Mobile application for users’ guidance at interchanges

This tool is a mobile application for the guidance of users at interchanges through indoor and outdoor coverage.

This tool consists of:

    • using all mobile capacities to help passengers (who have a mobile device) to orient themselves around and inside a station.
    • providing an orientation-based service during passenger journeys (in a mobility context)

Several functionalities may help orient passengers:

– a map with a chart devoted to passenger – a search function to list amenities, facilities, public transport stops, lines – a guidance function – a current location function (“You are here”)

For whom is the application designed? – Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) who have particular needs – occasional travellers/visitors who are not familiar with the station – any person who may need a specific service around or inside the station

A guidance function as well as a search function requires a digital description of the station. That description needs to cover all existing facilities and amenities that may be indoor or outdoor. If that description does not already exist, a back-office function becomes necessary to produce this description. When station maps are available, the back-office should be able to describe and locate the facilities & amenities on the map.

A/ Map A map is combination of several layers of information: – a building layer, including building limits, road and railway infrastructure – a service layer, including all kind of amenities and shops

A.1 The outside map For a local neighbourhood map (i.e. an outdoor map), there are many map providers available for a mobile application.

A.2 The indoor map A map does not usually exist for indoor use. Major Internet companies may provide floor plans around the world, but the coverage for European countries remains widely incomplete/inconsistent.

B/ Facilities and amenities, list and search function

B.1 Simple implementation on the mobile application To list all facilities and amenities, it is not necessary to have a station map. The mobile application can provide: – amenities and facilities, by category – a search function by category, for example – a station “quality standard” (such as NF for French stations) – WiFi available in stations and terms of use – station opening hours

B.2 More advanced implementation on the mobile application Service layers include – stop area amenities, such as stairs, corridors, doors, – ticket office, ATM, information office, toilets, waiting room, information office, – taxi, PT Network stops and lines, bike area, car-sharing points, carpooling areas, – all kind of shops within station area

C/ Guidance service A guidance service first needs to model all of the navigation paths through the station. Navigation paths have to form a continuous line that connects all facilities and amenities, as well as public transport stops around or inside the station.

D/ Automatic location This mobile app should make it easy for users to locate their current position. This may be possible using the GPS system embedded in mobile device. However, when users are underground, GPS is no longer available. The mobile app should also be able to select a station (or a stop area) to describe its indoor map and neighbourhood of the station.

2D map views enable all of the functionalities mentioned for mobile applications. More realistic views are also possible on mobile applications, such as3D views and fully immersive views. But these views make the process much more complicated of locating facilities and the process of keeping the description up to date.


NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration ++
Enhance intermodality ++
Enhance liveability 0
Increase safety and security conditions +
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency 0
Stimulate local economy +
Increase environmental efficiency 0
Increase energy efficiency 0

Good practice

Although some experiments have been conducted in various cities, the state of the art for this type of application (regardless of whether the device is mobile or not) is that there is not yet a mature solution with full station coverage on a city level. Like most of the best-known applications on the internet and in the mobile world, it is usually global solutions that achieve a success. For this type of mobile application, a ‘global solution’ means that as many stations as possible are available on the mobile application.

Best practice:

1/ Use existing collaborative platform

– Platform powered by major internet companies (like Google Maps) with conditions for use

– Open collaborative platform, such as OSM

http://openstreetmap.fr/partenariat-sncf-transilien

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_France/RER/C

2/ Use of Identification of Fixed Objects in Public Transport (IFOPT) standard

This specification defines a model and identification principles for the main fixed objects related to public access to Public Transport (e.g. stopping points, stopping areas, stations, connection links, entrances, etc.).

Geospatial location techniques of PT objects (e.g. use of satellites, roadside equipment for positioning) or representation techniques on maps (projections) are outside of the scope of this standard.

Demonstration results in Rouen: A very useful tool and needed for interchanges, requiring low maintenance, but complex to deploy if no “Transport Data Repository” exists and may become unreliable.


Potential interchange performance improvement

Any mobile application should:

– reduce the interchange duration

– increase the number of PRM going through the station

– increase the use of station facilities and amenities

– increase footfall at the retail outlets around the station


Resources

– Cost indication for use of tool

The development of a mobile application is quite low

The main costs involved are:

– integration with existing Journey Planner (cf Tool #6)

– producing indoor and outdoor map and navigation path if not available

– Other resources needed for use of the tool

Nothing

– Indication of the higher costs engendered for using the tool

Process for keeping up-to-date information on maps

– Distribution of costs between stakeholders

At least 2 scenarios are possible

1/ Cost covered in full by the Local Authority

2/ The Local Authority can just take the cost for collecting station description and information and publish it in Open Data (http://data.sncf.com/news/laureats-hackathon-hackcess).

Private companies can then develop the mobile application

References

Immersive view:

http://www.gares360.com/

3D modelling: King’s Cross St. Pancras

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2012/jun/27/3d-train-stations-rail

To be detailed:

2D station map in SVG format

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/SME/html/NRE_SVG/plan.html

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/SME/html/NRE_SER/plan.html?rtnloc=SER

OSM

http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/

ODBL licence

http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/

IFOPT Specifications

http://www.dft.gov.uk/naptan/ifopt/

Shortest Path Open Source solutions

http://project-osrm.org/

http://pgrouting.org/

http://www.opentripplanner.org/