Back to Top

Mobility Measure

Providing real-time information using SMS and electronic information panels

An effective way of improving the quality of public transportation services and attract new customers is to provide passengers with reliable and updated information in real time.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Prior to the CIVITAS measure, the only information available to public transport passengers was in the form of printed timetables. In 2004, the entire bus fleet was equipped with a global positioning system, which indicates to the operator the exact position of buses in real time. This information, which was previously used only for operational management purposes, can bring added value to passengers, who are able to access dynamic information via Internet or mobile phone.

How did the measure progress?

In September 2005, an electronic information panel was installed at the central bus station, providing complete, real-time information on services, including waiting times before the arrival of the next bus.

In 2005 and 2006, 36 priority bus stops were identified in partnership with committees of districts, political decision makers and engineers. Electronic information panels were installed at these stops.

In July 2008, the sms information service was launched. Users are provided with the exact arrival time of the next two buses at a specific bus stop by sending an sms containing the dedicated bus stop number.  The service is available for the entire network. In addition, a free service providing information on disruptions and delays was made available via sms or email. The service is directly accessible on the bus operator’s website.

In summer 2008, the new services were promoted via stickers at each bus stop, along with posters and flyers describing how to use them.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The measure resulted in improved satisfaction among passengers as a result of more reliable information.

According to a survey in 2008, some 90 percent of users considered that the provision of real-time information enhanced the bus service.

A total of 1,200 text messages on bus waiting times were sent between July and December 2008. Six months after the launch of the sms service in July 2008, more than one in three passengers was aware of the service.