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Real-time information for bus passengers

Donostia - San Sebastián

Reliable real-time travel information was the goal of this measure. This is an integral element of the high quality public transport corridors that were implemented in Donostia-San Sebastian and is a deciding factor in increasing passenger numbers. The city made this information available to all citizens, even the visually impaired, through a range of technologies.

On board information
Implementing sustainable mobility

This measure aimed to offer the citizen a more attractive public transport system by introducing useful travel information in real time. The main objectives of the measure were to:

  • Increase the reliability and availability of travel information
  • Make this information accessible to the visually impaired.
  • Increase the number of public transport passengers.

Real time information is provided in buses, at bus stops through electronic boards, via SMS messages and online. A new website containing public transport information was developed, using accessibility technology so that the information can be understood by the visually impaired. This measure was closely linked to the introduction of a new bus management system, within which important new data sources were implemented, such as a new passenger counting system and the use of WIFI technology for determining the location of vehicles.

How did the measure progress?

The new travel information system was implemented, providing real time information such as arriving bus line, waiting times, connections, eventual incidents in the service, through the following means:

  • Real time information system on-board of the buses announcing next stop and connections
  • Provision of bus arrival times by SMS messages.
  • Provision of bus arrival times via Bluetooth.
  • Electronic information panels at bus stops providing information on arriving busses, waiting times and eventual disruptions or re-directions of the services.
  • Renewed web site including real time information at bus stop level and a route planner.

 

The on-board and web information systems were adapted to visually impaired people.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The traveller information system was very successful, with more than 3,500 daily requests for real time information via SMS or the website during the project life. The provided information was highly reliable, with 98.1 percent of all the information requests assessed by the users as correctly answered. In addition, 60,000 users had access to real time information at the bus stops through electronic boards.

Surveys revealed that information issues were perceived as very important by the users, with an average score of 8.47 out of 10. User demand for quality information services was therefore very high. Complementing this figure, a users satisfaction survey revealed a very high acceptance level (average of 7.41) regarding information provision in CTSS’ service. This figure was almost identical to the one achieved in the reference year (2006). The fact that high satisfaction levels are maintained is a very remarkable result, bearing in mind that users’ expectations were also very high, as revealed in the public perception survey.

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