UPITA is more than just a transit agency. As the main public transporter of Utopia, the company has grown into a flexible entity, able to perform many tasks. It main purpose, to carry people, has been but an excuse to develop into something big. The Utopians have needs and UPITA works on those needs: information, quality of services, individual assistance, feeling that everyone is special, guess or suggest what people could do next. All that by using a smart ecosystem to which many parts contribute. And everything begins with the customers.
The first set of questions
For a company like UPITA, a customer is more than a set of needs. Before even than the customer knows what he or she wants, UPÏTA has put in place tools that let people make choices:
- do I take the bus or I walk ?
- should I take a monthly pass or just a bunch of tickets ?
- do I need to ask for help from UPITA or just continue by myself ?
- must I use uWand, or just continue to walk along that street ?
- do I take Uber or the local bus ?
Yes, there is Uber in Utopia, but most of its inhabitants prefer local transportation over the taxi company who does not own a cab. Call it Utopian proud. All the choices are to be made based on needs. People have needs and love to solve all of them.
The questions 2.0 (no web here)
There is no need to reinvent the wheel and create fancy products. After all, UPITA tries to answer to questions like:
- what should I do next ?
- how do I go from A to B ?
- what is the best place where can I meet person X, without losing time ?
- why should I take this bus over the personal car ?
- how can I spend the next two hours in a useful way ?
- where is my next destination ?
There are many questions like these. The more a transport company asks such questions, the more that company answers them. As a consequence, the company will find more people whose needs it satisfies. How many corporations have forgotten this little rule of success? UPITA is not one of them, because it never sleeps, always trying to identify those needs.
Spending the budget
As a transit agency, UPITA has a limited budget. It is profitable, thanks to a policy of listening to the needs of its users. One of the benefits of this policy is the complete elimination of money eaters. Should the company buy new buses or just refurbish the old ones ? The old hat would say that costs are always going down and the prices of new buses are cheaper and cheaper. True that might be, but at which cost ? Most of the new vehicles are made overseas and as such, the investment equates to an import, so a negative trade balance. It might be nice for the mayor to provide every year brand new buses to the citizens. A city hall has a budget amounting to hundreds of millions or even billions. Money must be spent, but wisely. By refurbishing and upgrading an existing bus, with local workforce, the economy of the city keeps flourishing.
With the savings in costs, UPITA has been able to invest in services. In other words, the agency answers to the needs of the Utopians. Given the massive use of smartphones, a big size of the savings goes to the development of new services. UWand is the main beneficiary and the Utopians are happy with that. About 10% of the 2017 budget of UPITA goes to uWand.