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Mobility Measure

Public transport control and guidance system

The new system installed in Graz provided real-time information for passengers as well as synchronised timetables and centralised fleet control operations.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The aim of the new system was to ensure the efficient organisation of public transportation, allowing buses from all participating companies (including small ones) to profit from the service. Via rerouting management, tram stops can be served by buses in the event of tram accidents or line obstructions. Additional buses can also be put into operation rapidly to avoid overcrowding, or in the even to breakdowns. The data collected through the system can also be used to improve timetables and optimise vehicle usage.

The ultimate goals were:

  • the efficient management of public transport operations in Graz through better management tools;
  • the optimisation of traffic flow leading to reductions in emissions, energy use and noise;
  • the integration of city and regional buses;
  • the promotion of public transport use by making it more attractive; and
  • a modal shift towards public transportation.

How did the measure progress?

  • 270 trams and buses were equipped with on-board computers that allow for vehicle location tracking. Information about the actual position of the vehicle is sent every 10 seconds to the operational control centre, giving controllers a real-time overview of the network. 
  • The operational control centre was modernised.
  • A second, parallel radio system was installed to extend the coverage of the transport management system.
  • 104 real-time information panels were set up for passengers at public transport stops. These show arrival times, information about delays (construction work, accidents, congestion) and substitute/temporary additional services.
  • On-board passenger information is provided in both written and spoken form, improving services for those with hearing or visual impairments.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The system allows the public transport operator to have effective real-time control of the whole fleet. The technology used makes it possible to introduce numerous innovations, including the prioritisation of public transport at traffic lights, the avoidance of delays, better fleet coordination, and the provision of real-time information for passengers.

Difficulties were encountered during the installation of this very complex system. Experience showed that it is better first to install the (invisible) control system, and then, only when this is operative, to start installing the visible signage. Inaccurate or non-operative displays can be hugely damaging to the image of public transport.