Transit riders consistently fear about their journey. Whereas utilizing public transportation, passengers are below the management of the transit company. Delays, route adjustments, and complicated schedules are only a few of the issues transit riders have. “After Three minutes, a passenger ready for a bus that isn’t coming expects extra info and begins to think about alternate options to meet their journey.”(US Division of Transportation, 2004) After strolling or driving to a transit station that doesn’t have ample info, passengers have no idea if they’ve simply missed the final bus or when the following bus will arrive. This could make the wait time insufferable. When a transit automobile does arrive, vacationers must confirm that it serves the route they want to take, which might be one other place for nervousness. As soon as on board, passengers should decide when to alight, if any transfers are essential, and the very best strolling path to their last vacation spot. All of those elements could make taking transit a irritating expertise, particularly for the uninitiated.

Transit info issues are magnified for people with disabilities. “What could also be a surmountable problem for the ready bodied consumer could grow to be an impossibility for one who’s handicapped.” (Arthur et al., 1992) Individuals with bodily or psychological disabilities rely closely on transit. Moreover relieving nervousness for brand new customers, transit info is important for disabled individuals.

Most of the stresses and worries transit riders expertise might be alleviated by means of info. Whereas the precise transit service doesn’t change – the route and schedule stay the identical – the addition of data eases clients’ worries, will increase their enjoyment and appreciation of transit, and may very well make the journey appear shorter. By rising the usefulness and pleasantness of transit, riders might be possible to make use of transit extra typically. Elevated info makes it simpler and extra fulfilling for brand new riders to barter transit and for skilled riders to journey on new routes. Data programs make transit user-friendlier and might get rid of a number of the obstacles to taking transit.

There are three areas the place it will appear that transit info is desired: pretrip, at transit stops, and in-vehicle. The kind of info essential at every location is completely different. Desk 1 summarizes the sorts of info programs, the needs that they fulfill and their usefulness. They’re mentioned in flip

Pretrip Transit Cease In-Automobile
Objective Route planning Nervousness aid Present location
Normal Operations Route information Switch info
Fare info Actual-time Arrival and Delay Data
Static Printed Schedules Schedules Route Map
Route Maps System Map
Switch information Station/Cease Identifier
Station/Cease Identifier
Location Maps
Dynamic Kiosks Kiosks Mobile/Wi-fi
Telephone Techniques Countdown Variable Message
Web sites Variable Message Board Board
CCTV Bulletins
Bulletins Dynamic Map
Attendants Driver
Most Helpful Web sites Variable Message Boards Variable Message Boards
CCTV Bulletins

Pretrip Data[edit]

Pretrip info might be obtained from printed schedules and maps, a transit company web site, or a phone info service. Pretrip info focuses on journey planning. It is a vital step for brand new riders and transit riders who usually are not aware of the route. If correct info can’t be simply obtained, it isn’t possible that new customers will enterprise onto transit, until that’s their solely alternative.

Static Pretrip Data[edit]

Cincinnati Bus Diagram 2011

Printed schedules don’t require the usage of any gear or know-how, however do require that the consumer get hold of one previous to the journey and perceive fundamental map studying and scheduling. Clearly, printed supplies don’t comprise any real-time info or route planning help. Until a consumer has schedules for all related routes, it’s doable that an optimum route exists which is unknown to the consumer. One other drawback of printed schedules is that they’ll simply grow to be outdated when route and schedule adjustments happen. Usually only some stops are listed and the maps connected are very small. Printed schedules typically don’t present what customers need: A fast rationalization about the way to get from level A to level B (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003).

Automated cellphone programs that don’t present any real-time info might be thought-about static in that they’re an aural presentation of a printed schedule. These programs can nonetheless be helpful for customers who lack a printed schedule, however they’ve the identical limitations as printed supplies.

Dynamic Pretrip Data[edit]

Telephones have been as soon as the dominant methodology of acquiring pretrip info from dwelling. The simplest cellphone transit info programs present private assist by means of stay help. The benefits to cellphone info programs are that telephones are ubiquitous. This permits cellphone info programs to be accessed from dwelling in addition to en-route utilizing a cellphone. Additionally, cellphone programs provide the potential to work together with a stay individual, which can be extra comforting than an online or printed interface. Custom-made route info might be obtained and all questions answered with one dialog. This direct inquiry methodology appeals to many individuals. In a research finished on the London ROUTES name middle, 4 p.c of the calls resulted in journeys that might in any other case not have used transit (Le Jeune, 1996). As well as, real-time info might be delivered over the cellphone. The disadvantages to cellphone info programs are excessive price, restricted hours, inefficient info retrieval, and restricted incapacity entry.

Transit company web sites and apps (hereafter known as web site, whether or not the browser is a traditional browser or a specialised app) provide the potential to succeed in a really giant viewers with up to date info for comparatively low price. Web sites provide many benefits to cellphone or printed info programs. The variety of individuals with web entry and the recognition of the web proceed to develop. Web sites can be found 24 hours a day, providing flexibility to customers who need info at any time. Web sites (and apps) are extra environment friendly at distributing info than cellphone programs. A pc interface is right for shortly retrieving, saving, and printing info on routes, insurance policies, and schedules. Telephone programs might be awkward, complicated, and time-consuming. Web sites additionally attraction to new customers who “simply wish to look” at transit. Whereas cellphone programs require {that a} consumer have a particular query or route, web sites have a self-serve method that encourages shopping thus making it extra possible {that a} customer will stumble throughout a route or service that they didn’t know existed. Lastly, web sites can attain a broad vary of individuals. Laptop interfaces present higher accessibility than cellphone programs to disabled individuals (Transportation Analysis Board, 2002). Guests and vacationers can lookup transit info from dwelling.

Web sites can provide customized journey planning. That is maybe the very best facet of internet-based info programs. Relatively than guessing which routes are essential after which downloading and cross-referencing timetables, customers can enter origin and vacation spot pairs and obtain routing directions together with transfers and strolling info. Transit web site journey planners can incorporate a number of modes and transit companies, including to their worth.

Lastly, web sites present the very best platform for distributing real-time transit info. Coupled with dynamic AVL-type programs that monitor automobiles, web site guests can see the place transit automobiles at the moment are and their estimated arrival time for any cease. The pc supplies a visible map with way more info readily accessible. Actual-time info obtainable on-line can successfully scale back passenger ready time, probably the most onerous a part of the journey, as a result of a person can time their departure to reach simply previous to the transit automobile.

One drawback to transit web sites is that web entry is just not obtainable to everybody, and at the same time as good cellphone availability rises, knowledge plans can stay costly. Selection riders usually tend to have web entry, and are additionally prone to be much less aware of the transit system thus making a transit journey planner extra helpful to them.

As a result of several types of riders get hold of info by means of completely different sources, it is very important keep a wide range of pretrip planning sources. Frequent riders usually don’t want detailed info; they’ll plan a visit with simply the schedule and route map. Youthful, extra educated and extra prosperous riders have a tendency to make use of web sites for pretrip info. Additionally, disabled individuals depend on web sites for transit info (Transportation Analysis Board, 2002). Robinson et al. (1979) discovered that females, older individuals, and fewer educated individuals tended to make use of a cellphone info system extra actually because they appreciated direct inquiry. Lastly, inexperienced riders must know the whole lot from fares, working insurance policies, route info and bus cease location (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). Given the benefits that web sites have for distributing info successfully and effectively, additional growth of on-line transit assets will present customers with glorious pretrip planning info.

Transit Cease Data Techniques[edit]

Transit stops are the place pedestrians interface with transit. Data is essential at these areas as a result of a lot of a transit rider’s nervousness happens at these stops whereas ready for a automobile to reach and figuring out which automobile to board. Data offered at transit stops focuses on route-specific info and reliving the nervousness of passengers. Data might be offered statically by means of posted maps, schedules, route numbers, and station identifiers or dynamically by means of countdowns, shows, dynamic maps, and verbal bulletins.

Static Transit Cease Data[edit]

Static info is an important a part of any transit cease, no matter dimension. It solutions the questions of “the place” and “how”. It could actually additionally present a guess as to “when” transit will happen. On the most elementary stage of static info, some sort of identifier must be current to indicate {that a} transit cease exists. Whereas a easy “Bus Cease” signal fulfills this requirement, it doesn’t present any help to customers neither is it conducive to encouraging new customers. The Transit Cooperative Analysis Program recommends at least that each transit cease ought to show the route numbers of all automobiles that use that cease, an inventory of areas served and normal working hours (Transportation Analysis Board, 1999). Ideally, a fundamental schedule exhibiting every time {that a} automobile will arrive, approximate transit instances to all stops, and a map of every route that serves that cease can be included as nicely. That is the fundamental info required for brand new riders to barter transit from that cease. The one drawback of offering static info is that it must be up to date every time a schedule or route change happens. This is usually a giant expense if every cease should have up to date info. Nevertheless, with good planning and standardized info for every cease alongside the route, this expense might be minimized.

With this static info, many questions that new riders have would stay unanswered. A system map with working hours, fare descriptions, and different insurance policies posted at every cease would permit customers to plan transfers, search various routes, and grow to be aware of the fundamental operational pointers of the system whereas ready for transit. Additionally, static info sources can not tackle the working problems with transit corresponding to delays, route detours, or different notifications.
On streets close to to transit stops, trailblazer indicators might be posted to tell and orient individuals. These indicators ought to embody the route of the transit station, the strolling distance from that time and which routes serve it. These indicators will assist present passengers find the bus cease and also will function commercials for transit to non-riders. Areas with excessive numbers of vacationers can profit drastically from trailblazer indicators.
One other set of static info that may be offered at transit stops is oriented to arriving passengers. A map of the world, exhibiting factors of curiosity, strolling routes, and different transit routes with switch info, can be a worthwhile useful resource to passengers alighting. This info wouldn’t should be up to date as steadily and the knowledge would serve all guests to the neighborhood, not simply transit passengers.

Dynamic Transit Cease Data[edit]

Shek Kip Mei Station PIDS and clock 2

Dynamic info programs at transit stops reply the all-important query of “when”. One of many largest disadvantages to utilizing transit is the uncertainty and nervousness that happens when ready for transit automobiles to reach. Research have proven that when transit clients are questioned in regards to the period of their wait time, they cited a time 50% greater then their precise wait time (Peng et al., 1999). This similar phenomenon happens when a switch is required. By offering real-time info at transit stops, the troubles of passengers might be minimized, drastically enhancing the pleasantness of the journey. One other profit is the decreased ready time. If a passenger arrives at a station and notices a very long time till arrival, they’ll spend their time productively at actions close to the transit route (Mishalani et al., 2000).

Actual-time info programs can have an effect on passenger habits. If a couple of route serves their vacation spot, passengers could make route alternative choices based mostly on the real-time arrival info offered, thereby decreasing their whole journey time. When notified upfront of a delay, passengers could make essential choices, and keep away from the irritating scenario of being late and uninformed. Passengers experiencing delay can swap to a different mode, take an alternate transit route, or a minimum of name forward to inform a ready occasion of the delay (Peng et al., 1999) On this method, real-time info programs could make transit extra environment friendly and fulfilling.

One sort of helpful dynamic system is a show that counts down till the arrival of the following automobile. This works nicely at stations served by one or two. Variable message indicators and video screens can be utilized at transit stations served by many routes. These message indicators can present arrival instances, and when delays happen they’ll counsel alternate routes. This simplifies route planning fairly a bit. Whereas a static schedule reveals a whole day value of exits that have to be sifted by means of so as to discover the knowledge desired, a variable message signal streamlines the method by exhibiting solely the following few departures and their present standing. That is the related info at that second for any transit rider. An announcer may broadcast this info by means of a terminal or transit cease. Bulletins assist the visually impaired; nonetheless, bulletins can not typically be heard attributable to background noise or inadequate audio system.

A research of riders in London after the countdown system was initiated confirmed {that a} majority of riders felt that ready time handed extra shortly, bus service was extra dependable, ready at night time was safer and that passengers’ normal emotions in the direction of bus journey improved. Of the individuals surveyed, 93% thought that the countdown system must be carried out at each bus cease in London (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). 100% of riders said that they use Tri-Met’s Transit Tracker all the time (82%) or generally (18%) they usually positioned important worth on the knowledge (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). The query is just not whether or not real-time info is helpful or valued by clients however the way to effectively implement it.

Kiosks at transit stops primarily present the identical providers as a transit company web site, however are made publicly obtainable at transit stops. Personalised route planning might be completed. Additionally, many kiosks can present real-time info on arrivals and delays.

Maybe probably the most dynamic of all info sources is stay human interplay. Station attendants are a superb method to offer info to clients. New transit riders particularly recognize the power to ask their questions in individual. As well as, attendants can function safety screens to assist keep passenger security in transit stations. The foremost disadvantages to attendants are the comparatively excessive labor prices they impose and the truth that they’ll solely serve one buyer at a time. Nevertheless, the expense could also be justified at busy stations or at stations with a number of new riders, corresponding to airports and passenger rail stations.

In-Automobile Data Techniques[edit]

The ultimate sort of data system is in-vehicle. Passengers must know the place to alight and what routes, if any, they’re required to switch to so as to full their journey. If passengers are touring by means of unfamiliar areas and stops usually are not clearly discernable, an incredible deal on nervousness might be generated. Passengers worry that they might have missed their cease. In-vehicle info programs might be labeled as static and dynamic.

Static In-Automobile Data[edit]

The best technique to distribute info in-vehicle is to distribute printed schedules and maps. These might be an identical to the format of the pretrip printed pamphlets and the posted transit cease info. Whereas this kind of info is best than nothing, it leaves a lot to be desired. Until the route map has landmarks on it, it doesn’t assist the consumer determine the place they at the moment are in relation to their vacation spot. Different types of static info embody route maps and system maps which might be posted on transit automobile partitions. This normally works finest on rail automobiles the place individuals are free to maneuver round.

One methodology to tell the consumer of their present location is thru signage at transit stops. That is prevalent alongside rail strains the place there are fewer stops and every is nicely outlined. By searching of the home windows of a transit automobile, customers can learn the title of the cease and examine it on the map to the place they wish to alight. Signage corresponding to this doesn’t price very a lot to implement and is comparatively everlasting. Clearly labeled stations and stops assist passengers decide how for much longer their journey might be, and scale back passenger nervousness as a result of they know their location always.

Dynamic In-Automobile Data[edit]

Energetic Route Map Data System of Downtown Line in Singapore

When exterior signage at stations and stops is impractical, it’s doable to dynamically inform passengers of their location. Variable message boards mounted in transit automobiles and bulletins are a technique of informing passengers of their location. Alternatively, dynamic lighted maps can be utilized to point location. This has the benefit of together with a map with the situation so customers know the place they’re relative to their cease. Nevertheless, this kind of system is impractical on a bus attributable to its configuration.

Mobile telephones and different moveable units permit customers to entry the pretrip info sources en route. This may be helpful for locating switch info and normal route info, particularly with GPS models embedded in good telephones. Additionally, wi-fi communication and GPS is usually restricted on transit programs that function underground.

Prices of Data Techniques[edit]

Data programs vary in worth from very low (for posted laminated maps and schedules) to excessive ($10,000 per information kiosk and over $300,000 for web site startup prices). Peng et al. (1999) discovered that transit web sites and private communication units providers have been the least costly to keep up. As soon as the startup prices of a web site are lined, it prices little or no to replace the knowledge and even much less to distribute it. Not like cellphone facilities, there’s by no means a busy sign (besides not often at extraordinarily excessive peak utilization instances) and little or no labor is required to keep up it. Moreover, web sites are straightforward to implement, are versatile, and have virtually limitless info carrying capability.

Name facilities are cheaper to implement however way more costly to run than web sites. For customers with out web entry or capabilities, name facilities are nonetheless essential to keep up. Berlin Transport supplies a 24-hour transit info phone service that receives a million calls yearly. The estimated price per name is $7.50 (U.S. Division of Transportation, 2003).

The simplest pretrip info programs mix transit routes from a number of companies, modes, and carriers into one easy-to-use service. This permits the decision middle to cost the company for dealing with the decision. The Nationwide Rail Enquiry Service in England supplies non-automated transit info to callers. It’s funded by means of charging practice operators £0.55 per name. It has been estimated that every name generates £2.45 of income for practice operators (U.S. Division of Transportation, 2003).

Capital prices for putting in automated automobile location (AVL) programs varies considerably, however a research of seven US transit companies discovered that the fee ranged from $3000-$10000 per automobile (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). The annual operations and upkeep price for AVL programs vary from $100-$700 per automobile. Some of these programs are comparatively new and the prices are prone to lower as know-how improves. Additionally, as a result of real-time automobile location programs have been carried out in quite a few locations already, fewer errors will happen in future installations.

Variable message indicators, countdown timers, and different real-time shows are comparatively straightforward to implement. The associated fee is actually greater than stationary indicators ($500-$1500 per unit) however they’re versatile, straightforward to implement, consumer pleasant, they usually cope with one of many elementary issues in transit: nervousness (Peng et al., 1999).

Kiosks are costly to implement and keep, however present customized service and might be very consumer pleasant. A technique kiosks have been partially funded in Madrid is thru promoting and co-location rights with the Financial savings Financial institution of Madrid ATM machines (U.S. Division of Transportation, 2003). When carried out collectively, Kiosks and variable message indicators present practically all of the transit info required at a terminal or transit cease.

Variable message indicators are also the most suitable choice for in-vehicle info programs. Variable message indicators and CCTV can partially funded by means of promoting income.


Transit info programs might be funded by means of a wide range of sources. Customers are prepared to pay extra for transit service that features real-time info, adverts might be proven on message boards, and will increase in transit use pays for the capital prices and working bills of transit info programs.

With many further variable message indicators and CCTVs, adverts can very simply be cycled in between transit info. On busier programs, this will translate into a variety of income and might possible pay for the price of the show (however not the AVL).
Transport for London cites that income elevated 1.5% on strains geared up with countdown real-time info programs (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). This actually will assist defray the price of implementation.

Lastly, customers are prepared to pay for info. This may be finished both immediately by means of charges (corresponding to a transit cellphone info system) or by means of greater fares. Earlier research have discovered ranges from $0.01 to $0.41 per journey or as much as $0.50 per request (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003).

Advantages of Transit Data Techniques[edit]

Enhancing transit info programs removes one of many largest obstacles to driving transit. In a research of California commuters, Abdel-Aty et al. (1996) discovered that 38 p.c of commuters who don’t use transit would possibly think about transit if extra info have been simply obtainable. As a result of over 80 p.c of customers surveyed didn’t at the moment use transit, it is a important variety of individuals. This research additionally discovered that the knowledge that mattered most to non-transit customers was ready instances, frequency of service, and working hours. One other research from Harris County (METRO) in 1992 discovered that non-riders main info want was bus schedules and connection info (Transportation Analysis Board, 1999). All of this stuff relate to time, reflecting individuals’s dislike of the unsure waits and delays related to transit. Actual-time transit info programs could make ready appear shorter, and in some instances lower ready time by permitting passengers to reach “simply in time”. A survey by the Puget Sound Regional Council discovered that settlement with the assertion “When ready, I’m happier if I do know when the bus will come” on a scale of –5 to five was 3.9 (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). This reveals that folks actually worth this piece of data.

As soon as the barrier of unsure wait instances is eliminated, clients might be inspired to make use of transit extra typically. A survey by the transit cooperative analysis program estimated that transit use elevated 1% to three% after deploying real-time bus arrival programs (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). Knowledge from Europe attributes ridership will increase of 5.8% in Brussels, 5% in Liverpool, and three% in Turin to the implementation of real-time info programs at bus stops (Transportation Analysis Board, 2003). The first purpose that companies on this survey selected to implement these programs was to enhance the extent of customer support. This interprets into ridership will increase when a major funding, like a real-time arrival system, is carried out.

Moreover luring alternative riders, improved transit info programs give disabled riders elevated mobility. Data programs assist them negotiate transit programs by means of higher pretrip planning and knowledge alongside the route.


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