Vehicle-stop announcements can be automated and provided as an alternative or as a supplement to real-time information displayed within the vehicles.
Vehicle stop announcement consists of pre-recorded messages that are played as the vehicle approaches or arrives at a stop. Typical formats are:
- Between stops, announce the name of the next stop
- On approach to the stop, announce the name of the stop
- On departure, name the stop which has just been served, and give advance notification of the next stop
- Optionally, for all of the above, state the main connections – other bus routes, railway stations, metro connections
- Optionally, for all of the above, state the main destinations and/or tourist destinations served by the stop
The pre-recorded information can be supplemented by voice announcements made by the driver or by the CAD/AVM dispatcher.
Technologies, data and resources
The pre-recorded material is stored in a data module. This can be a stand-alone unit linked to the vehicle PA system, or can be integrated with the on-board computer of the CAD/AVM system or with the real-time information system.
The announcements are normally actuated by the vehicle location system, door sensors, or by the fare collection system. Alternatively, they may be actuated by the in-vehicle real-time information system if they are supplementary to it. If there is no other ITS system to activate it, the driver can initiate the stop announcement.
Advantages and Cautions
The primary advantages of Vehicle-stop announcement are to:
- Provide travellers with relevant information while they are in transit
- Reduce anxiety about where to alight
- Provide information in a format that suits people with visual impairments or reading difficulties
- Facilitate multi-lingual announcements
- Provide a communication channel for the CAD/AVM dispatcher to give information directly to the travellers on an individual route or bus
The principal cautions in relation to Vehicle Stop announcements are:
- Messages should be tested against a wide audience range to ensure that content, phrasing and clarity meet the objectives
- Regular travellers, infrequent travellers native to the location, and visitors/tourists, are each likely to have different requirements and different responses to messages
- As the messages are announced at least once for every stop, regular travellers may find them increasingly irritating. Volume and especially tone needs to be carefully balanced.
Relevant Case Studies
Dublin, Mysore, Zurich