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User information

Specialist opinion

New information and communications technologies (NICTs) provide new possibilities for improving user information provision; however, we must not forget those who are not familiar with these new technologies, or who do not have access to them: even the most comprehensive and efficient website, accessible via mobile phones and interactive terminals in transport interchanges, can never replace paper network maps and timetables, quite simply because there will always be users who prefer these forms of information. Of course, this should not in any way impede the development of new means of communication, particularly those capable of calculating optimum routes within complex networks, or which enable users to find out, via their mobile phone, when the next bus will arrive at a particular stop. The biggest challenge ahead lies in providing users with information that is both comprehensive and easy to understand, concerning the whole of their journey, even if this involves more than one transport network, with more than one managing authority and more than one operator. This challenge is more complex to resolve than it may first appear, as it requires dialogue and cooperation between different organisations with sometimes very different interests and priorities, on scales that are sometimes incompatible, and, above all, regarding data that must first be standardised before it can be compiled, processed and distributed. Furthermore, this is something of a never-ending task, as networks are constantly changing (timetable changes, new routes and lines, changes in fares, etc.) – however, this is the price that must be paid for high-quality information.

Latest documents available online

  • Users and the information provided by urban public transport networks

  • STUDY : The general trends with regard to travel information are marked by an intellectualisation of, and an increasing abstraction in, the use of urban public transport (a reduced human presence on networks, the ever greater role played by technology in public transport, increasingly broad and complex fare structures, etc.). ...Read more
  • Online multimodal information in Rome (I)

  • EXPERIMENT : ATAC, the local mobility agency in Rome, has used the Civitas project to improve the level of information provided via the Internet on the INFOPOINT website. INFOPOINT is an Internet-based tool developed by ATAC that allows users to work out an itinerary using public transport combined with a P&R solution, multimodal choices, access to timetables, an address search function and sites of interest. ...Read more
  • Recherches et Synthèses August 2004 - No. 12

  • STUDY : Alerts on dangerous bends: be patient for a little while longer. They may not be here tomorrow but they will certainly not be long in coming. That was the main finding of a study published in 2002 on early risk prevention using navigation systems. ...Read more