Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV), owned by the municipal authorities, is responsible for managing regional public transport including that across municipal boundaries. YTV provides traveller information services as a tool for promoting public transport and reducing car use.
YTV organises public transport in the Helsinki region, running the competitive tendering process for public transport services. In order to ensure co-ordinated information, YTV collates transport data and disseminates information through other organisations and their own services.
Objectives & Implementation
YTV’s public policy goals include promoting public transport and reducing car use. These, rather than commercial goals, have driven the development of its public transport information services. Improving real time information services is another objective for YTV.
The timetable database information is generally available free of charge to users and contracted services providers.
Most of the information for the integrated timetable database comes from services managed by YTV, and information from all local and regional public transport operators in the area is collected. YTV also collects real time operational data from bus operators.
Timetable and fare information is shared with organisations providing services to the public by agreement with YTV, and with commercial content providers.
The system has been improved during the last years, now offering a new public transport traffic signal priority and passenger information system called Helmi that gives priority to buses and trams at traffic lights and predicts arrival times of buses and trams at stops and sends them to the stop displays, the internet and data system interface which then provides data e.g. for HSL's My departures timetable service. More information can be found in HSL’s homepage http://www.hsl.fi/EN/TIMETABLESANDROUTES/Pages/default.aspx
Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) began operating on 1 January 2010. The new organization is responsible for the planning and organization of public transport services in its member municipalities, as well as for the preparation of the Helsinki Region Transport System Plan.
The new transport authority merges YTV Transport and the planning and procurement functions of HKL (Helsinki City Transport). The metro and tram service units of HKL continue their operation under HKL.
Conclusions and Future Development
YTV have found that traveller information services can be used to improve the quality of public transport services. In Finland there is a large amount of development in mobile technology, but the demand for traveller information services is not so strong, even though there is high use of mobile technology.
An investigation of customer ‘willingness’ to pay for mobile services has been carried out, with a large survey among users of the information service. Customer opinion of the TTI service has been assessed using a national survey, but the results are not yet available.
A need has been identified for minimum standards for data quality, to enable use of information services to be promoted.
Business models have yet to be developed in Finland for real time information services on public transport.
Development of traveller information services in Finland is being hindered by lack of standards for data, limited resources and insufficient profit.
A new real time information database is planned for the future, but it may be delayed due to lack of funding.
YTV operates a web site which includes a public transport journey planner http://aikataulut.hsl.fi/reittiopas/en/ which is available free of charge, in addition to printed information, call centres and displays at stops.