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Malmö residents choose the bus and gets access to timetables on their mobiles

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Friday, September 26, 2008 - 10:10
Malmö , SMILE

With help from the SMILE Project Skånetrafiken provides its passengers with real-time information on their mobile telephones and digital displays. This and other investments have resulted in a significant increase in the number of bus travels.In Malmö, bus travels have been on the increase for some time now. However, at around 2 - 3 % per annum at the beginning of year 2000, the number of passengers has since 2005 soared to a steady 7 - 8 % per annum. This can be explained by the restructuring of the Malmö City bus lines in 2005 and improved access to timetable.

The Faculty of Engineering at Lund University has together with Skånetrafiken carried out an evaluation of the investments made into a real-time information service system that does not just tell the passenger when the bus is suppose to turn up but when it actually will. The real-time information, whether shown on digital displays or mobiles, has been positively received by the passengers and lead to an improvement in the quality of travels. The real-time information service offered to owners of mobile telephones is less perceptible than that on digital displays and hence, less established - although this is likely to change over time. Surveys have shown that every fifth passenger have used the real-time information mobile service provided by Skånetrafiken while as many as 30 % of the passengers would like to learn how to use it. Today, it is mainly the younger passengers that use this type of technology but as our society develops towards a digital future, the use of this service is likely to progress up through the age groups. This is an area of potential for continued development with over 90 % of the interviewed owning a mobile telephone.Mr Bo Nyström at Skånetrafiken works with the development of the real-time information services offered to passengers.“Our passengers like the real-time information found at the bus stops and on their mobiles. Waiting for the bus is not so bad when you know exactly when it will turn up”, says Bo.The digital real-time displays found at the bus stops are also a welcome addition for many passengers. Around one third of the interviewed felt that the real-time information displays have increased the quality of their travels and replaced standard timetables. The passengers also felt that the real-time information displays would justify a 4 % increase in the price of a monthly bus ticket compared with no real-time information displays at all. 25 % of the passengers were of the opinion that the displays have boosted the number of times they travel. However, a small percentage of the interviewed took a more critical view of the displays saying that they can sometimes be difficult to understand and do not always show the correct times.“We have had a few technical problems with the displays and minor errors sneaking into the timetables”, explains Bo.Stina Johansson from the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University and responsible for the evaluation comments the result as follows: “Being able to see when the bus is coming undoubtedly improves the quality of travelling in Malmö - this is clearly evident from our evaluation.”PHOTO: Anders Ekström

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