Article:

RTPI Toolkits: What would you like in yours?

The Trapeze Team | December 03, 2018

To lean on an old proverb, ‘when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail’. From a delivery of real-time passenger information (RTPI) perspective, it is probably fair to say that the days of only having hammers are behind us.

In the past, transport providers had few options when it came to delivering passenger information – if RTPI was called for, suppliers reached for their trusty at-stop signs.

Signs remain hugely important of course – to this day they are probably the most powerful means of delivering passenger information – but it is increasingly important to recognise the emergence of other, complementary, delivery methods.

At-stop signs are no longer the only tool – and in certain scenarios they are probably not the best option either.

At Trapeze our job is to help our customers to deliver RTPI as effectively and efficiently as possible – with the available budget. We advocate taking a ‘toolkit approach’ to delivery options, dipping into your bag to locate the best tool for the job at hand.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some items you could consider adding to your RTPI toolkit.

E Ink Signs

Install E Ink signs at stops to deliver RTPI information (plus schedules, maps and other graphical elements if you wish).

Pros: Easy to install; low power consumption (can be solar powered); also replaces printed publicity
Cons:    Requires some hardware and installation
When to use: Bus stops without existing power infrastructure – especially rural locations

Smartphone Apps

Distribute RTPI via your own Smartphone App (or website).

Pros: One solution for the entire conurbation; completely mobile
Cons: Not everyone has a Smartphone (though most do, and adoption is rising)
When to use: If you want to reduce at-stop infrastructure (signs, REACT audio); rural areas with low passenger numbers

APIs

Publish RTPI via an Application Program Interface (API), enabling other organisations to access, utilise and distribute this information. Typically this might be through a Smartphone App or website.

Pros: Seamless transfer of data (saves effort, reduces errors); external organisations can develop the delivery solution; increase range of delivery methods (3rd party tools/websites)
Cons:  Requires organisations to utilise the API; loss of control over distribution method
When to use: When you have external organisations who could deliver information, or local developers who may wish to use it

Digital Signage

Publish RTPI on TFTs, totems and any other graphical displays in bus stations, town centres, libraries etc. RTPI can be supplemented with other rich information, e.g. local maps, disruption information, pictures, advertisements, twitter feeds and news tickers.

Pros: Large colour screens can be powerful information tools; blend RTPI with other relevant information or even advertising; encourage public to choose bus
Cons: Screens may require hardware and installation
When to use: Interchanges and transport hubs; public spaces
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About The Trapeze Team

The Trapeze Team are here to bring you news and information from Trapeze Group (UK) and the public transportation industry.

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