Critical Appraisal of Web-Based Passenger Information Systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, ridership - commuting, technology - passenger information, planning - integration, planning - signage/information


Internet-based Passenger Information Systems (PIS), fixed-route regular bus services, bus rapid transit (BRT), printed transit timetables, Google Transit, transit agencies websites


Passenger information is vital for developing a user-friendly public transportation system. Websites are rapidly gaining popularity for public transport information dissemination, particularly due to their anytime-anywhere availability and their suitability for the multimodal applications and multilingual interface. Internet-based Passenger Information Systems (PIS), therefore, have become common in developed countries. The development of PIS for urban transport in India however, is at an experimental stage with very few operational deployments. This paper attempts to examine the current state-of-the-art features in Web-based passenger information systems in India and abroad, while critically evaluating the existing sources of public transport information in Ahmedabad as a case study. Ahmedabad, like several other Indian cities, has fixed-route regular bus services in conjunction with a recently-introduced bus rapid transit (BRT) system. The study compares the information content in printed transit timetables, Google Transit, and websites of the transit agencies, with the spatial dataset of public transport network prepared by integrating information from several sources. The results highlight the issues pertaining to accuracy, coverage, and timeliness of information contents available in developing countries, requiring innovative technological interventions to meet the growing information needs of commuters.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by National Center for Transit Research, University of South Florida, copyright remains with them.