“The Barco Control Room suite that is used at Calgary Transit Operations has provided us the flexibility to access various sources and simultaneously carry out specific tasks for day to day operations. This has increased productivity, efficiency, emergency response and most importantly allow us to deliver a high standard of service to our patrons.” - Adam Yee, Telecommunications Technologist, Calgary Transit Infrastructure
Nestled in the sunny eastern foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, the cosmopolitan city of Calgary, in Alberta, enjoys a skyline infused with numerous skyscrapers and a bustling culture steeped in its storied western origins. With a booming economy thanks to varied industries, Calgary has had the distinction of the ‘most livable city’ in North America for the last 2 years. And helping it achieve that distinction is its robust public infrastructure, including its 111 years old transit network – Calgary Transit.
An efficient network of buses and light rail, Calgary Transit transports more than 105M passengers each year, helping its residents, visitors and the community achieve their health, mobility and lifestyle goals. Offering 169 bus routes, 46 train stations, more than 118 km of train tracks, and 1,224 active vehicles, Calgary Transit operates a complex network of critical infrastructure. As part of their 30-year plan for route expansion, Calgary Transit needed a larger, more robust Operation Control Centre (OCC), to accommodate the anticipated growth, alleviate space constraints and realize the long-term expansion plan with a new mission-critical, highly resilient, and state-of-the-art OCC facility.
The new OCC was designed from scratch, with completely reconfigured and updated technology. Through a public tender, Applied Electronics Limited was tasked to find the best critical decision-making technology for fulfilling the City of Calgary’s needs, who in turn chose Barco for their superior product quality, breadth of offering and inimitable service and support.
“Calgary Transit had identified some unique workflow requirements related to desktop application source management in their RFP that OpSpace was perfectly suited to. This, in addition to our previous experience, made Barco the logical partner to deliver a successful solution to the customer.” - Kevin Stewart, Account Manager and Technology Sales, Applied Electronics Limited
Three large video monitoring walls were built to increase situational awareness and efficient management of the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) train system, the bus and ground transport services, and the extensive CCTV security system. The OCC’s main video display wall consisted of a curved 9x2 array of eighteen, front access, 70-inch, Barco ODLF-721 RGB laser-lit rear-projection cubes. The Barco RGB laser ODL-721 video wall uses laser technology to provide a superior quality color display that’s two times brighter than mainstream LED-lit video walls and the application is the first RGB laser cube installation in Canada. Flanking the main video wall are a curved 10x2 video wall and another 2x2 video wall of 55-inch Barco OverView KVD-5521 near-seamless LCD panels. And to manage all OCC content, the system is driven by a Barco TransForm N media management platform with CMS software facilitating layout changes and visual collaboration.
Barco’s OpSpace solution, implemented to manage all legacy desktop sources, allows the 20 operator positions in the OCC full control of the 85 video monitors and access to more than 200 subsystem applications on the network, with just one keyboard and mouse per console. Along with Barco’s workflow software – CMS, facilitating layout changes and visual collaboration - OpSpace allows for an ergonomic, attractive and efficient operator station, with all bulky workstations and PCs are remotely located in the server room.
The new system enabled Calgary Transit to reduce work-station clutter, add uniformity and visual quality, provide flexibility at workstations and simplify future expansion plans with the help of a control room that could scale as needs evolve. Barco solutions enabled them to realize this goal and operate at full potential.
While the solution was satisfactory and complete, Calgary Transit, like the true forward-looking pioneer they are, decided to make their OCC and critical decision-making further fool-proof through creation of back-up operation centers. In early 2020, They built out 3 separate mini control rooms focusing on corporate security, remote tech maintenance and an off-location back-up control center. These new centers were outfitted with Barco solutions including OPS-110 thin clients.
The new centers couldn’t have come at a more appropriate timing as the world, including Canada, was engulfed by the CoVid-19 pandemic. With the main OCC and back-up centers playing tag-team as and when required, the multi-center control rooms have been able to keep the system running efficiently. As isolation, quarantine, remote work and sanitization became the key elements in the fight against coronavirus, Calgary Transit has been able to maintain efficient operations of its key infrastructure facilities under extreme and unusual circumstances. In true Confucian style, they were able to plan well ahead to avoid trouble at their doorstep.
Calgary Transit provides transportation to more than 250,000 customers a day. The Operation Control Centre and its support system is the hub of critical operations for this well-oiled machine, and Barco is proud to be part of the solution that helps get everyone get to where they need to be.
Barco provides total enterprise solution with complete AV over IP platform that brings high levels of security, integration and interoperability to the control room. This allows for data to shared, real time, throughout the facility and with field remote environments enhancing collaboration, co-ordination and response times. Barco OpSpace provides for excellent workflow overview through operational configurability and unified experience while Transform-N and CMS solutions provide for a centralized media management platform. Finally, Barco’s video walls and Image Processing bring data to life in a clear, effective and smart fashion for enhanced situational awareness.
About Applied Electronics:
Applied Electronics is Canada’s leading provider of integrated media solutions and professional audio visual, broadcast and media storage technology. Providing specialized services including technical consultation, sales, system design, supply, integration, programming, and after-sale support, Applied Electronics has the resources and expertise to support projects of any scale. Founded in 1958, Applied Electronics maintains strong relationships with industry-leading technology manufacturers and has extensive experience to deliver innovative solutions to improve workflows, communication and collaboration for companies with media integration requirements. Applied Electronics is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario with regional operations in Ottawa, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. For more information, visit https://www.appliedelectronics.com/.