Latest technology enables bus passengers to have timetable information at their fingertips

Posted: 25 March 2011 | RSL | No comments yet

Bus passengers in Hertfordshire are now able to instantly access personalised transport information, thanks to new technology…

RSL Logo

Bus passengers in Hertfordshire are now able to instantly access personalised transport information, thanks to new technology.

The introduction of Quick Response (QR) technology has meant that bus passengers can now access departure information via their mobile phones for all bus stops in the county. These personal departure boards can be accessed at any time, from any location, avoiding the need for printed information.

Hertfordshire County Council worked with RSL, a leading supplier of interactive, public information systems, to implement the QR codes. The codes have enabled Hertfordshire County Council to encourage greater use of public transport, allowing easier access to transport information and raise the quality and delivery of this information.

A QR code is a matrix barcode, consisting of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. These are individual to each bus stop and are being added to all the bus stops in the county, totalling more than 4,000.

Travellers download a free ‘QR code reader’ to enable their mobile phones to use this new technology and they can then use their phone to take a picture of the QR code for the bus stop they wish to access. This will then link them to a website, which provides a view of that bus stop’s departure times.

Once they have chosen which bus stops they want the timetable information for, they can then save this as a favourite, so they can go back to it at any time, effectively creating their own personalised travel plan.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said: “The real benefit of this new software, apart from the obvious, is that it allows Hertfordshire County Council to deliver departure screens at locations where it would not be economically viable to install one, so that even rural communities can benefit from schedule information, accessed from home or on the move.”

The other benefits of QR codes include:

  • providing travel information which is specific to the bus stop and route required
  • instant access to timetables and any further information the passenger needs
  • negates the need for out-dated, hard-to-read printed timetables
  • easy and free to use
  • the webpage can be saved, allowing passengers to access them from other locations, such as the home or office or while out and about
  • the software can be easily updated as new features become available

RSL is enhancing the software as more aspects of QR code technology are developed. Adrian Greenslade, Regional Sales Manager, RSL, said: “The system is capable of using real-time information and we hope that Hertfordshire County Council will introduce this facility this year. This information will also be delivered to bus companies’ websites, ePIPs and departure screens in bus stations and bus stops with this facility. This will enable passengers to monitor when buses are due and to avoid waiting for delayed buses.”

Hertfordshire County Council has also commissioned RSL to develop a cross-platform mobile phone application. This include the use of QR codes but will also provide other ways for passengers to access travel information.

The application will enable passengers to find their closest bus stop and view the departures for whichever stop they select. It will also allow them to view timetables for the entire county and easily access information about their favourite and most frequently used services.

Related organisations