the definitive guide to passenger information systems

the definitive guide to passenger information systems
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO
PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
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THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Passenger information systems come in many different forms. They are
comprised of direct methods of communication, such as websites and text
messages to pass on real-time information about bus locations and status
The Overall Benefits
updates. They can also include social media interaction. Your agency now has
1. Reduction in perceived wait times
a great deal of power to provide riders real-time bus information wherever and
2. Increase in dispatch efficiency
whenever they are, via:
3. Amplified perception of service
• Web (Online; Internet)
• Smartphones, Tablets and Phablets
• SMS/Text Messages
• Calling in
The overall goal is to improve service to riders by increasing communication of
desired transit information. Synchronized data between CAD/AVL in the bus
and fixed route software in the office provides a reliable source of information
that is then automatically passed on to riders.
improvements
4. Fewer “where’s my bus” calls for call centers
to deal with
5. Increase in ridership
6. Fewer rider complaints and calls
7. 3rd party applications can be developed for
free
8. Real-time updates (via social media) can
respond to questions about service issues
9. Gives riders the power in their hand to
manage their travel times
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©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
2
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
1. Real-time Bus Information
–Via Different Channels
Your Passenger Information Systems can
nature of the Web App ensures that it will
have a penchant for crashing. A Web App
be accessed from many channels: Internet-
have an attractive look on any device and
can easily accommodate upgrades to add
connected devices, home computers,
provide the same great set of built-in trip
new features and are far more stable than
and over the phone. Because all the
planning features.
a standalone app. Users can then instantly
information is fully integrated with back
office software and updated automatically,
your riders have “anywhere access” and
an enormous amount of control over their
transit experience. Your Web App displays
real-time schedule information as well as trip
planning tools and can be accessed from
any Internet-connected device.
Responsive Design Web App
1. All the benefits of your website, only
mobile. Riders expect to be able to access
your transit information on their mobile
devices as well as their home computers.
They also expect these sites to be userfriendly. A mobile-optimized Web App
provides the familiar feel of other popular
mobile applications. The responsive design
2. No designers, no developers need
apply. Riders get an incredible mobile
experience with the look and feel of an
expensive application: but without the
need to hire application designers and a
development team. Your Web App is fully
branded to your agency’s color scheme
and complete with your logo. Eliminate the
need to maintain both a web site plus a
standalone app separately. Once set up,
new schedule information is automatically
updated, without the need for IT
get those new features without having to
upgrade anything on their devices or fear of
system down-time.
SMS Text Messaging
1. Provide accurate departure times. Not
every rider has access to a web-enabled
device, or else they simply prefer to receive
information via text message. By simply
texting a unique ID number, located on every
bus stop, riders can receive information
on their phones. CAD/AVL data provides
intervention.
completely dependable information.
3. Faster upgrades and fewer crashes. If
2. Next bus and next three buses. A lot
you were to design, develop and maintain
your own standalone app, upgrades can
cause system-wide outages. They also
of information can be contained in a simple
text message. Riders can plan up to an hour
ahead of schedule, simply by knowing when
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©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
3
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
the next few buses are scheduled to pass
can be answered with a single social media
global and local news, weather forecasts, or
through a particular stop.
post, you will most definitely see a decline in
updates from the sports and entertainment
complaints and calls. This can then provide
world.
3. Sms messages are free to receive. Your
riders can rest assured that text messages
are a far more economical way to transmit
and receive information. Texting prevents
the need to use up valuable mobile data
time that is associated with vising a website.
Fixed Route IVR
1. Reach riders by phone. Riders can
also call in and receive next-bus departure
information with our Fixed Route IVR feature.
By dialing the number provided on the bus
stop, real-time departure information can be
relayed over the phone using an automated
service.
2. Call center relief. We all know how
many calls asking “where’s my bus” can
overwhelm a call center. Considering that
the vast majority of incoming questions
more time for your operators to deal with
calls regarding more pressing matters.
Wayside and Transfer Station
Signage
1. Provide accurate bus arrival times. Take
your passenger information systems to the
next level by providing LED wayside and
transfer station signage. All the displayed
information comes directly from your back
office software and is updated in real-time.
Provide relief to riders who might otherwise
call in to enquire about arrival times or who
3. Real-time updates about service. Riders
feel a better sense of security and continuity
when they can find out what’s happening.
Should an issue occur, you can provide
updates and details about what’s causing a
potential delay. Inform riders if a particular
route is on detour due to a street incident
so they can make more informed decisions
about their trips.
4. No device? No problem. Messages and
updates can easily reach riders waiting at
stops or stations. Information gets relayed
simply suffer the stress of waiting at a stop.
even faster than if riders were to access
2. Go beyond with extra information. On
investment in rider satisfaction translates
top of displaying relevant information about
arrival and departure times for your vehicles,
you can display an enormous array of extra
updates on their mobile devices. Your
into better engagement, which improves the
overall transportation experience.
elements. Consider the value of providing
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©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
4
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
2. The Ultimate Trip Planning Tool
Provide your riders the tools to plan trips from
to finish – even for complex interline systems.
start to finish. When they open your Web App
on any device, a location-based home screen
allows riders to simply enter a destination and
the app can determine the closest bus stop
to their location. Riders are given options that
take into account not only bus travel times,
but also the time to walk to and from stops.
Because your CAD/AVL system collects data
in real-time, information about service delays,
detours and more can be relayed to riders
quickly.
Easy-to Understand Map View
Unlike the days when bus schedules were
posted as a series stops, bus IDs, days and
times, riders can view routes on a map. At
a glance, they can tell where their bus will
stop, turn and connect with possible transfer
buses and can enable street view to be able
to check out the surroundings of where they
will be getting on and off the bus. This makes
Estimated Departure Times are
Displayed
By simply clicking on a designated stop,
riders can see the scheduled departure times
of each bus on that route. With immediate
knowledge, riders can see bus frequency
and make immediate decisions on when it’s
desirable (and in some cases, safe) to venture
to a stop.
Google Trip Planner Integration
You can easily export your schedule to
Google Trip Planner so riders can better tailor
and manage their transportation experience.
Wherever they are, riders can see your
routes and schedule in relation to where they
are. They can also view all other forms of
transportation options. All without the need
to navigate away from your website.
it incredibly easy to visualize a trip from start
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©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
5
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
3. Instant and Integrated
Schedule Information
The Set it and Forget it Effect
Once your Web App is set up and skinned to the logo and branding of
your agency, there is little else for your IT department to handle. When
a schedule is changed, it simply gets automatically updated in real-time.
Riders can then view this information from wherever they are.
Tied to Back Office Software
Your Web App and other passenger information systems such as transfer
stations signs are tied to the back office scheduling software. The means
when a scheduling change occurs or a new schedule is pushed out, it
updates everywhere. You don’t have to upload anything to your site. It
simply receives a flat file and it then updates automatically.
Developed With IT in Mind
Automated passenger information systems are ideal for sites that don’t
have a dedicated IT staff. Static sites containing static schedules require
constant maintenance in order to edit them so they are kept up to date.
With no IT intervention, you can still broadcast real-time schedules.
www.tripspark.com
©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
6
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
4. Open Data Sharing for Third-party
Developers
Increase Community and Rider Engagement
More Data for Operational Reviews
By sharing your transit data, you are encouraging your community of
In the same way that social media posts can inform you about the
riders and developers to work towards improving your service. Better
success or issues with your service, you can collect data from third-
investment in your services can translate into an increase in ridership
party development initiatives. As they build their products, your
and an increase in appreciation for your vital transit service.
agency can benefit from the insight derived from their research.
Discover if a route is inefficient, or if an increase in service is needed
Developers Can Create Products for Free
When you open your transit data, something great could happen.
in a certain area of your operation.
in order to help you to provide better service to your riders. And
Benefit From the Creativity and Initiative of the
Community
because they only use your data and their own resources, the
Without having to devote funding to a technological initiative, you
product will likely cost you nothing.
can reap the rewards of the work done by others. Some agencies are
Third-party developers may be enticed to build useful mobile apps
discovering that the creative use of their transit data is creating buzz
and excitement with riders, who in turn consider public transit as an
exciting transportation choice.
www.tripspark.com
©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
7
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
5. Social Media: the Free
Source of Data
Develop a Two-way Conversation
In the past, a transit agency was limited in its ability to both send and gather information
about their service. If a problem on a route were to occur, a call center would get inundated
with complaints and queries. Social Media is an extremely cost-effective way to “listen” and
“speak” directly with your ridership.
Immediate Insight Into Service Interruptions or Problems
You can tell in seconds if there’s a problem with your schedule. How? Because riders have
the ability to send out immediate social media updates to your various channels, you have
a direct line to rider concerns and possible problems. By sending out mass information, your
entire social network can hear exactly what you wish to tell them.
Use This Data for Operational Reviews
Having to spend hours on the street with a pen and paper polling rider opinion, social media
can be used to gather useful data quickly. By assembling comments from social media, you
can hear directly from riders. Learn quickly if a new initiative or schedule change is producing
desired results, or if further research and changes are needed.
www.tripspark.com
©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
8
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Conclusion:
Why Integration Matters
When approaching vendors of fixed route software solutions, it’s
important to ask how their passenger information systems integrate with
back office software. The key to providing real-time trip planning tools
for riders is being able to draw from real-time information with speed
and accuracy. Data gathered on the bus and in the office serves as the
foundation for effective passenger information systems.
Some vendors may claim that they can easily provide riders with access
to real-time information via web/online/internet; smartphone; SMS/text/
phone calls. However, a standalone app that isn’t connected to your
scheduling software, is not going to provide the service it could. Full
system integration means that everything talks with everything else:
all the parts are in synch.
There are many things to consider before
approaching a vendor. But as current conditions
Integration also reduces down time due to technical issues when dealing
and future trends indicate, every agency is going to
with upgrades, updates and any type of IT maintenance. When new
need to consider how they can better communicate
features are added in the future, you need a system that can easily be
with their riders. And every rider is going to expect
adapted. With a standalone app, riders will continually need to download
better communication from their transit agencies.
new versions with each upgrade to their mobile device’s operating
You can start the conversation today.
system. This won’t be an issue for an integrated Web App.
www.tripspark.com
©2015 TripSpark Technologies, its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.
Any trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
9
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