Passenger information
Passenger information is information provided to public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

 users about the nature and state of a public transport service, though visual, voice or touchable media. A distinction can be drawn between:
  • Static or Planned information, which changes only slowly and is typically used for journey planning prior to departure (stations and stops, routes, service numbers, times, trip durations, fares, etc.)
  • Real time
    Real time business intelligence
    Real-time business intelligence is the process of delivering information about business operations as they occur.In this context, real-time means a range from milliseconds to a few seconds after the business event has occurred...

    , which changes continuously as a result of real-world events and is typically used during the course of a journey (primarily how close the service is running to time and when it is due at a stop, but also incidents that affect service operations, platform changes etc).

Static information is made available traditionally in printed form though route network maps, timetable
Public transport timetable
A public transport timetable is a representation of public transport information to assist a passenger with planning a trip using public transport. A timetable details when vehicle will arrive and depart specified locations and may be organised for by route or for a particular stop...

 booklets, name signs and/or pictogram
A pictograph, also called pictogram or pictogramme is an ideogram that conveys its meaning through its pictorial resemblance to a physical object. Pictographs are often used in writing and graphic systems in which the characters are to considerable extent pictorial in appearance.Pictography is a...

s at stations and stops, etc. This information is also available through dedicated national and local telephone services. In many areas, static information is now being made available electronically through websites or over mobile phone services (typically via SMS
SMS is a form of text messaging communication on phones and mobile phones. The terms SMS or sms may also refer to:- Computer hardware :...


Information is increasingly provided in audio form as well, both on vehicles and at stops. Public address systems, usually but not always automated, will typically give next service announcements at stations and next stop announcement onboard vehicles.

Real time information is an advance on this, which recognises the fact that public transport services do not always operate exactly according to the published timetable. By providing real time information to travellers, they are better able to conduct their journey confidently, including taking any necessary steps in the event of delays. This helps to encourage greater use of public transport, which for many countries is a political goal.

Real time information is provided over specialist passenger information system
Passenger information system
A passenger information [display] system is an electronic information system which provides real-time passenger information. It may include both predictions about arrival and departure times, as well as information about the nature and causes of disruptions...


Issues with passenger information

There are four principal considerations for the provision of passenger information (static or real time):
  • Data availability. Information can only be provided where it is available, and collecting information can be resource intensive. Also, there may be difficulties in one organisation (say an operator) allowing other organisations to access its information.
  • Data accuracy. Collecting information is error-prone, particularly when it is passed between systems manually. Also, prediction algorithms are not perfect, and real-time announcements may be in error for this reason.
  • Getting information to the passenger. A variety of dissemination mechanisms may be used, but it is not always easy to ensure that the correct information reaches the passenger when it is most needed. Apart from the obvious economic considerations, information overload must be avoided.
  • Latency or Response time. Information provision must react quickly to a passenger request or a real-world update. There is little point in announcing a service three minutes after it has departed.

See also

  • Passenger Information and Management System (HHA),
  • Dynamic passenger information
    Dynamic passenger information
    Dynamic Passenger Information is intended to inform public transportation passengers about currently available runs. As such, data from long term, static, predefined public transport timetables can be amended with continuous, dynamically determined timetable deviations...

  • Transmodel
    Transmodel is the CEN European Reference Data Model for Public Transport Information; it provides an abstract model of common public transport concepts and data structures that can be used to build many different kinds of public transport information system, including for timetabling, fares,...

    , DELFI Protocol, RTIG
  • SIRI
    Identification of Fixed Objects In Public Transport
    IFOPT is a prCEN Technical Specification that provides a Reference Data Model for describing the main fixed objects required for public access to Public transport, that is to say Transportation hubs such as airports, stations, bus stops, ports, and other destination places and points of interest,...

  • Intermodal Journey Planner
    Intermodal Journey Planner
    An Intermodal Journey Planner , or Trip Planner is computer system which can provide a traveller with an itinerary for an intermodal passenger transport journey. The system can provide timetable, routing and other travel information...

  • IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society
    IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society
    The ' is a professional society of the IEEE.- Field of Interest :The IEEE ITS Society states on its that its Field of Interest is in "theoretical, experimental and operational aspects of electrical and electronics engineering and information technologies as applied to Intelligent Transportation...

External links

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