Journeyweb: a protocol for a distributed public transport journey planner

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

technology - management information systems


Globally, at least 97% of mechanically assisted transport is fuelled by oil (EC, 1996). With the increased combustion of oil, producing water vapour, SOx, NOx, and COx, the relative quantities of these gases could be said to be reaching undesirable levels, both locally and globally (DETR, 1998). Further, human consumption of available oil supplies greatly exceeds biological production from a global perspective (Steinhart, 1970, Hall, 1990, BP, 1998). As a result, G7, remaining European, and other governments met at Kyoto, committing governments to reduce pollution (DETR, 1998). Policy then has begun to encourage more efficient use of available oil supplies, and a redirection of energy consumption towards renewable fuels. (DETR, 1998) One method of implementing this policy is to reduce society's dependence on the flexible and convenient, yet energy, and land consuming, noisy and air polluting modes of private automobile and air transport. These dependencies can be reduced through the restriction of these modes, and the promotion of alternatives such as walking, cycling and increased utilisation and provision of public transport, including bus, coach, and rail (DETR, 1998). Steers (1997) argues that it is insufficient to just provide alternative modes of transport to the private automobile; individuals need accurate schedule (timetable), fare, and itinerary planning information to use public transport services. (Potgraven, 1995) However, two impediments currently prevent the widespread provision of accurate information: 1) human and behavioural barriers, and 2) operational and technical barriers. The JourneyWeb Project aims to mitigate some of the operational and technical barriers in providing timely, usefid, and fluid (i.e. "seamless") public transport information (EC., 1996). To further limit the scope of this paper however, it is necessary to focus here on the operational barriers.


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