On the basis of operational experience of existing Vehicle Scheduling and Control Systems (VSCS) and the research work of the partners, the project will aim at the definition and specification of a new generation of more efficient and lower cost VSCS. New generation VSCS will be capable of interacting with other RTI systems.
The project for bus advanced real time operational control (BARTOC) aims to define a new generation of more efficient and less expensive vehicle scheduling and control systems (VSCS) for public networks, acting in real time for improving services. The technical approach is to take the results of existing vehicle scheduling and control systems and of related systems (fare collection, user information, priority at crossroads), to review the users requirements in order to identify those not met by the existing VSCS, to review the evolution of the environment of such systems, to define the external functions of the system and how to implement them, with feasibility studies carried out for new technologies, to integrate the above defined function in order to specify the structure best able to implement these functions with flexibility and efficiency, to specify recommended system design and to specify a demonstration project to assess the anticipated benefits.
The research investigated the reasons why many urban public transport companies have adopted vehicle supervisory control systems (VSCS) as a means of controlling an improving the operation of their bus fleets. The research focused on the new generation of VSCS's which incorporate radio communication networks, bus location techniques, high performance regulation algorithms, automatic fare collection systems and advanced passenger information.
The research concluded that the new generation of VSC's offers the following advantages:
For bus operators:
there is a good range of equipment and functions that meet the requirements of any type of bus operation in any European city;
increased potential for integrating the VSCS into the bus company's computerized systems;
these are operational cost reductions;
new regulation algorithms and expert systems are available;
data acquisition helps bus service decision making;
standardized VSCS equipment is available.
For transport authorities:
the VSCS can be integrated with other civil computerized systems (eg traffic, routing, information, etc);
improved public transport image for users;
reduction of vehicle pollution;
there can be a better understanding of transportation problems and data acquisition to help decision making.
improved system use for operators (drivers, regulators);
increased security for staff and passengers.
easier to used public transport;
the availability accurate information concerning bus services, especially at bus stops.
reduced manufacturing costs;
well established and defined standards for equipment and software.
User information systems (or computer aided information systems) play an important part in the interface between the public transport network and its customers. This research investigated what the user wants, the different levels of passenger information systems available (at home, in the street, at bus stops, on the bus), how to disseminate this information, and how to make it publically available. The effects of malfunctions in different parts of the system and ways of avoiding them were also investigated. Maintenance requirements and the effects of vandalism were considered.
The technical approach will be to:
- survey the performance of existing VSCS and related systems (for fare collection, user information, prioritising trips, schedule design and so on) which may require integration with the VSCS.
- review the users' requirements and the evolution of the environment of such systems.
- define the external functions of the system and how to implement them.
- integrate these functions in order to specify the structure and the components (hardware and software) of the system.
- specify recommended system design and draft proposals for European standards.
- design & specify a demonstration project to be used to assess the benefits of the improved VSCS.
Review of existing and proposed systems and solutions for public transport VSCS, recommended system specifications, specification for a demonstration project.