Intermapper Helps Keep Västtrafik Running

For Western Sweden riders who need to check daily public transportation schedules, network monitoring helps keep information available at all times


Western Sweden’s rail, bus, tram, ferry, and taxi system are run by a network that announces schedules, locations, fares, current conditions, and route problems to riders and operators. A four-person team is charged with keeping the network and the information it provides up and running 24/7. Intermapper’s network maps and alerts that go to cell phones and emergency night services direct network engineers to problems that they fix before customers notice a thing.

Riders and Users Need Real-Time Transportation Updates

In western Sweden, Västtrafik shoulders the responsibility for keeping rail, bus, tram, ferry, and taxi systems up and running. About 500,000 trips a day are taken on the network of public transportation options that Västtrafik supports and monitors. Riders, vehicle operators, and administrators rely on websites that list schedules, fares, routes, and policies, along with 300-400 publicly-placed video screens that allow riders to see if trains, buses, or ferries are on-time.

Systems Engineer Göran Åvhlik, and his three-person team are in the middle of it all. They’re charged with keeping Västtrafik’s network up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We’re running reality systems,” said Åvhlik.

“People want to know that their bus will be there in five minutes. Bus drivers want to know why they can’t empty their ticket machine.”

Holistic Monitoring Keeps the Network Under Control

Several years ago, Åvhlik was looking for a way to watch Västtrafik’s websites, video screens, and critical network devices. “We looked at HP OpenView but it is too big,” said Åvhlik. “We’d need one person working full-time to manage it.”

Åvhlik chose Intermapper for its ease of use. “It took about an hour to learn,” he said. “We can see just what we need to see.”

Åvhlik has configured Intermapper to alert him and others to problems via email. At first, he set alerts to call his cell phone but soon realized that there was little he could do from home in the middle of the night. Now, email alerts time out at the end of the work day and emergency night services are called if something happens during off-hours.

Fixing Problems Before Anyone Notices

With Intermapper, Västtrafik is maintaining 24/7 uptime of websites and over 130 network devices that are critical to the overall network. “Intermapper gives us a good overview of our network and we’re able to create different maps for different clients,” said Åvhlik . “For example, we have maps for bus drivers who communicate via GPRS to check on the system when they have a problem with the network.”

Usually, Intermapper maps show Åvhlik and his team problems before regional operations or, more importantly, customers notice. “I call and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got a problem with something’ and they can fix it,” said Åvhlik. “Before we had Intermapper, we just waited for things to break and people to call us.”

Depend on Intermapper for Real-Time Network Monitoring

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