Real Time Passenger Information – Ireland
|Contact||National Transport Authority RTPI Surveys|
|Date||2011 to present|
|Service||Manual Surveys and Video Camera surveys for verification of Real Time Passenger Information|
|Scale||Sample surveys over time|
|Project Location:||City of Dublin, Greater Dublin Area and Regional Bus Eireann|
In February 2011 National Transport Authority (NTA) started testing Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) systems at bus stops in Ireland. The initiative covered Dublin as well as Cork, Waterford, Galway and Limerick.
In 2016 RTPI signs at bus stops are the norm and smart phones owners use the Real Time Ireland app across Dublin and other cities. This allows people to set alerts to inform them when their bus is 10, 20 or 30 minutes away from a certain bus stop, so they can plan when to leave home or work. The App shows combined transport updates from Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Luas, DART and Iarnród Éireann. Information is shown at bus and tram stops as well as on the mobile app.
During early trials of the RTPI screens at bus stops it was important to verify that the information was accurate and reliable. If people could not rely on the information the system would not be trusted and used by passengers, reducing the value of the investment drastically. An independent traffic survey was needed to cross check the “on screen” data. NTA did not have the in-house resources in terms of traffic survey staff, planning, project management or technology to carry out the project. The surveys were time critical, the initial verification surveys needed to be completed during March 2011.
Tracsis Traffic and Data Services won the contract to provide the services. Our traffic survey team is based at our office in Dublin so we have expertise on the ground in Ireland as well as the UK and our other international offices.
The key objective of the surveys was to assess the accuracy of the signs and other public information sources for the bus real time passenger information (RTPI) which was being implemented by Dublin City Council. The surveys needed to cover all days of the week and peak, inter-peak and off peak times in order to get a full picture.
There are three types of surveys;
- Dublin Bus Surveys.
- Greater Dublin Area Bus Eireann Surveys.
- Regional Bus Eireann Surveys (Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Galway).
Tracsis traffic survey teams on the ground used manual observations together with our sophisticated multi camera video recording technology to verify bus movements. These techniques provided a range of data for analysis, including:
- Bus route number
- The time the bus first appeared on the sign
- The predicted arrival time of the bus on the sign
- Record of the Minutes shown in countdown (e.g. 5 4 3 2 1 “Due”)
- The time RTPI Due Goes Off Screen
- The Actual Arrival Time of the bus
- Difference in predicted and actual time
- The registration number of the bus
- Registration of buses that arrived without having been shown on the sign (off sign buses)
- Buses were shown on the sign but did not appear (no shows)
Tracsis collated the daily survey results into Excel spreadsheets which were sent to our client by noon the following day. The video surveys were recorded to DVD and forwarded to the client team within 3 days of the footage being collected.
The information that was extracted from the survey data included the arrival pattern of buses:
- The number and % of buses arriving on time
- Buses within 1 minute of the predicted time, within 2 minutes of the predicted time
- The number and % of “ off sign buses” and the details of these buses
- The number and % of no shows and any further details of these buses
- Summary and details of any other inconsistencies observed
The surveys allow the bus operating companies and the Real Time Passenger Information network operators to rectify errors such as ghost buses and no show buses.
Transport for Ireland has rolled out the Real Time Passenger Information across the network and won a number of awards for quality and innovation in the mass transport sector. The information has kept pace with technology and now includes smart phone apps as well as real time bus stop information. The information available to users now includes a Cycle Planner, Journey Planner, Taxi Driver Check as well as the Real Time Ireland app.
Tracsis continue to work with NTA on traffic survey projects and our team in Ireland is expanding all the time. The technology is also advancing and Tracsis remain at the forefront of transport surveys in Ireland. You can read more about some of the latest technology we are deploying in this recent article:
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Tracsis Traffic and Data Services are based in Dublin and the team is lead by David Demery. You can learn more about our traffic survey services in Ireland here: Tracsis Ireland