Cubic Adds Big Data and Analytics Subsidiary to Improve Transit Ops

6/23/14Follow @bvbigelow

After spending almost $21 million last year to acquire NextBus, a Bay Area business that uses GPS data and wireless networks to predict when the next bus will arrive at any given bus stop, San Diego’s Cubic (NYSE: CUB) has been looking for other ways to breathe new life into its transportation systems business.

Today Cubic Transportation Systems is announcing the formation of Urban Insights Associates, a new subsidiary that uses big data and predictive analytics software to help public transportation agencies improve the operations of their transit networks. As part of the business, the company also has formed a consulting and services practice to help transportation planners optimize transit operations and minimize delays.

The underlying idea is to provide data-driven insights about traffic, routes, and transit operations. Cubic launched the subsidairy, based in Washington D.C., with just a handful of employees and more than a dozen technical consultants.

“We have this incredibly rich knowledge of how well things perform through the transportation world, but transportation agencies don’t make use of it,” said Matthew Cole, the executive vice president of Cubic Transportation Systems who is overseeing the company’s diversification strategy. “The data resides in their systems, but they don’t have adequate tools to bring the data together, and they don’t have the people.”

Matthew Cole

Matthew Cole

Cubic Transportation Systems’ core business makes and installs fare-ticketing equipment for mass transit systems in Miami, New York City, Atlanta, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities. The company also provides information and services that includes on-site management, operations support, business support, and other services. Cubic says more than 50 million travelers interact with its fare-card readers every day, and the company processes about $20 billion in fare revenue per year for all customers.

Cole said Urban Insights already has begun aggregating data from disparate organizations, so its analytics services “are not constrained by Cubic and what or where it is or isn’t.”

For example, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is using Urban Insights to generate holistic data about … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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