ITxPT – architecture for better Public Transport

Information Technology Systems (ITS) in public transport is evolving rapidly. Key components such as monitors, cameras, ticketing machines consistently deliver better performance at lower costs. Public transport companies across Europe also increasingly invest in additional ITS systems to support their operations.

One of the influencing technology initiatives on a European level is the European Bus System of the Future (EBSF). This project is developing the new generation of urban buses whereby on-board information systems and back office software play an important part. Based on open technology, the EBSF IT (Information Technology) platform gives operators and transport authorities the opportunity to use public transport data anywhere in Europe. This is performed through common mechanisms, standard rules and protocols, enabling the delivery of information that is personalised and dynamic.

As a result, the IT architecture developed in the EBSF project has paved the way for a standard IT protocol for Public Transport; named the ITxPT (Information Technology for Public Transport) platform. This integrated European initiative is set up to specify, test, qualify and showcase IT solutions. ITxPT concentrates on communication protocols and hardware interfaces to offer a full interoperability of IT systems in Public Transport applications. The platform also complements the technical specifications by including a test bench and tools for monitoring and testing solutions, in a standardized, multi-suppliers interoperable environment.

As end-users regularly interact with the systems, intuitiveness and ease-of-use is paramount when designing human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for passenger information solutions, journey planners and e-ticketing systems. An area which receives special attention within public transport is solutions for disabled people, for example catering to the needs of visually and hearing impaired people.

21st Century technology has already adopted the ITxPT requirements stream in a successful project for Keolis Gothenburg in Sweden. Their fleet of 120 buses was fitted out with on-board surveillance and safety systems meeting not only the EBSF and ITxPT requirements but also those of the local Transport Authority. A more detailed case study of this complex configuration can be requested by sending an email to marco.dingemans@21stplc.com.