Title

NEW INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS APPLICATIONS IN EUROPE TO IMPROVE BUS SERVICES

Authors

N HOUNSELL
G Wall

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, planning - signage/information, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - ticketing systems, place - europe, mode - bus

Keywords

Vehicle locating systems, Variable message signs, Traffic control, System architecture, RTI, Road transport informatics, Performance, IVHS, ITS (Intelligent transportation systems), Investments, Investment requirements, Intracity bus transportation, Intelligent vehicle highway systems, Intelligent transportation systems, Information technology, Implementation, Europe, Dynamic message signs, Decision making, Changeable message signs, Bus transit, Bus priority, AVL, Automatic vehicle location, Automatic ticketing, Automatic location systems, Automatic cameras, ATT, Advanced transport telematics

Abstract

Applications of information technology are expanding rapidly across all modes of transport, under the general heading of intelligent transport systems (ITS). For bus-based public transport, a cluster of applications has been developed that can help improve the efficiency and performance of buses on the street, thus helping to provide a real transport alternative to the private car. An initial summary of a range of such ITS examples in Europe is provided, including automatic vehicle location (AVL), bus priority in traffic control systems, automatic ticketing systems, automatic camera enforcement systems, and variable message signs. Then the focus shifts to one area where activity is most pronounced--the implementation of AVL systems and their integration with urban traffic control (UTC) systems. A review of typical AVL/UTC systems operational in Europe is then presented through the identification of some eight alternative architectures and associated system characteristics, such as the technologies used and the location of bus priority "intelligence." This is followed by a summary of examples from cities in Europe that have implemented these architectures, together with typical results illustrating the effectiveness of these systems. The diversity of architectures, technologies, and systems is recognized as beneficial in providing customer choice, but can generate a significant difficulty for decision makers in local authorities wishing to invest in public transport ITS technologies. A concluding discussion lists some of the key issues involved in this investment process.