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CASE STUDY Traveller information

“The basis for establishing the organisational structures are information exchange agreements that clearly regulate rights to data as well as responsibilities concerning data quality to be delivered”

operative since the beginning of 2013. The GIP combines the transport net- works of 11 data owners. Based on the GIP, an Austria-wide traveller informa- tion service (VAO, or Verkehrsauskunft Österreich) has been established, funded by the Austrian Climate and Energy Funds. This multi-modal service, includ- ing road transport as well as public trans- port, walking and cycling information is currently in the beta-testing phase. In the second half of this year a public test version will be available, provid- ing multi-modal traveller information services across Austria. The mobility agency AustriaTech cares for the quality standards. Moreover, other countries within Central Europe are also working on regional and national traveller information solutions. Looking at these approaches and the maturity of the solutions it is obvious that the provision of cross-border services is not a technical problem. Also the avail- ability of data cannot be the key problem, as data is already provided for the local systems. Missing organisational struc- tures and information exchange agree- ments are currently the main obstacle. Organisational structures need to be

established based on cooperation and trust between all data and information providers. Operators need to under- stand that a sustainable transport system can only be guaranteed by cooperating with neighbouring operators and not in competition. The basis for establishing the organi-

sational structures are information exchange agreements that clearly regu- late rights to data as well as responsi- bilities concerning data quality to be delivered. Additionally, security of past investments needs to be ensured. No operator or administration is willing to endure sunk costs by stopping existing operative systems.


improvement of the existing national or local routing and information services by providing cross-border information. Therefore services such as Austria’s VAO could also work in Hungary and, con- versely , Hungary’s KIKA could work in Austria. In future, travellers can use their information device (app or web-based service) in their native language and receive route guidance for all modes also in foreign cities and regions. As data and information is provided

Martin Russ, Managing Director AustriaTech: “Missing organisational structures and information exchange agreements are currently the main obstacle.” Photo: © AustriaTech

Towards the end of 2012, forerunner

operators and cities in Central Europe committed themselves to work on the installation of multi-modal cross-bor- der traveller information services. This has been realised in the EDITS-project (European Digital Traffic Infrastructure Network for Intelligent Transport Systems; and implemented through the Central Europe programme co-financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). The solution that is currently in

the deployment phase is based on the exchange of travel related informa- tion, eg geographical information, public transport timetables or road transport information between opera- tors and authorities based on bilat- eral data exchange agreements. This exchange results in the enlargement and

directly from the operators, accurate services and a high quality are ensured. By end of 2014 it is expected that at least for parts of Austria, Southern Moravia (CZ), Bratislava (SK), western parts of Hungary, Friuli Venetia Giulia, Modena, and Ferrara (all IT) multi-modal cross- border services will be serving travellers. The system has been set up in a way that even real-time information for all modes will be delivered to the travellers. Once the links for information

exchange have been established, cross- border traveller information services can be provided. Alongside regular travel information for all modes, real-time information about unexpected travel conditions can be provided to travellers as well. Travellers will feel well informed and secure about their transport choice as travel-related information is delivered in the highest quality directly from oper- ators and authorities, resulting in seam- less cross-border trips across the Danube Region. Were this to become reality the horrendous traffic chaos of March 2013 will be consigned to history.

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 Martin Böhm is Head of Unit Mobility Systems and ITS Deployment

Vol 8 No 2 Europe/Rest of the World ||||||||| C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

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