Intelligent transport and better service

There are significant changes to the drivers’ working environment on buses. Drivers get completely new devices. The new driver’s device provides information about the route and location of the bus. Drivers’ safety is significantly improved with the introduction of alarm buttons.

Traffic signal priorities improve the flow of public transport. The new operations monitoring and management application provides operators with an effective new tool and facilitates incident management and communications.

New driver’s device improves customer service and monitoring of transport services.

In future, drivers log in to the system and their departure (departure chain) with the new driver’s device, which provides more detailed information about the route both on map and in the form of a stop list. In addition, the device provides drivers with information about diversion routes and traffic disruptions and drivers can monitor their keeping to the schedules and the progress of the previous and next services on the route. The device also provides vehicle location data to displays at stops and terminals as well as to the Journey Planner.

BENEFITS FOR DRIVERS

  • A clear map showing the route and stops, both regular and diversion routes.
  • Possible to see whether other services on the same route are on time, running ahead of time or late.
  • Extensive information enabling drivers to advice passengers, e.g. list of stops with zone information.
  • Logging into a route and service with the same device.
  • Drivers can monitor whether they are keeping to the timetable.
  • Real-time information for drivers from the depot and about disruptions.
  • Possible to send and receive messages to/from supervisors.
  • Onboard displays to provide disruption information to passengers.
  • Depots get real-time information about the vehicle location.

BENEFITS FOR PASSENGERS

  • The location of the vehicle is shown in real-time at the depots and in the Journey Planner and displays at stops for passengers.
  • Drivers can provide more detailed advice, also in cases of disruptions.
  • More and more versatile displays at stops.
  • Improved punctuality of services.
  • Faster solutions to disruptions.

The touch-screen driver’s POS terminal guides users with instructions

The user interface is in Finnish and the screen is a lot larger than the current one. Ticket sales is no longer based on codes. Drivers can use the touch screen buttons or the buttons of the device itself. Also driver cards are swapped for new ones in conjunction with the ticketing and information system reform.

The ticket to be sold is selected in the same way as in other TIS user interfaces. Drivers can sell paper single tickets and one-day tickets. Tickets can be sold only for one fare zone at a time. Tickets for families (adults and children) can be easily and quickly sold in one go. Accepted payment methods include cash and Travel Card value. Bank and credit cards are not accepted. Tickets are always sold by pressing Enter.

Purchasing a value ticket and validating a season ticket is made easy. Card validations made on the closest card reader show on the top of the driver's POS terminal. The POS terminal also serves as a backup for the driver’s device.

Canceling a sales is easy with the new device. Tickets sold during the past five minutes can be cancelled.

Drivers will be trained for the use of the device and they also get a handy manual to keep with them before the devices are installed on vehicles.

Drivers get alarm buttons and a new, practical means of communication with the depot 

Alarm buttons are installed on all buses. Pressing the button will trigger an alarm in a 24/7 security control room. The control room can hear what is happening onboard the vehicle and the driver’s device tells the driver when contact with the control room is established and if help is on its way. The control room also sees the location of the vehicle from which the alarm originated. In addition, drivers can talk with the control room using the VoIP phone. Passengers are kept informed via bulletins displayed on the onboard display and with audibles.

VoIP phone

The device enables communication between supervisors and drivers on buses. Supervisors can call drivers using the call function of the operations monitoring and management (OMM) application. Drivers can send call requests to supervisors with the driver’s device. By lifting the VoIP handset, drivers can talk to the control room, when possible.

Alarm button

In threatening situations, drivers can contact the security control room by pressing the alarm button. HSL is establishing the security control room, which will be on duty throughout the operating day, together with the Finnish Transport Agency and VR. The alarm buttons are introduced once the new devices have been installed on all buses, in autumn 2016.

Pressing the alarm button will trigger an alarm in the security control room and automatically open a one-way voice connection from the bus to the control room.  In case of an alarm, an alarm signal will be given over the vehicle’s PA system and an "Alarm sent” text will be displayed on the onboard display for passengers. 

New devices for ticket inspectors

The current inspector’s devices are replaced by new ones. The new device has a 4.5" touch screen and its user interface is consistent with the other TIS devices. 

The inspector’s device allows ticket inspectors to check the validity of tickets on Travel Cards, activate single-charge cards, and sell Travel Card value tickets. In addition, inspectors can record data related to their working hours, such as training or visiting a doctor.

A corresponding device is used for ticket sales on U line buses.

Purchase of tickets made easy and fast

The new ticketing and information system involves a new HSL sales system. The reform covers all existing sales channels. In addition, long-awaited online sales will be introduced. Online sales will be possible once all new devices have been installed and Travel Cards have been changed, approximately in 2017.

Sales points and R-kiosks get new sales software. A new sales software is introduced also at other sales points, along with touch screen POS terminals. The existing blue and pink ticket machines are replaced by new ticket machines.

The uniform user interfaces are designed with focus on the ease of use and instructiveness. The goal of the new sales system is to make the purchase of tickets easy, fast and error free.

 

 

 

Traffic signal priorities extended across the HSL area

The new ticketing and information system enables traffic signal priorities to be extended across the HSL area improving the efficiency and punctuality of public transport.

HSL’s public transport vehicles can request signal priority when approaching intersections. The traffic signal systems, which are at the responsibility of municipalities, decide the degree of priority given to public transport in each case.

The new traffic signal priority control system will be used by HSL’s experts and municipal traffic signal designers.

THE NEW TRAFFIC SIGNAL PRIORITY SYSTEM WILL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING IMPROVEMENTS:

  • The map-based user interface visualizes the priority situation.
  • Intersection-specific color codes in the map view visualize the priorities by route and direction.
  • Priorities can be switched on and off in real-time for each intersection.
  • Signal priorities are not given to vehicles running ahead of schedule.

New information system applications provide data for all public transport services

Public transport register and operation data service

Operation data service is the heart of the information system. It is an operative database which receives planned data from the public transport register and converts it into a form suitable for use by other sub-systems. All data between the various sub-systems of the information system go through the operation data service. Bulletins created on the operations monitoring and management application as well as sudden route and timetable changes are stored in the operation data service, through which they are available for other systems.

Vehicles send real-time data about the departures for which they are logged in to the operation data service. The operation data service calculates stop-specific departure time forecasts for vehicles on the basis of the real-time data, planned data and weather information provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The forecasts are displayed, for example, on displays at stops and utilized in the Journey Planner.

Operations monitoring and management system

The operations monitoring and management application is used for real-time monitoring and management of transport operations. In future, the application is the most important tool for traffic operator supervisors. It also enables communications with drivers and rapid dissemination of information to public transport users. In addition to operation management, the application is used to create disruption alerts and convey information about cancelled services reported by operators. Diversion routes added into the application are shown to passengers as soon as they have been set to be displayed on stop displays, onboard displays and online.

THE OPERATIONS MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT APPLICATION IS SERVER-BASED AND OFFERS VARIOUS FEATURES, SUCH AS:

  • Real-time monitoring of traffic operations. Traffic operations can be monitored in real-time in map, departure chain and route views.
  • Operations can be managed in various ways:

     - Deviations in quality can be observed and reported

     - Creation of diversion routes, removing stops from service

  • Disruption alerts, communications and VoIP calls between drivers and depots. Information can be targeted to a specific driver, all vehicles on a given route, a departure chain or a specific vehicle.
  • Passenger information on displays at stops, onboard vehicles, online and in open interfaces.
  • Entering and editing of departure chains.

Open interfaces enable flexible further development

The ticketing and information system reform has been implemented with open architecture. The system can be flexibly and cost-effectively developed further.

Future development projects can be tendered in parts. The data provided by the new information system will be published as open data and shared through open interfaces. In addition, open interfaces can be provided, for example, to data in the My Travel Card service and for retailers.

The TIS operation data service will provide an interface (SIRI2.0) also for online services. For example, the new open Journey Planner gets real-time status information from the new system. The new Journey Planner automatically shows vehicles and stops located close to the customer. Traveling becomes a lot easier when passengers can check, for example, if a bus is coming to a stop and at what time, even en route.

The ticketing and information system provides reliable real-time public transport information also for other service suppliers. A host of independent services that promote the availability of e.g. timetable information have already been established based on the open data provided by HSL.

At the moment, HSL offers the following open interfaces:

  • Journey Planner API
  • Disruption Info API
  • My departures API
  • HSL Live API
  • HSL News API
  • Asty Web API
  • Kutsuplus SMS API
  • Experimental interfaces at dev.hsl.fi and digitransit.fi
  • Experimental ”LIJ MQTT API”

Have a look at the new services: