Provide the best possible passenger information everywhere, at all times
“We struggle to get live travel updates to our passengers. We lack a ‘single source of truth’ for our data, then an easy way to get it to them at all stages of their journey.”
When we ask transport authorities and operators what their biggest objectives are right now, this is one of the things they say to us. In this blog we reveal how we help with the very latest real-time passenger information technology.
Timely multi-channel distribution of live travel information
Buses are unpredictable. They can be late. There, we put it out there!
No matter how advanced our tracking technology and control algorithms, there are many things that are simply out of our control. Other road users (there are so many of them), the commuter that can’t find his travel pass, the passenger that needs help boarding, temporary obstructions that cause slow-moving traffic, bad weather and so the list goes on!
But how easy is it for disgruntled travelers to attack transit companies on social media? And even worse, shift away from bus travel to other modes of transport.
This is a bitter pill to swallow when we’re working so hard to make bus travel more attractive as a sustainable form of transport, to ultimately increase ridership. So how do we make customers feel great about services, given the unpredictable nature of our roads?
Tell them what is happening!
A report by Transport Focus on How late is late – What bus passengers think about punctuality and timetables, revealed the following passenger expectations:
- Over-simplified timetables leave passengers with low confidence, which makes journey planning difficult and at times, frustrating.
- To help achieve accuracy, passengers prefer more detailed information that reflects differences by the time of day, and if possible, departure times during peak hours.
- Passengers expect operators to set temporary schedules and communicate changes including corresponding published information during periods of extended disruption.
- Passengers are also seeking proactive delivery of live and accurate travel information which significantly improves the overall tolerance level for late running services.
- Users feel that real-time information has made the timetable obsolete for the immediate journey by replacing it with information that is more accurate.
- The benefits of this were reduced anxiety about how late a bus might be and an increased sense of security and control over their journey.
But we know this right?
Live passenger information has become commonplace in pretty much every mode of transport. Train stations have digital displays showing accurate travel information, as do airports. And what about Uber, who excels in giving customers visibility of their trip.
If you consider that bus travel is probably less predictable than every other mode of public transport, how do we keep passengers satisfied? We need to overcome the shortfalls by keeping passengers as informed as possible.
We need to provide accurate real-time travel information consistently delivered to every passenger information touchpoint.
Fortunately, things are improving…
We have seen the light and most cities now have a strategy in place to provide live travel information to passengers at all stages of their journey, from planning through to arrival at their destination.
Some cities are well on their way, while others have a vision but are working on a plan of action. But they all come from a different starting point with a unique migration plan, depending on their legacy systems. Regardless, the future utopia looks something like this:
- Data engine consolidates all relevant data sources into a single data layer, in an analytics platform that improves the accuracy and quality of the data.
- Standardized integration gateway connects with systems as a single source of live and static travel information.
- Accurate and consistent real-time travel information is seamlessly disseminated to every channel, supported by comprehensive content publishing.
- Full support for website and mobile journey planners, station and wayside digital displays, onboard audio-visual systems, the developer community and passenger information channels not yet invented.
- Technology enables fully accessible public transport services that are easy to use; by making provisions for people with mobility issues, audio or visual impairment.
- Comprehensive analytics dashboard captures user search behavior to understand user needs and demand, which facilitates future planning.
This isn’t a dream. The future utopia is very much today’s reality, and it is easier to transition than you would think.
Introducing LIT Inform: Smart Passenger Information
LIT Inform is for public transport operators that need to enlighten passengers with live travel information. It has the edge in capturing, processing and supplying accurate and consistent real-time data to every possible passenger touchpoint.
By integrating some of the most advanced system components on the market, it provides a single platform for timely multi-channel distribution of live travel information to mobile apps, digital displays and onboard units.
- Completely agnostic with an open interface for simple integration with any legacy system as a source of real-time and static service information.
- Advanced processing and prediction engine (generations ahead of the competition) generates the most accurate live arrival, departure and travel times.
- Standardizes data in internationally recognized standards for API dissemination to any third-party system, including mobile app developed by LIT.
- Feature-rich, intuitive content management tools handle live and consistent multi-channel data content dissemination to on-board, off-board, mobile and web.
- Supports audio and visual content for all available passenger information display systems and other information touchpoints, such as mobile and web.
- Deep analytical insights and flexible reporting can be used to demonstrate performance, optimize operations, inform decision making and improve services.
- Provides a single source of quality, standardized data and facilitates innovation with open data availability.
- Provide a better experience at all journey stages and boost overall confidence and ridership by improving service reliability and punctuality, easing planning and reducing uncertainty.
In a nutshell, LIT Inform enables you to effortlessly supply timely, accurate and consistent real-time data to every possible passenger touchpoint.
If you want to transform passenger confidence and ridership by offering the best possible information everywhere, at all times, contact us for a demo of LIT Inform.
This is blog three in a series on a deep dive into our main solution areas, read the previous on LIT Predict and the next on LIT Ticket.