HSL will introduce a new version of the popular Journey Planner on 15 February. The new Journey Planner has been designed in particular for mobile users because most of the 150,000 daily users of the planner access the service using a mobile device. The service works on all mobile devices. The test version of the new Journey Planner is already available at beta.reittiopas.fi
The new Journey Planner is the first in a series of new digital services to be introduced. This year, HSL will upgrade its website at HSL.fi, as well as develop a new HSL application and a mobile season ticket. The Journey Planner will become an integral part of HSL.fi and the HSL app.
“The Journey Planner is a good example of a service developed together with customers from the outset. In this way we could ensure the service is as useful and easy-to-use as possible. In the near future, we will engage a developer community to develop the new mobile app and ticket. All those interested will be able to sign up at our website,” says HSL’s Director of Customer Experience and Sales, Mari Flink.
Location services and real-time information
Location services are the key to the Journey Planner’s new features. Location services allow users to see on one map the nearby stops, the services available and timetables. This means that regular users do not necessarily have to make any searches. When the user’s location is known, route searches can be made simply by entering the destination.
“The Journey Planner provides the customer a fast, disruption-free route and filters unnecessary information,” tells Jari Honkonen, who is responsible for the development of the Journey Planner.
The Journey Planner now offers passengers various alternatives – i.e. not just the same route at different times. Once the new ticketing and information system has been installed in all HSL’s vehicles, the Journey Planner will provide real-time information about buses, commuter trains, trams and the Metro.
During the spring, also city bikes will be included. The Journey Planner will show in real-time, how many bikes are available at a station and, for example, when it is faster to use a bike than to wait for a tram.
Users can tailor searches by saving favorite locations or choosing the preferred modes of transport. For example, users can adjust the number of transfers, the transfer margin and walking speed and it is also possible to include legs of journeys made by car.
HSL has developed the new Journey Planner in cooperation with the Matka.fi service provided by the Finnish Transport Agency.
The new planner has been developed using the principles of open data and open source code, with open interfaces. For example, the planner uses open-source code routing tools already available. Maps are based on the OpenStreetMap, a crowdsourced map site. Crowdsourcing means that anyone can participate in the updating and maintenance of the map data. Consequently, for example the Swedish language maps will be further refined after the publication of the first version of the planner.
“The new Journey Planner will never be fully complete; it will be continuously developed. After the publication of the first version, we will gather feedback and update the service accordingly,” says Jari Honkonen.
The new Journey Planner also provides a platform for new digital services. Any public or private actor can use the source code and interfaces to develop new digital mobility services. In Finland, several Mobility as a Service actors are interested in the new Journey Planner.
From 15 February, the Reittiopas.fi address will take users to the new Journey Planner. The old Journey Planner will remain available at classic.reittiopas.fi
Ticket and Journey Planner in one package
“With the new services we want to make the use of public transport even easier. Customers get all important mobility, payment and information services in one place,” says Niko Tynkkynen who is responsible for HSL’s digital services.
Once the mobile season ticket is available, all customers need is a smart phone.
In addition, the long-awaited online top up of Travel Cards will become available at HSL.fi next year as part of the new zone model.
HSL’s new digital services will keep customers up-to-date with issues that particularly interest them. HSL.fi and the HSL app learn to identify customers’ areas of interest and provide news, for example, about their neighborhoods or favorite routes.
In addition, HSL will provide new ways to give feedback. This enables HSL to fix problems faster if, for example, there are shortcomings at stops, on vehicles or in a particular service.
New services are designed together with customers. Customers are engaged, for example, via interviews and usability tests. In addition, customers are asked to use test versions of the services and to give feedback about them.