travel information. In the future new services such as bus on demand and dynamic timetables will become a reality. The ever increasing amounts of digital data Ruter’s customer and transport systems generate can support this goal. Led by Ruter´s IT-department, we are contributing with consultants with Big Data-competencies, back end, and front end developers. We're working towards creating a new, forward-looking platform that will help Ruter meeting future customer expectations.

Today's core systems are largely silo-based, with separate platforms for real-time information, customer data, fleet management and ticketing. However, the new platform will receive, process and access large amounts of data from all of Ruter’s subsystems, as well as third party information. Information such as, the number of passengers on board, or the train, bus, tram or the ferry’s current position. This data is then used in conjunction with customer profiles, traffic management and ticketing. Open to data from technologies Ruter may use in the future, this new platform is built to last.

Beth Stensen Future Customer Services, Ruter AS

“Making Waves is an important contributor in our work of bridging service design, user experience and technology”

Deviation messaging - Delivering bad news the right way

The most immediate impact on a public transport company’s reputation is how they manage and provide information about planned and unplanned service disruptions. Together with the Customer Service department, we have developed a staff friendly technical application that collects, manages, processes and publishes information about incidents, delays, changes, alternative routes, platforms etc. This is an essential tool for Customer Service staff, helping to ensure passengers receive a good service.

The DEVI2-application allows Ruter Customer Service to easily:

  • Publish traffic information and service disruption messages in a single system.
  • Publish and direct location-adapted messages to signposts, web, app, Twitter, Facebook, subcontractors, etc.
  • Make it possible for travellers to subscribe for personlized deviation messages. Users are able to set up own filters, so only service disruptions and cancellation information relevant to them are displayed.

Based on Episerver and .NET integration through web services with Ruter's back-end systems, the application also utilises external actors for the exchange of incident information on the SIRI-SX format.

Photography by Redink - Fartein Rudjord & Thomas HaugersveenBirdy - Birgitte Heneide, Bonanza AS og Ruter AS

Want to know more about this case?

Erik Jansson

Commercial Director

+47 958 90 279