IVU User Forum: New challenges for public transport
Integrated, interoperable and intermodal
What does the intermodal traveller need? This was the question posed at the opening of this year’s User Forum of IVU Traffic Technologies AG by the guest speaker Volker Sparmann, Mobility Officer of the Federal State Government of Hesse. Providing mobility in the future will call for rethinking on the part of public transport operators and policy makers, Sparmann continued. Attention must increasingly be focused in future on the passenger, and the new needs generated in the course of demographic change will also have to be considered. This hypothesis and the future development of public transport worldwide were discussed by some 400 participants in the Estrel Hotel, Berlin on 18 and 19 February. Guests from 18 countries travelled to the international sector meeting in order to meet and exchange views about new strategies and IT solutions, with a series of lectures and an accompanying exhibition. The longest trip took some 20 hours – from the Colombian city of Cali to the German capital city.
“Mobility for the future” was the title of the speech which started this year’s User Forum and at the same time this also represented the focus of the lecture series. In changing societal conditions, the demands on public transport are constantly increasing. This is presenting new challenges both the transport operators and for the system houses. New communications media such as the smartphone mean that users can access information round the clock, and can choose from a whole range of options. This is also the case for public transport. The intermodal traveller no longer wants to be restricted to only one mode of transport, but is interested in using all available possibilities in order to arrive at a destination quickly and conveniently. The demand is for integrated transport concepts which not only involve buses, trains and trams, but also the mobility offered by hire cars and bicycles. And so the lecture series at the IVU User Forum concentrated on new, integrated solutions for the intermodal passenger.
Key topics were current trends in e-ticketing, making real-time data publicly available for external applications, open and interoperable system worlds, and new concepts for passenger information in rural areas. “More convenient solutions will also establish themselves for e-ticketing in future,” explained Dr Claus Dohmen, head of department at IVU Traffic Technologies AG, in his trend analysis. “Within only a short period, the smartphone has become the most important medium for everyday applications. We use it for communications, information, for shopping, and also for paying. This multifunctionality must be transferred to public transport. Using NFC-enabled smartphones, it will be possible in 1 or 2 years to select the best journey route, taking all modes of transport into consideration, and in the same process to choose the best-priced ticket and to pay for this cash-free,” predicted Dohmen in conclusion.
The participants rounded off the evening of the first day of this year’s User Forum enjoying the view over Germany’s capital and the city traffic from the Puro Sky Lounge in Berlin’s Europa-Center, built in 1965. Conversations during the evening reception also centred on successful projects and ideas for future modernisation. In particular, the participants appreciated the opportunities for the international exchange of views.
IVU Traffic Technologies AG has been working for more than thirty-five years with some 350 software engineers to ensure that transport in the world’s major cities operates reliably and on time. People and vehicles in expanding cities are continually on the move – a logistical challenge which calls for intelligent and reliable software systems. The standardised software products of the IVU.suite and tailor-made IT solutions are used to plan, optimise and control the scheduling of vehicle fleets and personnel. Other systems support the choice of branch locations or ensure that election results are determined correctly.
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