Travel Assistance – individualised notification system
This measure involves the development of a travel assistant system including alternative public transport routing based on real-time information, current public transport event information such as traffic deviations, construction sites, public events. Customers will receive individualised pre-trip and on-trip travel information. The travel assistant also enables the customer to upload user-generated information such as incident notifications.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Given the rising demand for complex information, customer requirements are continuously increasing. At the same time, technology is progressing, and many new opportunities are emerging to generate dynamic and customized information in order to meet the needs of individual customers.
The main objectives of this measure were:
- Increasing the attractiveness of public transportation through improved passenger information in case of deviations from the given schedule
- Reduction of CO2 emissions by means of a greater incentive to switch to public transport through improved passenger information.
- Integration of real-time data into the public transport routing system and event data information, aiming to provide more reliable timetable information.
- Extending information systems to individualized information channels.
- Investigation and testing of social media/Mobility 2.0 elements within the field of passenger information
The travel assistance system operates with current schedule information taking into account real-time data and event data. In this context, the implementation of this innovative measure was scientifically monitored to determine the information requirements of passengers with regard to real-time data and event data (what, when, where and how).
Before the DYN@MO project, the customer only received scheduled departure and arrival times provided by the timetable information system. Traffic disruptions or route diversions (e.g. due to construction sites) are not yet considered. In 2011/2012, real-time data and events were integrated as footnotes into the timetable. The key innovative elements of this measure are:
- Providing – during the planning stage or during the trip – up-to-date real-time information including information on the current traffic situation (e.g. incidents due to construction)
- Reviewing whether the integration of user-generated content fits customers’ requirements and, if so, what kind of associated content can be implemented into the information systems.
- Making individualised data available to customers, i.e. the customer will only be provided with up-to-date information he has requested in advance.
Previous activities for improving the quality of passenger information systems focused on user-friendliness, new technological capabilities and higher performance-levels, such as system reliability. In general, mobile applications and barrier-free elements are being used.
The electronic passenger information (NRW data pool with an interface to Germany-wide information, and data from partners in the Netherlands and Belgium) are now used by all affiliated companies and will be incorporated into the partners’ websites. In addition, this forms the basis for a ‘Euregio’ mobility platform with cross-border fare and schedule information in four languages. In addition, the integration of real-time data and optimised integration of event data is completed. Within the DYN@MO framework an advanced information system was developed that optimizes individualized customer information, the use of mobility 2.0/web 2.0 elements and real-time routing data.
Planning & preparation
Based on a comprehensive literature review, the prospects and limitations of user-generated content as well as customer needs and requirements concerning timetable information have been identified, including the following fields:
- Identification of the customers’ information needs,
- Definition of the relevant event data,
- Definition and development of specific filters for particular lines and/or routes,
- Conversion of information from the transport authority’s control centre into feasible event data.
Implementation & demonstration
- Integration of real-time data into the routing system
- Launch of the AVV-specific public transport trip planer mobile application ‘AVV connect’.
- Development of an appropriate display format for the event data taking into account filter functions for specific lines and/or routes.
- Definition and planning of a platform for event data and its integration into the information system.
- Development of an appropriate user-generated content platform for customers.
- Scientific evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- The literature review of user-generated content and customer requirements revealed significant interest in new and innovative information systems, as user-generated content can provide additional useful information and support.
- Easy access and presentation of real-time timetable information, e.g. by displaying real-time data at bus stops at highly frequented locations (bus stops, workplaces, public buildings, etc.).
- The newly developed multimodal routing system provides for public transport event data, real-time data and alternative routing based on real-time data.
- Development of an electronic platform for user-generated content of customers.
- 100 test users tested the multimodal routing system and the user-generated content platform during a three months pilot period from April to July 2016.
Expected outcomes in the short- to medium-term:
- Significantly higher levels of customer satisfaction in the event of disruptions.
- Enhanced customer service and interaction by improving the dissemination of helpful information.
Expected outcomes in the mid- to long-term:
- Reduction of CO2 emissions and other pollutants.
- Increased use of public transport and, therefore, both decreasing individual car use and car-ownership rates.
- Increased acceptance and image of public transportation.
- More flexible mobility for citizens
- New opportunities to solve transport-related urban problems.