News from the Trapeze Group: Bus passengers across Poole and Bournemouth are soon to benefit from improved information about their journeys following the award of a new contract to Trapeze Group.
The Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council are investing in an upgrade to the existing real time information (RTI) system. This follows the successful award of funding from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Better Bus Area Funds. The system is expected to deliver up to the minute information to passengers through a state of the art web-based communications system.
The current RTPI scheme was initially delivered in 2002 in Poole and its success has grown across the conurbation, with over 250 buses now tracking on the system. The project has always been at the forefront of technology and innovation. In Summer 2007 the system was the first in the region to launch real time bus information to mobile phone, so passengers could check that their buses were running on time wherever they were. In January 2011 a national first was the pioneering introduction of bus stops equipped with NFC tags to interact with the latest smartphones, again ensuring customers receive the latest information and are in control of their journeys.
This progress continues with the replacement of the existing RTPI back-office system by the latest web-based technology, to ensure easy monitoring of vehicles. Fundamentally communications with the buses themselves can be switched from the current mobile radio to a GPRS solution to provide superior accuracy of bus arrival information.
Following the recent upgrade of a number of key junctions, bus priority at traffic signals can also be delivered across the main Poole – Bournemouth – Christchurch “Three Towns Travel” corridor using Local Sustainable Transport Funding.
Nick Phillips, Accessibility Team Leader for Borough of Poole Transportation Services, said, “By working in partnership with the local bus operators we have seen a dramatic increase in ridership in Poole – passengers have almost doubled in the last ten years. The upgrade of the popular RTI system can continue to make buses more attractive and easier to use – which is great news for both the environment and road congestion.”
Richard Barnes, Public Transport Manager for Bournemouth Borough Council, added, “Our recent survey of over 440 local bus users stated that real time information was in the top three factors that would make them use buses more- after improved reliability and cheaper fares. I am pleased that we have now secured a new RTI system for the next decade.”
The new system is to be delivered by Trapeze Group, whose UK Managing Director, Peter Bell, said, “We are delighted to be able to continue our relationship with Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council. We firmly believe in the importance of improved passenger information to promote public transport usage and are proud to have been chosen to support such forward-thinking organisations.”