TfGM to launch journey planner application

An app for smartphones is being developed by Transport for Greater Manchester after a successful pilot in April.

The app, which will be available online and on suitably enabled mobile phones, will show bus, tram and train times with real-time updates to allow passengers to plan their journeys.

It will also alert you if you will miss a connection and suggest options to re-plan if services meet with delays or alterations.

David Hytch, information systems director at TfGM, said: "Rather than providing journey data from the operator's point of view, the service is aimed at giving passengers the information they need in an accessible way, empowering all passengers, including those who may not know the area or network well.

"Most people are at ease using a PC or a phone and, rather than having to download or print a timetable or brochure, passengers can use the online service to plan a journey across multiple
transport modes. Importantly, the smartphone app means they can also continue to access information on their journey whilst travelling.

"The system works the journey out with all the links and, by choosing the monitor option, it alerts the passenger if they are on time or going to miss their connection, offering an option to re-plan if they need to.

"Sharing travel data with passengers in a way which is easy to use and relates directly to each individual journey is the next step to helping our passengers get the most out of their public transport network. It also reflects the rapid uptake of smartphones across current commuting

The service has been developed as part of a Technology Strategy Board match-funded scheme by Logica and Vix Technology, supported by Transport for Greater Manchester.

The service was piloted in Bury at the end of April, with bus operator First Manchester fitting out 120 buses with the automatic vehicle location equipment needed to provide the vital real-time bus information.

Following the successful pilot in Bury, development of the new journey planner service is ongoing, with the first version of the app, providing passenger journey planning and monitoring, expected to be launched next year.

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would it not have been simpler and cheaper for TfGM to just use the gps transponder in every smart phone to track where a passenger is on their planned journey? Also will TfGM utilise the data for future planning and service integration?

By boywonder

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