The new PT communication system comprises of driver communication unit and operator workstation and is based on the 3G mobile communication standard. The system enables better information sharing possibilities, quicker communication and eliminates the bus drivers’ need for communicating with mobile phone whilst driving. Communication is especially important for solving quickly any upcoming problems and thus improving the PT service.The system has possibilities for verbal communication, text messages and sharing of exact bus location based on GPS location.
The main objectives of the measure were to:
- Improve information on traffic conditions;
- Allow the traffic management unit to promptly react to unexpected congestion and help to better plan interventions;
- Contribute to solving operational problems, reduce risks of service interruptions, and improve traffic flow; and
- Provide public transport statistics.
The driver communication unit comprises of an onboard computer Thoreb C74, (display with navigation buttons) and a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) module C50. The display is continuously showing a city map with bus line navigation guide and monitors the buses position’s accordance to the timetable.
The operator workstation comprises of a computer workstation with special communication software allowing contacting bus drivers separately or as groups verbally or with text messages. A technical readiness for 10 operator stations was created in the TBC headquarters in the scope of the measure.
The text messages can be chosen from existing templates or created according to needs. Communication is possible between driver and operator, between driver groups and operator, between drivers and driver groups. The pre-existing message templates are for breakdown, fire, emergency and SOS situations. Sending of this kind of message together with actual location to the operator is very quick compared to usage of mobile phone or verbal communication where explaining of a location alone takes time and can create mistakes or confusions. Communication between all on-board units and operating workstations is based on a 3G mobile communication standard. The system became fully operational in June 2012 after 6 months testing and troubleshooting of connection problems.