City Traffic Ltd.

Real-time data analytics injects efficiency and punctuality into metro traffic

Case Solita and City Traffic: Real-time data analytics injects efficiency and punctuality into metro traffic

City Traffic Ltd. (Kaupunkiliikenne Oy) wanted to improve metro traffic control in the Helsinki Region with data analytics and provide the traffic controllers with a new tool for monitoring transit regularity and punctuality. City traffic vehicles are used on 150 million trips every year. “It is now easier for traffic control to receive information on regularity, which will allow them to make their own decisions. Reports on what kind of traffic service we provide are now easier to make, which allows us to develop our operation,” says City Traffic’s Control Centre Supervisor Timo Ansamaa.

City Traffic is tasked with providing and developing sustainable mobility services and infrastructure in a reliable, high-quality and cost-effective manner. Its vehicles are used for 150 million trips every year, and it is also responsible for the infrastructure and equipment related to its operation. Metro ridership is expected to grow dramatically in the near future, and the current capacity will not be sufficient. Currently, City Traffic operates up to 36 concurrent metro trains at a 2.5 minute interval.

City Traffic wanted to develop its traffic control and reporting with data analytics in order to respond to future targets and the demands of a growing ridership. Operational traffic control needed a tool to monitor traffic regularity in real time as well as to better identify the root causes of traffic issues.


  • Significantly better understanding of the end users’ needs over the course of the project

  • More reliable traffic for metro passengers, fewer interruptions and better punctuality

  • Automated service-specific analysis and report on train punctuality and regularity

  • Tool and application for tracking metro train regularity at each station and different sections and directions of the line in real time

  • At-a-glance overview of the metro system for traffic controllers

  • Good starting point for developing data driven capabilities to match future needs

One of the goals for this tool was for predicting traffic bottlenecks and reacting to them in advance, as well as to prevent issues.

Salar Mohammad Project Manager, Citytraffic

They also wanted to use equipment and traffic data in schedule planning and to enable shorter intervals in the future.

“We wanted to implement solutions that City Traffic can use to improve regularity and punctuality in its metro service with other methods than renewing or adding to the fleet. We also wanted to reduce the traffic controllers’ workloads with automated shift reporting. Our goal was to enhance the operation in a manner to improve the level of service and customer experience further,” says Aki Aapaoja, Solita’s Account Director.

Results show inspiring attitude

City Traffic and Solita decided to develop a solution which would show each train’s regularity at every station on one screen. This is a solution that City Traffic did not have and for which a turnkey product was not available.

Solita built a cloud-based environment that can collect data from various source systems as well as provide effective visual analyses. The environment was built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and the visualisations are based on Microsoft Power BI.

“We wanted to create a cloud-based environment that was cost-effective and compatible with other, existing systems. It was also key to make it into a base for future needs and use cases that we can’t yet identify,” says Aapaoja.

Solita was responsible for the project’s technical implementation and design. From the start, the work was informed by understanding the end users’ needs.

“This cooperation had an inspiring, active and interactive attitude from start to finish. Everyone involved was positively influenced by it. This is something we particularly noticed,” says City Traffic’s Ansamaa.

City Traffic’s Mohammad agrees: “The cooperation was really good. Communication was clear and what drew my attention was that the project was also interesting for Solita. This showed in their work – they clearly had a passion to be involved. We honestly and truly strove to achieve our goals and solve the technical challenges.”

Solita case Kaupunkiliikenne - City Traffic
This cooperation had an inspiring, active and interactive attitude from start to finish.

Timo Ansamaa Control Centre Supervisor, City Traffic

Real-time information to support decision-making

According to Ansamaa, the key result of this cooperation is that City Traffic’s traffic control now has easier access to service regularity. This real-time information will enable better and faster decision-making.

Another significant result is train-specific reporting, which will make it possible to create and develop indicators for the traffic service: What is the traffic like? How can traffic management be developed further? In the future, City Traffic will be able to use this solution to predict the direction of development.

When West Metro II begins operation in the future, the concurrent services will increase from 36 to 40.

This new tool will play a key role in controlling the situation. The more the figures grow, the more this system will provide additional value for us.

Timo Ansamaa Control Centre Supervisor, City Traffic

There is a will to develop the current tool and extend its user base. “The result of this cooperation was a real-time tool for traffic controllers on every shift, designed with the users,” says Solita’s Aapaoja.

“It was very important to create a minimum product model for our users. Now we can show them a concrete example of what we’re doing. We can use this as a base for gathering user experiences and development ideas for building a final product that will best serve our users and customers,” says City Traffic’s Mohammad.

Ansamaa believes that the project has created a base for long-term development work. “Next, we will begin to expand the benefits enabled by this solution. We already have a host of new ideas that we can use in development.”

Similar projects have not been implemented in Finland so far. Solita’s extensive and comprehensive experience of the field played a key role. “This is a special, unique project. We didn’t find a direct benchmark anywhere else,” says Mohammad.

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