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"Connected Bus - A Digital Transformation Journey" To Be Presented by Ahsan Baig

Friday, September 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: MISAC
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Alameda County (AC) Transit is the East Bay's largest transit provider and the third-largest public bus system in California.  The AC Transit service area includes portions Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, serving 13 cities and unincorporated areas from San Pablo all the way down to South Fremont.  The Transit also provides commuter service across the Bay to San Francisco and operates 148 bus lines throughout a 364-square mile service area serving 1.5 million people.  To emphasize the daily impact AC Transit has on the communities, they serve more than 170,000 rides each weekday (on average).  AC Transit plays a critical role in the Bay Area's transportation network, connecting with 16 other public and private bus systems, 25 BART stations, six Amtrak stations and three ferry terminals.


During this session, Ahsan Baig, CIO/CTO, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit, will talk about how the Transit has become a "smart community."  In his session proposal, Baig wrote, "As the computer industry is moving towards the Internet Protocol based connectivity, the IP protocols and a cost-effective solution.  AC Transit made the decision to purchase an 'off the shelf' CAD/AVL replacement, while at the same time, based on extensive market research and assessment of technology maturity, they concluded that Voice-over-IP (VoIP) communications for vehicles were becoming more stable and reliable and were overwhelming inexpensive compared to traditional analog radio communication solution.  AC Transit did a great deal of technical research, reviewed white papers, consulted other transit properties that were using the VoIP technology.  It was critical for AC Transit to have reliable voice communications with our Operators, including some of the very stringent voice communication functions and features related to group calling and emergency alerting for our Operators safety.  The newly deployed state-of-the-art CAD/AVL (Computer-Aided Dispatch/Automated Vehicle Location) provides real-time voice, video and high-speed connectivity utilizing the 4G cellular infrastructure to more than 650 buses and vehicles in the District.  This new system replaces the 20 years-old technology and lays out the digital foundation to provide real-time communications between the Operators and Operations Control Center staff.  The high-speed edge computing and broadband 4G connectivity inside the bus, enables the Operators to access disparate on-board systems, use turn-by-turn directions, and schedule adherence indication system." 

In his position, Baig provides strategic direction, policy guidance, and the technology services necessary to meet AC Transit's mobility objectives, overseeing and coordinating all IT investments, including innovation, digital transformation road map, infrastructure modernization, development of zero-emission buses energy management software platform, and implementation of a cybersecurity framework.  He has over 27 years of private and public sector Information Technology experience, leading and managing high-performing team in critical high-visibility projects.  Baig has extensive experience in designing, deploying and maintaining several intelligent transportation and smart transit related projects, both nationally and internationally.  Most recently, with the City of Oakland, he spent 15 years in executive leadership roles, overseeing entire technology life-cycle.  He as responsible for IT infrastructure, 911 public safety systems, mission-critical radio systems, Project Management Office (PMO), and various strategic initiatives; NextGen 911, Video Analytics, AI, Cloud Computing, IoT, ITS Master Plan, and Smart City.  Prior to joining the public sector, Baig worked at several companies including MetaTV, Inc., Worldgate Communications, Inc., KPMG, MPMG, MFS WorldCom, and Raytheon in technology leadership capacities.

He earned a bachelor's degree in Physics and master's degree in Electronics from the University of Karachi, Pakistan; and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the City College, City University of New York (CUNY).

Mr. Baig is a Chairperson of the California Transit Association IT Committee.  He is an active member of IEEE, APTA, and CTA.  He is public speaker and has published research and technical papers in various journals and magazines.

This Smart Communities Track session is part of the 2019 MISAC Annual Conference.  The session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st from 2:50 PM - 3:45 PM at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California.  

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