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On-board bus travel information

Aalborg

Aalborg aims to increase the use of public transport and is working towards making the service more attractive. One of the city’s measures is to display travel information on buses.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Aalborg aims to reduce barriers to public transport and enhance the quality of the service. The city tested and implemented therefore on-board travel information on buses. The service displays the destination and upcoming stops, as well as the weather forecast, news and advertisements.

The main objective of the measure is to:

  • Increase user satisfaction.
How did the measure progress?

The high level objective of the measure was to increase the number of public transport users. To reach this objective, the operator has provided users of public transport with Real Time Public Transport Information (RTPI) about current trip and transfer possibilities in order to reduce a barrier to use Public Transport (PT).

Nordjyllands Trafikselskab NT (the Public Transport Authority of North Denmark) has implemented the on-trip bus information. The 50 buses operating in the CIVITAS ARCHIMEDES corridor were equipped with flat screen monitors, giving the passengers real time information regarding the current trip including the forthcoming bus stops, which routes the passengers can transfer to at these stops and real time information regarding the routes that they may be connecting to. Prior to the implementation of this measure, NT carried out a pilot-project that consisted of installation of flat screens on a selected bus line. Besides the public transport information screens show news, weather information and advertisements. Based on the experiences and user feedback during the pilot, specifications for the on-bus information system were incorporated into the tender for public transport in Aalborg.

After the installations and tests were finished in the fall 2010, the system has been in operation and has only had minor problems. The on-bus information system is an information channel whose prime function is to deliver existing Real Time Information on next bus stops etc. to the passengers. The success or failure of the system is therefore dependent on the reliability of the underlying RTPI system and the quality of the information in the system.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The user surveys show that almost all passengers consider the screens and information as a service improvement and are satisfied with the way the information is presented. Almost two thirds of the passengers think it is allright that advertisements are shown in between the information. The advertisers have welcomed the opportunity and the results for these advertisers have predominantly been positive. For the advertisement agency the ads impressions are also positive but economically the bus screens have not yet had the expected turnover.

The measure was already upscaled from the 50 buses operating in the CIVITAS corridor to the 100 buses from Nordjyllands Trafikselskab. A further up-scaling in Aalborg is therefore not possible.

Nordjyllands Trafikselskab continues to promote the solution to the rest of the region and it is its ambition that most of the 300 buses throughout the region will have bus screens by the end of 2012.

The system will also be expanded with further information from local service providers such as Visit Aalborg, the Sportsarena etc. and with new types of (dynamic) information such as real-time information on train and flight connections to and from Aalborg being displayed on relevant bus lines. The demonstration system is expected to continue after the end of the ARCHIMEDES project.

Regarding the process a couple of recommendation can be given to other cities. First, a clear devision of responsibilities between the contractors, news providers, PT, etc. is necessary in order to get the cooperation to work. To give the passengers the best possible experice the bus driver has an essential role. An optimally solution requires that the bus driver detects errors in the bus and reports it. Second, an important prerequisite for a successful project is good and valid data. It is important to have a clear strategy for this work and with more and more systems who are interdependent, it is important that data is collected and maintained in one place.

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