Traveler Information

A while back, I wrote about the concept of TSM&O. Yesterday, I had a chance to sit in on a workshop visioning one of the next steps: Traveler Information – I even got to demo Transit Surfer.

The idea behind Traveler Information is to give people the information they need before or during their trip to help plan the trip, choose the mode, adapt to congestion, pick alternate routes, etc. All in the service of a more efficient trip and better user experience (and maybe even reduction in undesirable outcomes, like air pollution from idling vehicles stuck in traffic jams).

So here’s the question. What kind of Traveler Information would you like to see? How can we use and communicate information to transform travel behavior here in our region?

2 responses to “Traveler Information”

  1. Chris,
    If you aren’t familiar with it, you might want to try getting a copy of “Telematik im ÖPNV in Deutschland / Telematics in Public Transport in Germany”, published by the VDV (Association of German Transport Companies). The book is in both German and English.

    Though it is now 5 years old, it details almost all of the technology that is now coming into widespread use in applications of telematics/ITS/TSM&O (by whichever name you wish to call it). I studied passenger information systems a couple of years ago and it was an invaluable resource.

    The book details what tools are available and desirable in eliminating or streamlining the barriers to entry (both physical and psychological) for public transportation. It is a great refence tool, and is €60 new at (though I see it is available used on for about €20).

    Like all of the VDV’s publications (particularly the superb “Stadtbahnen in Deutschland / Light Rail in Germany”), I highly recommend it as it addresses the very questions that are posed in this and other posts here on Portland Transport.

  2. People get some ‘traveler information’ — namely, which roads are busy — from the news on the TV or radio during the day. The news also gives the weather, but I like to just check the weather on my computer because it is faster and more localized.

    It would be neat to have something like a traffic widget running on the computer which knows where your main destinations/routes are and could tell you which are busy, how long it would take you, and which way would be the fastest route (and that would include showing car routes, bike routes, and transit routes). If there’s already something like that let me know! ;)

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