Channels of Delivery of Travel Information (Static and Dynamic On-Trip Information)

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1 Channels of Delivery of Travel Information (Static and Dynamic On-Trip Information) Index Purpose Description Relevance for Large Scale Events Options Technologies Impacts Integration potential Implementation Best Cases and Examples 1 of 10

2 Purpose Delivery of travel information is essential for travelers to plan their journeys and carry out their journeys. Travel information can help travelers make well informed decisions on departure times, selections of modes of transport, selections of routes and interchanges etc. Travel information can also provides travelers information on any abnormal situation or waiting times, thus reducing travelers stress during their trips and increasing the comfort level of their trips. Travel information delivered can be static and dynamic (or real-time) information. Travel information can be pre-trip or en-route. For pre-trip information, travel information can help traveler to know which transport to take, where and when to take the transport, how to get ticket, how much it costs. Pre-trip information can provide both static and dynamic information. En-route information are often used to provide dynamic information about waiting time, road closures, parking availability, current events and other information which will help traveler select the most appropriate modes of transports Description Travel information can be delivered via various channels. Travel information can be delivered through traditional media, e.g. radio; it can also be delivered through innovative media, e.g. in-vehicle navigation system, mobile phones (including smart phone applications). Travel information can be provided by public transport operators, information service providers, road operators, public authorities, event organisers as well private information providers. A travel information provider should collect information internally or externally, and then delivers such information to end users. Passenger information is generally available from: Displays at stops/stations/interchanges (static and dynamic information) On-board display Internet (cable and wireless) Telephone service, including SMS Smartphone apps. Motorist information is generally available by: VMS Internet Radio broadcast (audio and digital) On-board navigation system (dynamic route guidance) Telephone enquiry services Smartphone apps Currently pre-trip information mainly delivered via internet (websites). Many public transport operators have their own websites which provides static and dynamic information. Static information includes bus/metro route maps and journey plans using the public transport network. Dynamic information includes real-time arrival times, information on service abruptions, incidents etc. Information service providers also use websites to provide static information, e.g. Google and Nokia (map.nokia.com). Such websites provide 2 of 10

3 journey planning for public transport users, pedestrians and motorists. While Google map has little dynamic information, some websites provides good dynamic information on road closure, incidents, public transport service disruptions etc. En-route information is delivered to users via either personal devices such as radio, mobile phone, navigation device, or public devices e.g. VMS. For public transport users, en-route information mainly includes real-time departure/arrival times of public transport vehicles and information on service disruption. En-route information is delivered to public transport users mainly through displays at bus/metro stops and mobile phones (e.g. SMS, wireless internet, and smart phone applications). En-route information also includes information on interchanges, i.e. guiding travelers to find next transport mode. En-route information for motorists mainly includes real-time traffic information, e.g. congestion, severe weather warming, road closure, etc. Real-time parking space availability is also one type of en-route information delivered to motorists. Traditionally en-route information often delivered to users via VMS or radio. But in recently years, such information is often delivered via personal devices such as smart phones and navigation devices. While delivering to in-vehicle devices, information may be delivered via RDS-TMC. In recent years, Cooperative Vehicle Infrastructure Systems (CVIS), i.e. vehicle-to-vehicle, infrastructure-tovehicle, are also used for travel information delivery. Relevance for Large Scale Events All types of channels delivering travel information have been extremely useful tools for large events as they are able to advise traveler pre-trip and make available real-time information en-route. Information delivering to travelers in the context of large scale events may include: Public transport network map Journey planning (public transport, car and multi-modal) Disruption in road network and public transport network Options Internet (website) is the main deliver channel of travel information. Web-based traveller information dissemination has developed rapidly in the last few years along with the boom in all Internet service. Realtime traffic information can now be accessed free of charge via numerous websites. Many of these sites have been designed in collaboration with infrastructure owners/managers and local authorities. This appears to be a particularly attractive way to rapidly disseminate pre-trip traveller information including route planning and weather. Information provided includes: Map and journey planning Incidents (roadwork, events, congestions) Costs 3 of 10

4 A travel information website can be operated by public transport operators (which normally covers only the operator s network), city/regional authorities, e.g. Bayern Info, (which normally covers an entire city or region), and information service provider, e.g. Google or Nokia (which may have a global coverage). Some examples are shown below. Figure 1 shows the Journey Planner provided by Transport for London (TfL). The TfL journey planner provides route planning using the TfL public transport network and walking. It includes dynamic information, e.g. engineering work, and gives a journey plan based on real time information, i.e. engineering work or service disruption has been taken into account when a journey plan is calculated. Figure 1 Transport for London (TfL) Web-based Journey Planner (including real-time information) VMS is also one of traditional media used to disseminate information en-route. VMS are digital road signs which are located either on the roadside or on gantries above the carriageway. VMS provides information on real-time traffic information, e.g. dynamic speed limits, congestion warning, severe weather warming, dynamic route guidance, and parking space availability. Figure 2 shows Overhead message panels mounted on gantries (typical on motorways and used to give traffic information, speed recommendations and emergency messages) 4 of 10

5 Figure 2 VMS on motorways Radio (audio) is one of the oldest media to deliver travel information. However, it still has been widely used today. An end user survey in Athens in 2010 (through the Viajeo project) shows that users trust information received from radio more than from other media, i.e. websites. Therefore, radio should still play an important role in delivery of travel information. Information delivered via radios often concern unexpected events, e.g. congestion, traffic accidents, road closure, cancellation of public transport etc. Digital radio can also connect to RDS-TMC (Traffic Message Channel) to display traffic message. Detailed description of RDS- TMC can be found in the following section Technology. Displays at stops/station are used to display real-time bus arrival times or service disruption information. Currently, many public transport operators installed displays at public transport stops or stations to display passenger information. Navigation devices with connection to real-time traffic information have become popular in recent years. Many navigation services provider provide real-time information package, i.e. TomTom HD Traffic. A service provider collects information from various data sources and integrates them for up-to-minute navigation, i.e. calculating the best route based on real-time information, providing real-time congestion warning and updating journey times. Navigation devices may receive real-time information via RDS-TMC. Smart phone applications have been developed by many information service providers, e.g. INRIX Traffic. Such smart phone applications can provide personalised real-time traffic information based on location of the smart phone, user s request and user s journey plan. SMS (Short Message Service) is used to send information to public on weather, congestion warming, travel advice and some SMS offer real-time bus arrival time services. Technologies RDS-TMC(Traffic Message Channel) is a technology for delivering traffic and travel information to motorists. It is typically digitally coded using the FM-RDS system on conventional FM radio broadcasts. It can also be transmitted on DAB or satellite radio. It allows silent delivery of dynamic information suitable for 5 of 10

6 reproduction or display in the language chosen by the user and without interrupting normal audio broadcast services. Both public and commercial TMC services are now operational in many countries worldwide. When data is integrated directly into a navigation system, traffic information can be used in the navigation system s route calculation and the driver can have the option to take alternative routes to avoid traffic incidents. A RDS-TMC receiver may be a standard-alone device but often as a function of digital radio or integrated with a navigation device. Some examples of TMC receivers are shown below. Figure 3 Digital radio with TMC function Figure 4 Navigation device using TMC information Cooperative Vehicle Infrastructure Systems (CVIS) are a technology to facilitate communication between vehicles (V2V) as well between infrastructure and vehicles (I2V). Currently, there is no CVIS in operation but only demonstrations. However, I2V technologies are mature and commercial systems have been developed. Currently I2V can be used to disseminate information on dynamic speed limits, congestion, 6 of 10

7 severe road conditions etc. Current commercial products, e.g. KapshTrafficcom, apply 5.9 GHz DSRC technology for I2V. Impacts Figure 5 Kapsch Showcase: infrastructure to vehicle (I2V) Travel information has significant influence on transport mode selection, departure time and route selection. For example, a car driver may decide to take public transport if road closure information is received. On contrast, public transport users may decide to drive a car since travel information indicates that public transport disruption is expected. Users may also choose different departure times based on travel information. Overall, simulation results showed that individual travelers who use websites for pre-trip information would receive annual benefits of a 5.4% reduction in delay, a 0.5% reduction in accident risk, and a 1.8% reduction in fuel consumption (FHWA, 2003). Research shows that about 33% of travelers will adjust their departure times based on real-time information. Of those who adjustedtheir departure times, 52% of them result in shorter travel times. Simulation results indicated that a 9.5% reduction in total queuing time and a 2.5% increase in average speed when dynamic navigation is in use. Integration potential Integration potential includes: Travel information/traffic data collection; 7 of 10

8 Traffic management strategy Delivery of travel information can be integrated with travel information collection. For example, delivery of travel information via mobile phone network can be used as a way to collect travel information. With two way communication, a vehicle can be used as a floating vehicle to collect traffic data. TomTom collects some of TomTom users positions and speed and uses such information for travel information generation, e.g. congestion warming, incidents etc. TomTom also uses its users data for long term traffic data collection to understand congestion levels of different parts of the network at different times. Delivery of travel information can be as a part of the traffic management strategy. In recent years, with the increasing market penetration of navigation devices, using traveler information to give different guided routes to different drivers has been seen as a method to optimize usage of a road network. Implementation Delivery of travel information can be a private or public service. Private services can be either paid by users (for example, a monthly charge) or paid by advertise. Implementation of travel information deliver can be illustrated by the following figure. Figure 6 implementation of travel information delivery 8 of 10

9 Examples case studies describing use of the tool: a) in previous large scale events Shanghai EXPO 2010 For Shanghai EXPO 2010, the local government developed a comprehensive traffic information centre. The comprehensive traffic information centre integrated information from different sources in Shanghai during EXPO time, travel information is delivered via: - internet based information services - touching scans at interchanges, hotels and main tourism venues - displays at metro stations/bus stops - Telephone and mobile phone (SMS services) Before EXPO, through government funding, 4000 taxis from Shanghai main taxi companies were equipped with navigation devices that have RDS/TMC terminals to access real-time traffic information. RDS/TMC information came from Shanghai EXPO comprehensive traveler information platform. The framework of the EXPO comprehensive travel information service centre is shown in the following figure. Figure 7 Shanghai EXPO Travel Information Service 9 of 10

10 b) Example of TMC in Singapore In Jun 2006, the first TISA certified TMC Location Table for Singapore was released and a traffic broadcast service was launched. Updated to version 1.1 in July 2009, the latest updated TMC Location Table version 1.2 that includes more than 150 car park locations within the Central Business District and downtown areas, was released. The traffic services are available on several models of Smartphones, and Garmin GPS navigation devices. In Nov 2010, the Land Transport Authority announced the release of the Location Table for Singapore which includes traffic incidents information, traffic speeds, parking availability, weather, road closures, etc. Various brands of GPS systems can provide these dynamic data in the navigation system. 10 of 10

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