Councils embrace 'real time' bus tracking technology
By Jack Stocks
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 15:00
WHERE’S MY BUS?: Customer online tracking
Bus passengers across Poole and Bournemouth are soon to benefit from improved information about their journeys.
Following the award of funding from the Department for Transport’s Better Bus Area Funds, with software supplied from Trapeze Group, the Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council are upgrading their Real Time Information (RTI) system.
With over 250 buses now tracking on the system, Trapeze’s expertise is expected to deliver up-to-the-minute information to passengers through a state-of-the-art web-based communications system.
The project, beginning in 2007, has always been innovative; the system was the first in the region to launch real time bus information to mobile phone, so passengers could check that their buses were running on time wherever they were.
In January 2011 a National first was the pioneering introduction of bus stops equipped with NFC tags to interact with the latest smartphones, again ensuring customers receive the latest information and are in control of their journeys.
This progress continues with the replacement of the existing RTPI back-office system by the latest web-based technology, to ensure easy monitoring of vehicles.
Communications with the buses can be switched from the current mobile radio to a GPRS solution to provide superior accuracy of bus arrival information.
Nick Phillips, Accessibility Team Leader for Borough of Poole Transportation Services, said: “By working in partnership with the local Bus Operators we have seen a dramatic increase in ridership in Poole – passengers have almost doubled in the last ten years.
“The upgrade of the popular Real Time Information system can continue to make buses more attractive and easier to use – which is great news for both the environment and road congestion.”
Richard Barnes, Public Transport Manager for Bournemouth Borough Council, commented: “Our recent survey of over 440 local bus users stated that Real Time Information was in the top three factors that would make them use buses more- after improved reliability and cheaper fares.
I am pleased that we have now secured a new RTI system for the next decade.”
Peter Bell, UK Managing Director at Trapeze Group, added: “We are delighted to be able to continue our relationship with Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council.
“We firmly believe in the importance of improved passenger information to promote public transport usage and are proud to have been chosen to support such forward-thinking organisations.”