Integration and quality improvements of sustainable modes in Odense/Denmark

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

Turning the current trend for the growth of car transport in Denmark at the expense of public transport modes is one of the greatest challenges for mobility planning. By removing the barriers against the positive choice of public transport options, it is hoped that Odense can contribute to charting new ways of turning the tide.

Objectives / Innovative Aspects

Objectives
  • To increase the quality, attractiveness and accessibility of alternative transport modes in Odense (busses, bicycles, taxis and car sharing) through a bus priority scheme and advanced information services.
  • To execute interrelated innovative activities to promote the use of the new integrated service; these will include marketing and media campaigns.
The 1st objective - the SMS ticket was developed and launched in January 2008. In the busses information signs have been installed telling about next stop and giving real time information. Interactive information points have been installed at the bus station giving real time information and other relevant information to travellers, commuters etc. Bus priority system based on GPS has been implemented.The 2nd objective - a large image campaign was launched to focus on Public Transport in Odense. A website was also created as well as the possibility to get real time information as an SMS. The campaign and the website were evaluated in 2006.Innovative aspects
  • The development of SMS ticket in cooperation with TDC (telephone operator). For the first time in Denmark it is possible to use your mobile phone to pay for the bus trip with a SMS simply by showing the driver in the bus the SMS. The passengers are charged on the phone bill. It’s also an advantage for the drivers not to carry around money in the bus. The system didn’t exist in Denmark before this measure.
  • Interactive information points with wireless Internet giving real time information to passengers, travellers and commuters.
  • Real time information on SMS

The Measure

The challenge for planning for improvements in public transport modes in Odense should be seen against the backdrop of falling passenger numbers and a declining economic base of PT services. The present public bus plan does not anticipate changes in favour of sustainable modes unless exceptional innovative and non-traditional steps are taken.Up until the end of 2006 bus services in Odense were provided by a council run bus company (Odense Bybusser) which up until the time of the MOBILIS project application, had little or no tradition for cooperation with the public, bus users or other transport operators. There had been little or no cooperation between motorized public transport modes and cycles. To remove barriers for mobility choice and to improve the match between supply and demand for public transport, cooperative systems for payment, inter modal exchange, information and timetables must be brought into place.The measure was implemented in the following stages:Stage 1: Marketing campaign - image (from January 2006 - to October 2006) a campaign was launched to raise the awareness of PT in Odense and to create a better image. Posters were displayed three times in the city encouraging the citizens to take the bus. Postcards were handed out stating the same.A new website was launched in the beginning of 2006 (www.bybussen.dk) giving information about time tables, prices etc.An event was carried out in the summer 2006 - water bottles with promotion about the new website were handed out in the city.An event was carried out in the autumn 2006 - 5000 umbrellas were handed out in the city centre to promote the website>The campaign was evaluated in the autumn.Stage 2: Electronical communication - The SMS ticket was introduced so that customers can use their mobile phone to pay for the bus trip.Interactive information points with wireless Internet giving real time information to passengers, travellers and commuters were placed 5 places in the city and 2 electronic signs gives bus passengers information on the coming busses. Real time information is offered on an SMS and pasengers can use WAP to download the actual time tables.

Implementation Status

Stage 1: Marketing campaign - image (from January 2006 - to October 2006) a campaign was launched to raise the awareness of PT in Odense and to create a better image. Posters were displayed three times in the city encouraging the citizens to take the bus. Postcards were handed out stating the same.A new website was launched in the beginning of 2006 (www.bybussen.dk) giving information about time tables, prices etc.An event was carried out in the summer 2006 - water bottles with promotion about the new website were handed out in the city.An event was carried out in the autumn 2006 - 5000 umbrellas were handed out in the city centre to promote the website.The campaign was evaluated in the autumn.Stage 2: Electronical communication - The SMS ticket was introduced so that customers can use their mobile phone to pay for the bus trip.Interactive information points with wireless Internet giving real time information to passengers, travellers and commuters were placed 5 places in the city and 2 electronic signs gives bus passengers information on the coming busses. Real time information is offered on an SMS and pasengers can use WAP to download the actual time tables.

Results

The creative us of mobile phones for ticket sales and to provide relevant information very much fits into the image of the younger generation. Furthermore it’s a very cost efficient way of using peoples existing equipment in new dimensions.The WAP application for downloads of time tables concerning local busses has been in function for 2 years and 10,052 users have been registered, equivalent to 419 monthly users.The SMS information system has been running 2 months longer and each month it’s used 3,379 times.5,001 SMS tickets have been sold per month during the first year. The system has now been overtaken by the regional transport company FynBus and the latest figures show a daily sale of 178 tickets. The weekly growth is now at 4 %.Tickets sold by SMS now cover 4-5 % of the total sale.The 4 information screens at the bus terminal are used in average 5,588 times/month each.The bus priority system has increased the travel speed by 3 % in the evening and 1 % during the day due to traffic congestion.A survey from 2006 involving 402 citizens showed that 87 % of the users of the web site were happy about the accessibility.17 % are regularly users of the local busses (at least one a week) while 27 % never use them, among those most of them are men and middle aged.55 % of the population were not aware of the marketing initiatives for the local public transport.To get a hold on the younger generations it was mainly the street posters and the free drinking water bottles which were most effective. In general the most frequent users were more aware of the marketing initiatives than the rest of the citizens.Barriers
  • Bus priority systems are not enough without giving special lanes to busses at selected points.
  • Campaigns need to be repeated ongoing even though the budgets don’t allow so.
Topic: 
Collective passenger transport
Archive
Country: 
Denmark
City: 
Odense
Contact: 
Kristina Edrén
Author: 
Kristina Edrén
Keywords: 
03 Nov 2008
29 Aug 2014