Guidelines for specifying automatic vehicle location and real-time passenger information systems using current best practice
Several bus companies and local authorities are showing a great deal of interest in automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology since AVL data can be used to drive systems which provide real-time passenger information at bus stops (which are perceived to be a potential source of increasing patronage and also have a high on-street profile). However, many AVL and real-time passenger information systems have been bought 'off-the-shelf' without consideration as to whether the system could be better with re-specification. To combat this problem, a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the various AVL technologies has been made to produce guidelines for the specification of AVL systems and real-time passenger information systems, and the results have been presented here. To identify current best practice, interviews were carried out with project managers of most of the real-time passenger information systems operational in the UK and some bus operators who were implementing AVL systems. The results suggest that no one system embraces all best practice and so there is potential to improve on the 'off-the-shelf' systems currently available from manufacturers.