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Nobina and Telia in cooperation for smarter bus routes

Nobina and Telia are cooperating on a new project aimed at making it possible to develop solutions for smarter travel and public transport in the future. Using anonymised mobile data, analysis is made of how people move to enable Nobina to better adapt its bus traffic and create new solutions according to passengers’ needs. The first results, with data from Södertörn, showed, for example, where a bike bus could be of optimal use, but also provided understanding of travel routes and destinations – including outside the public transport system. Data and new statistics also confirm the trend that increasing numbers of people are working from home on Fridays.

Usually, when bus traffic is being planned, it is based on ticket statistics and travel habit surveys, as well as statistical data. For example, statistics from Statistics Sweden show the trend for commuting. However, only 40 per cent of those who travel are commuters, so enhanced understanding is required of how the other 60 per cent of passengers travel. In addition, better knowledge is required of the entire trip – what is the destination of the trip? What route did the passengers take prior to getting on the bus? How long is the actual total travel time? 

This is why the innovation divisions Nobina Technology and Telia Company Division X have tested the use of aggregated and anonymised mobile network data to understand travel patterns.

“The cooperation with Telia is aimed at helping us gain better insight into how passengers move, and not only when they travel on our buses. This gives us insight into how we can adapt to people’s actual mobility needs. By using this method, we also hope to gain information more quickly regarding new travel needs to be able to offer better solutions that meet the requirements of society,” says Henrik Dagnäs, Vice President of Nobina.

In the test, mobile data was used from Södertörn, where Nobina operates bus services on behalf of SL. The result indicates, for example, considerable travel to a major centre in Södertörn, which gave rise to the matter of a new bus route. It was also shown that morning commuting declines by 16 per cent on Fridays and that many people go home earlier on Friday afternoon. By analysing modes of transport into Stockholm, it was possible to identify where passengers have the greatest need to be able to take their bikes on the bus.

In the pilot project, analysts from both Nobina and Telia worked together to test live how mobile network data can be used to analyse travel patterns.

“The results show that new technical solutions combined with data can contribute to a large number of different improvements in society, such as improving mobility and communications in this instance. This is an innovation area and part of our focus on smart cities,” says Magnus Leonhardt, Head of Strategy and Business Development at Telia Sweden.

The cooperation between Nobina and Telia is being conducted within the framework for the strategic innovation programme, Drive Sweden.


For the project, Nobina and Telia have used so-called Crowd Analytics. This means that by using anonymised and aggregated data, it is possible to analyse actual behaviour and mobility requirements in society and thus improve societal functions such as public transport.

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