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Advanced Traveler Information Systems

Action No. 1 : La Rochelle on-board traveller information screens

The aim of this action is to improve on-board information in buses in order to make it easier for travellers arriving in La Rochelle to access public transport during their stay. Information will be accessible for all and also cover tourist attractions.

Through START project, La Rochelle Urban Community intends to implement new systems providing the travellers opting for Public Transport with relevant information.

One of the main local START actions in La Rochelle consists in the installation of TFT screens delivering real-time information (RTI) in the buses.

In the first trimester 2010, a local working group gathering the Urban Community (Mobility and Transport, Communication Departments) and the bus operators (RTCR, Veolia) has been set up to implement in a coordinated manner these devices. Several meetings were organised to define precisely the requirements in terms of technical adaptation (how to combine Real-Time Information with static information; how to take into account multi-lingual information), communication (definition of a common layout for the whole bus network) and accessibility (combination and coherence of the visual/vocal announcement; consideration of announcing the level of accessibility of the bus stops if technically feasible).

Some technical issues still have to be overcome by the manufacturer’s devices in order to take into account all requirements and consider a full operation of the screens.

Action No. 2 : RTI & On-board information for key Highland & Island Transport Services 

Provide Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) for bus travellers at significant points in the Highlands & Islands Region to improve the travel experience using modern technology. Multi-lingual audio-visual information will be provided on-board buses.

In the Highlands and Islands of Scotland,  real time information has already been deployed in Inverness City but this has been limited to tracking buses.  A lack of information for passengers once they are on a bus is often a problem: when passengers are not familiar with an area and may not know by sight where they need to get off the bus, this is a real barrier to travelling by public transport.  Recognising this issue is a particular problem for buses serving Airports all the JET branded buses serving Inverness Airport have been fitted with audio announcements and visual displays that let passengers know the next stop.  This system is linked to the Inverness real time information system.  This improvement was implemented in August 2010.

Real time Provide Passenger Information (RTPI) has been a welcome improvement to the service afforded to passengers at a number of locations in the Highlands and Islands.  Plans are being formulated to introduce real time information on 74 buses in the Argyll and Bute local authority area which will complete coverage of the bus fleet operating to, from and within Argyll and Bute.  Key interchanges will also be equipped with countdown displays and information on the tracked bus services will be available through SMS and mobile internet.  A unique aspect of this project is that three ferries operated by Caledonian MacBrayne will be equipped with real time displays to give passengers details of their onward coach connections for their onward journey before disembarking at the port of Oban.  This project will be delivered in 2011.

Action No. 3 : RTI in South Western Scotland

Provide Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) for bus travellers at significant points in the South West Scotland Region to improve the travel experience using modern technology.  

SPT have completed several major developments on this activity.

Buchanan bus station

Located in the heart of Glasgow City Centre, Buchanan bus station is Scotland’s biggest bus station with over 1700 departures per day and approximately 40,000 customers using the station on a daily basis. The bus station provides express coach services to all major towns and cities in the United Kingdom, local departures for commuters and connectivity to Glasgow and Glasgow Prestwick Airports via express coach services.

Operated by SPT, the station has the range of facilities customers expect at a modern terminal including disabled toilets, passenger information, travel centre for tickets & information and retail facilities. The bus station is located opposite the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Buchanan Galleries Shopping Centre.



As part of START, two Smartpoint kiosks were installed at the bus station in March 2010. These provide journey planning options for all forms of public transport as well as a local map and taxi information.



 Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport is Scotland's principal long-haul gateway, with year-round flights to Canada, the United States, Europe and the Gulf. More than 7.5 million passengers use the airport every year, flying to around 90 destinations worldwide.

The Airport is located approximately 11 miles from Glasgow city centre. With no direct rail link, frequent express coach services operate 24 hours a day to Buchanan bus station, with stops at Central & Queen Street stations, with journey times of approximately 30 minutes. Paisley Gilmour Street station is approximately 1 mile from the terminal building, connected by a frequent bus service, offering connectivity to rail services to Glasgow, Ayr and the Clyde Coast.

As part of START, an electronic information display was installed at the SPT travel centre in June 2009.  Located at a key location at domestic arrivals, the display shows all scheduled bus departures from Glasgow Airport, including express coach services to Glasgow city centre.

Hillhead Subway Station

Located in the heart of Glasgow’s West End, Hillhead Subway station is one of the busiest stations in the Subway network with over 1.8 million customers per year. Many of these customers are students and faculty from the nearby world renowned Glasgow University. As part of START, an electronic information display was installed in the Subway station in March 2009.  The display shows all scheduled bus departures from the nearby thoroughfare of Byres Road, the main road through Glasgow’s West End, allowing connectivity between Subway & Bus. Byres Road is also a very popular tourist area due to the close proximity to Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Park, Hunterian Museum, Botanic Gardens as well as café, bars, shopping and hotels.







Partick Interchange

Located in the historical West End area of Glasgow, Partick Rail station offers direct connectivity between bus, rail & Subway. With 4 million customers per year, it is one of the busiest rail stations in Scotland. As well as providing direct connectivity to rail services to many destinations including Helensburgh and Loch Lomond, Partick Rail station also offers direct access to bus services and the Glasgow Subway. In addition to bus services to Glasgow Airport, the adjacent bus station offers customers access to a variety of many local destinations. The rail / Subway interchange recently underwent substantial refurbishment work.


As part of START, 2 monitors showing real time bus information were installed in March 2009 in the main station concourse for services departing from the bus station.


Action No. 4 : Lower Normandy new information systems

New forms of media in the Lower Normandy region will be developed to provide the travellers (local users and visitors) with the information needed, at every moment during their journey, including a Call and Travel Information Centre.

No major steps on this activity to be reported

Action No. 5 : RTI in Cantabria

Real time information systems will be placed in stations and other main bus stops for travellers using regional buses in Cantabria. The system will provide Wifi for the download of information about ticket sales for every operator for bus passengers.

A pilot-project was successfully completed in 2009. The system was installed and tested in 2 suburban buses. This system which was initially scheduled to be fully developed by the end of 2010, has suffered some delays due to the high costs of communications and the problems to get public funding, resulting from general recession.

Installation of GPRS devices and hardware onboard to implement the real time information system has been almost completed. So far 85 % of the fleet has been equipped.

Screens and information displays in the most important bus stops and bus stations of the region will show real time information for the passengers in the future. Screens in Santander Bus Station came into service in 2009 showing scheduled timetables and similar displays have been installed in suburban main stops on May 2010. For some of these screens, the energy is supplied through photovoltaic panels (solar energy) – a way to contribute to sustainable development.




Besides, a new information panel has been set in Santander Bus Station as part of the project at the beginning of 2010.



Finally, after geo-coding and codifying all the bus stops, information posts or placards (in case there is a shelter) with a number (code) are progressively being installed.

 Other initiatives:

   New system for managing queues at the ticket counters in Santander Bus Station, ( in service from January  2010)

   Wifi access in main mid-range regional buses (working from june 2009)

  New information machines, connected with the regional transport website, provide information about timetables, prices, stops, etc. These devices are accessible for disabled people and have been installed in Summer 2010

Contact of the Activity leader:

Mr. Matthieu Graindorge (matthieu.graindorge@agglo-larochelle.fr)

For more up to date information, please download the Project Findings Summary published in autumn 2011. The Final brochure will be released by the end of May 2012.

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