HSL and Finnish Transport Agency developing a journey planner for Finland

HSL and the Finnish Transport Agency are developing a national journey planner. The new, open journey planner scheduled for completion in 2016 will provide help in route planning as well as estimated departure times from stops and information about possible traffic disruptions.

The new service is planned to be used during journeys utilizing the available real-time travel information. If need be, the service changes the routing according to the traffic situation. The service also provides information about the fares for the journey in question, if available. The new service will replace the existing HSL Journey Planner and the Matka.fi service of the Finnish Transport Agency.

The goal of the new service is to guide passengers to their destinations seamlessly by public transport with an intelligent combination of local and long-distance transport services. In addition to open data, HSL and the Finnish Transport Agency share development resources and costs.  During the first two years, the cost of the new service is about EUR600,000 of which HSL pays 55 per cent and the Finnish Transport Agency 45 per cent.

"We are now developing a mobile-oriented Journey Planner. Customer’s expectations of the service are constantly rising. HSL’s existing Journey Planner is one of the best-known and most recommended Finnish online services but due to the rapid increase in mobile use, customers are calling for features developed in particular for mobile use, real-time information during journeys and information about fares. The journey planner based on open data, interfaces and source code is useful also for other information services," HSL Project Manager Jari Honkonen says.

From the Finnish Transport Agency's viewpoint, the project is an answer to a number of key goals. “As one of the goals of the project is to find ways to aggregate public transport information currently spread over different sources, it enables better utilization of data. Also the availability of information in one place enables the development of new services and even new business such as mobility as service,” says Martin Johansson from the Finnish Transport Agency. The key theme in the project is the ease of travel and easy use of public transport important to passengers and the goal is to enable planning also longer-distance journeys.  

The project is implemented by an agile development team to be set up at HSL. The open source code and data interfaces of the software can be freely utilized also in other services. The customer interfaces will be created separately for each service provider.

Passengers will get the first change to comment on the test version of the service in late summer 2015. Also developer communities and other third parties are welcome to participate in the development of the new service. The source code and other documents are published on GitHub. The new journey planner is independent of the supplier.