In 2003, Lille Métropole decided to install an automated vehicle location and real-time passenger information (AVL-RTPI) system in all buses. 250 terminals at main bus stops and interchange stations were set up. In 2008, Lille Metrople decided to further develop this action for improving passenger information and making public transport more attctive.
Background & Objectives
The first information screens installed in 2003 ran on a battery with a lifetime of 6 months. The screens did not have a sound function and the font size was quite small, making them inappropriate for use by people with visual and hearing impairments. It was also important to increase the number of screens at bus stops as part of the development of a high quality bus service. The technology had to be improved, particularly in relation to the battery and the accessibility of the displays.
In 2008, a new call for tender was written with the help of Transpole, the Lille Métropole operator. The industrial company Serelec (associated with Comacom) was the chosen candidate because the technology it had developed matched the goal of implementing more efficient screens.>The new screens were installed in 2009 and 2010.The batteries of the new screens are charged at night through public lighting. Some are solar powered. They have an accoustic support and the size of the font is bigger and more visible.
There was a delay with the installation of the screens because of the worldwide crisis with electronic components, which occurred at the beginning of 2010. Problems also arose with the solar powered screen; some of the locations selected for installation were not suitable because of the density of the surrounding area. However, the new screens are more efficient than the previous ones and the supervisory control enables the daily operating of the screens to be monitored. A lot has been learnt from this operation. The experience will be integrated into the preparation of a new call for tender for more screens. The link with the AVL-RTPI system is now well established and it is easy to connect new screens to it. The objective is now to install more screens in order to give PT users the best real time information.