Basis is the timetable information system HAFAS from the software expert HaCon which is on active service since 2005. The association and HaCon have completely redesigned the previous journey planner and provided it with new features. The result is a new, modern appearance which is clearly-structured to give all necessary information to the customer at a glance. Whether supporting the start and destination search, alternative services when operation is interrupted, automatic notification in case of disruption, or orientation guide due to interactive maps and intermodal information – all those features unite the new online- information system of RMV.
Renewals in detail:
Redesign of the web-interface
The web-interface has been completely revised and with that a whole different design is created. Ajax-technologies run in the background. Thus the webpage is highly dynamic as for example the user-friendly drop-down menu.
HAFAS Suggest supports the search
HaCon (hacon.de) has implemented HAFAS Suggest for enquiries which completes the search result intelligently after only a few letters of input and suggests the user possible places. The Ajax-technology runs in the background as well.
Search for alternatives
If a planned connection can not be realised due to delay or cancellation, HAFAS automatically finds alternatives.
Clear index-tab structure: Finding instead of searching
The user can switch between the index-tabs just as details, stopover, tariff, map or text view just by one click to select exactly the most interesting information for the user. The way the index-tabs are displayed ensures that the whole information becomes clear at a glance – a contribution for more clarity according to the motto “a few clicks lead to a result”. It doesn’t matter if information on stopover or tariffs is retrieved – all index-tabs remain visible and thus guarantee perfect orientation within the journey planner.
The static bitmap-maps used in the previous online journey planner were replaced by Ajax-maps. Because of that, individual map-layer can be presented one on top of the other and then be selected. Dynamic zooming is possible as well. The interactive maps from PTV provide passengers with information on stops, lines, community facilities or tips for their free time nearby – for them to scout out the RMV-Region. Optionally community facilities such as hospitals or schools can be chosen. “Travel & mobility” gives the option to choose from stations, stops, bicycle rental, P&R-areas etc. The category “cultural events & leisure” compiles sights, museums, sport facilities and a lot more.
Line view on interactive maps and journey planner
As soon as the “line layer” for the interactive map is activated, all course of busses and trains are – for the first time – displayed: This way, users discern immediately for any region if public transportation services are available. Zooming into the map visualises precise information on available bus and train lines. The display is based on the real network, meaning that buses are shown along their real course on the line network display. The realistic view of the lines is also used for the journey planner. Random points on the map may be directly used as start and destination point for planning a journey.
Key aspect intermodality
Transport companies attach great importance to intermodality – the comparability and combinability of different public and private modes of transport. This is taken into account for the way of displaying of the connections of RMV. Connections by bus and train are presented next to car routes combined with buses and trains as well as bicycle routes combined with bus and train. The particular: this intermodal information does not have to be searched for on the website; it is presented automatically wherever it makes sense.
Enhanced information by the data collection tool HIM Info
The HAFAS Information Manager HIM Info, a web-based content management system to collect and edit timetable information, is equipped with the latest features as part of the complete package that had been made available for RMV by HaCon.
Traffic messages affecting the public transport are presented illustratively on the interactive map. Basis is data that is added by RMV into HIM Info. By scrolling to the individual messages on the map detailed information concerning the traffic messages would show up.
Widgets: A window to more information
Widgets are small information programmes that may be installed as “window” on the desktop. RMV customers can set up the traffic-message-widgets on the screen of their PC to constantly have an eye on current information – a feature that was for the first time realised by HaCon for RMV. Also timetable-connection-widgets are provided for pre-installation on the screen.
Line timetables as PDF
As a Print2Web Solution, RMV now provides its passengers line timetables as PDF-document. A complete timetable for a selected line of the complete day may be downloaded as PDF-document.
"In terms of design, function and usability we are well positioned for the future with our Internet journey planner. We offer our passengers everything they expect from modern passenger information", says Peter E. Vollmer, project manager at RMV.
The RMV: The Rhine-Main Transport Association, one of the three largest associations of transport companies in Europe, organises and coordinates together with its local partners the regional passenger transport in the catchment area. About seven million people live in the RMV area, in the city of Frankfurt Main and in the state capital Wiesbaden. The area of the Transport Association comprises about 14.000km² and thus two thirds of the state Hessen. Together with the adjoining regions, the area of the transport association amounts to 20,000 km2. The 160 carriers belonging to the RMV annually move more than 660 million passengers. Doing so, they revert to 33 regional rail lines, nine S-Bahn (regional train) lines and 943 bus routes which serve about 12,000 stations.
The area of the Rhine-Main Transport Association (RMV) has 15 administrative districts (Landkreis), four cities enjoying county status (kreisfrei), seven cities with special status, and 368 municipalities with 2.505 local centres. Some six million people live in the network area. About two million journeys will be realised on an average weekday.