Smarter Public Transit with IoT

Building Smarter Public Transit

The next great migration is happening now, as more than 1 million people move to cities every day. There are already 21 “megacities” with more than 10 million people, and many others not far behind. As demand for transportation grows, how will cities provide the safe, reliable and efficient transit services that people need to work and live?

A growing number of transit authorities and light railway operators are turning to the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect transit vehicles with operations systems, and support new applications that improve the passenger experience onboard. By connecting public transit fleets with wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions, operators can:

  • Provide more efficient transportation services by supporting real-time route and schedule management, and fare payment
  • Reduce carbon footprint by optimizing fuel consumption
  • Provide a better passenger experience with passenger WiFi services including wireless Internet access on the move, and more relevant and accurate information to passengers
  • Develop deeper passenger relationships by collecting data across the entire journey—from ticketing, to travel information, to web browsing while onboard
  • Generate revenues through digital advertising in stations, coaches and vehicles
All of these capabilities are enabled by highly reliable, intelligent M2M solutions. And the best way to connect them is through public cellular networks. Modern cellular networks are ubiquitous, highly reliable, and built for mobile services. Low-latency LTE connections can support even mission-critical operations and safety systems. And the latest-generation LTE technologies can provide an outstanding customer experience, with the bandwidth to power web browsing as fast as what passengers would have at home, alongside multiple commercial and professional services.

Sierra Wireless is helping transit organizations capitalize on the IoT to empower innovative wireless transit services around the globe. We have more than a decade of experience in public transit, providing market-leading products that meet the demanding requirements of transit applications. From embedded modules and rugged gateways that support mission-critical operations, to cloud platforms, expert services and more, we provide the complete device-to-cloud solution. We can help transit organizations build a new generation of IoT-powered transit solutions and bring them to market faster.


Customer Story

Utah Transit Authority Provides Secure Connectivity for Millions of Passengers

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) provides public busing services across a 1,600-square mile service region serving 2 million residents—80 percent of Utah’s entire population. The organization uses Sierra Wireless oMG Mobile Gateways (oMGs) to provide secure, consistent mobile connectivity for its vehicles to support fare collection, mobile communications and other applications. 

Using Sierra Wireless technology, the oMG can sense and select the best available wireless network, and roam across commercial cellular, 700 MHz and municipal Wi-Fi networks. So UTA vehicles are always connected using the most reliable network available. 

The oMG’s secure, reliable wired and wireless connectivity also enables a variety of onboard systems for transit vehicles. UTA passengers can pay fares with credit cards and validate bus passes, making the transit system more convenient for passengers and improving its overall efficiency. UTA can also provide real-time route, schedule and service information on vehicles and in bus depots, as well as provide firewalled Wi-Fi access for passengers on some routes.


Back at UTA headquarters, the Sierra Wireless solution gives UTA’s IT team extensive information and control over wireless communications. UTA staff use a virtual dashboard with information about networks, devices and vehicles in the field. They can monitor their network and diagnose communications problems faster, and continually improve transit services for passengers. 
“This one solution will enable us to improve operations and enhance the passenger experience in many ways.”


Clair Fiet, Chief Technology Officer, Utah Transit Authority

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Customer Story

Icomera Provides High-Performance Wireless Services for Vehicles in Motion

“Sierra Wireless is a front-runner in its industry, as are we. Our product is agnostic and works with any type of technology, so we chose to work with companies that provide the best products for the best technologies currently available.”


Frederik Gustafsson, Executive Vice President Icomera Connected Vehicle Solutions


Icomera provides advanced communications systems for trains and buses that require reliable and efficient mobile communication. Icomera systems have been in daily operation since 2003, enabling thousands of commuters in Europe to make more efficient use of their traveling time with consistent mobile Internet access.

Technology Overview

Sierra Wireless has been helping public transit and light rail customers build efficient, highly reliable intelligent M2M transit solutions for many years. Our embedded modules and gateways are designed for long product lives, even in harsh environments. And our longstanding relationships with leading wireless carriers help accelerate network certification and integration in cellular networks worldwide. 


We provide complete device-to-cloud IoT solutions, including:
  • Embedded Solutions: AirPrime® embedded wireless modules are simple to integrate, easy to program, secure, and scalable from 2G to 4G. AirPrime embedded modules feature built-in application processors, modems, and GNSS to reduce system complexity and save board space. And we provide open-source Linux-based platforms such as Legato®, which simplify and accelerate the development of IoT smart transit applications. 
  • Networking Solutions, Routers and Gateways: Our networking solutions include intelligent AirLink® gateways and rugged oMG gateways that have been designed for long product lives, even in harsh environments, and management tools and services where reliability and security are essential. They provide persistent connectivity, location-based services, and remote monitoring to help transit organizations monitor vehicles more efficiently. 
  • Cloud and Connectivity Services: Our cloud services provide the simplest and most scalable way to securely store, retrieve, analyze, and integrate data to build new value in IoT transit applications. They accelerate time-to-market, reduce risk, and lower deployment and maintenance costs with over-the-air monitoring and upgrades of cellular IoT devices.


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