Let Tempo set the pace. Stop bus bunching before it starts.
Waiting ... is torture.
A quiet, insidious torture.
A creeping, queazy feeling that your life is slowly, slowly slipping away.
The only thing worse than waiting is waiting under uncertainty.
Every day, millions of transit users experience this feeling as they wait for their buses to arrive. All too often, this indignity is punctuated by the sight of multiple buses arriving together.
Bus bunching is not the fault of drivers or transit agencies. Keeping buses running on time is inherently difficult. If a bus falls behind schedule, it has to collect more passengers, which slows boarding, causing the bus to fall even further behind. This vicious cycle results in bunching. Bus bunching increases passenger wait times, slows buses, and reduces reliability. It hurts passengers and agencies alike.
The first step is admitting that your transit agency has a problem.
The second step is accepting that it's not your fault.
The third step is Tempo, an automated transit synchronization system from VIA Analytics.
Tempo provides simple, intuitive guidance to keep vehicles evenly spaced and running at high speeds. Tempo runs on tablets or cell-phones networked together so that each device has full information of the positions of all other buses on the route.
When Tempo detects a vehicle arrival at a stop, it begins a countdown timer if the vehicle is too close to the one ahead of it. The countdown timer is activated only when needed and set for just a few seconds.
Between stops, a simple color-coded bar indicates how far ahead or behind the vehicle is with respect to the schedule and other vehicles on the route. Red means drive more slowly, if possible. Green means drive normally.
Tempo's simple interface disguises the world's most sophisticated transit synchronization algorithm.
The underlying strategy of the Tempo algorithm applies to schedule adherence the aphorism that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound a cure.
The algorithms at the core of Tempo have been proven to provide an optimal balance of system speed, spacing between vehicles, and (if desired) adherence to schedule.
Tempo is based on research developed at U.C. Berkeley, and has been vetted by prestigious peer-reviewed transportation engineering journals.
With Tempo, you have unmatched flexibility in how you run your transit service:
A vehicle unexpectedly going out of service has the potential to set off a nasty feedback loop and destabilize the entire route with overcrowding and bunching.
Tempo automatically adjusts to the service disruption, allowing neighboring vehicles to pick up the slack collaboratively.
In addition to coordinating vehicles within lines, Tempo can coordinate between lines. For example, if a rail line is the primary feeder to a bus line, Tempo can provide near zero transfer delay by ensuring that there is always an empty bus waiting for transferring rail passengers with minimal disruption to the rest of the bus service thanks to automatic coordination from Tempo.
Driving a bus is hard work. Providing drivers with consistent break times is essential to keep them fresh, happy, alert, and safe.
Without Tempo, longer than expected run times unfairly eat away at driver break times. Tempo can be set to provide drivers with regular break times because disruptions are absorbed en route instead of "stolen" from break times.
Tempo also coordinates driver shift changes to minimize the amount of time drivers spend waiting to begin or end their shifts.
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￼￼￼￼...We'll bring the world's best synchronization software and customer support.
Mass manufactured consumer hardware of today offers much greater functionality than custom vehicle location hardware at a fraction of the cost. Tempo runs on any Android device, giving you the flexibility of selecting from a dazzling array of inexpensive hardware solutions.
Because Tempo runs on compact devices that bundle tracking, communication, and display, installation is simple and fast on any vehicle.
VIA makes it easy for transit providers to take full control of their hardware. The Diagnostiq device management control panel is included with Tempo allowing your personnel to instantly spot and respond to any hardware issues such as device connectivity, power status, battery level, and GPS functions.
Tempo has been demonstrated effective in practice even for complex, multiple line networks. See for yourself how Tempo was deployed to tame a challenging bus system in this case study.
Use our transparent, interactive online ROI calculator to quantify the return on investment you can expect with Tempo.
A pilot project will allow you to test-drive Tempo. This is fast and easy. First you install devices on the pilot route’s buses in an unobtrusive location with a blank screen. We then passively monitor the route for about a month, and give you an interim status report. While this is going on, we work with you to educate drivers on the use of Tempo. After this phase is completed the devices are activated for the drivers to use for about a month. A final evaluation report is then given to you. The data and the analysis in this report are fully transparent so that when the pilot concludes you’ll have a clear and reliable idea of how Tempo would improve your system.
Download an example of a more detailed work plan here. Contact VIA to implement a pilot project. Don't delay.
A pamphlet summarizing Tempo is available here.
The core of the Tempo algorithm was developed by the founders of VIA Analytics, and has been vetted by prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals.
figure from Xuan, Argote, and Daganzo  showing optimality of control over space parameterized by network size and demand.
Although Tempo software is substantially more advanced than the algorithms on which it is based, the following references provide a flavor for the control theory on which Tempo is based. Publications include:
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