Navigating cities has become an extremely complicated task. MaaS promises to guide travelers effortlessly through the so-called jungle of the urban mobility network. One of the severe challenges that stands in the way of living up to this promise is disruptions, which happen on a daily basis, especially in larger cities. The majority of urban dwellers can relate to being extremely frustrated by being late to work because of a disrupted line. In these situations, what travelers need the most are guidance and reassurance.
At Trafi, we took this challenge very seriously — to provide top-notch real-time disruption updates, to allow travelers to plan their door-to-door trips effortlessly even when disruptions occur. Firstly, we analyzed the currently available disruption services on the market and identified multiple problems, and then attempted to tackle them.
Based on these observations, we designed a solution to tackle these problems heads on.
Types of alerts sent to travelers:
The most granular disturbances on a direction and stop level for planned and unplanned disruptions.
Planned disruption information comes from the official Public Transport Authority (PTA) sources that we receive through API. Trafi’s system sends automatic updates every 5 minutes, checking for the newest information from the PTA source. E.g. canceled bus line, change of route length, etc. Our system indicates not only that there is a disruption per route level, but also indicated it for a particular disrupted direction (track) for each schedule, meaning that users who are traveling in another direction on the same affected route are not bothered or misled by redundant information.
Unplanned disruption updates are derived from real-time mobility situations. Let’s say that there is a major congestion due to a huge storm. As a result, four busses are stuck and have not been able to move for the past 35 minutes. Thanks to real-time vehicle tracking, Trafi will spot this and immediately send a disruption alert.
For example, Berliners are warned about all service disruptions in one place -the BVG Jelbi app-, including U-Bahn, BVG buses, BVG trams, and S-Bahn disruptions, which cover 95% of the total annual public transport passenger traffic. And soon we will reach 100 % of trip coverage.
Trafi prepared a toolset for cities to publish disruptions manually to cover all possible cases.
Official sources do not always provide all the disruption information and sometimes it requires adding them manually. The lockdown situation during COVID-19 proved that changes for public transport were made quicker than updates were available in official sources. E.g. information such as front bus doors won’t be used to enter a bus anymore, or that it is required to wear a mask if a passenger wants to enter the vehicle were not part of official disruptions but yet highly important for people to know.
Our proprietary tool allows MaaS operators to manually post disruption information: not only by writing a message but also marking what lines, schedules, directions, or stops were affected and how.
The disruption function is now live in the BVG Jelbi app powered by Trafi. The ability to provide the most accurate and granular public transport disruption information sets Trafi apart. But we do not stop here, we strive for the best support of the travelers, thus next we are working on:
– Informing users on the way. E.g. if a traveler is on the way and disruption happens that affects their journey, they will be informed.
– Supporting replanning of the trip to navigate around disruptions. In addition to suggesting another public transport route, we plan to help people discover other modes, and intermodal routes to reach their destination on time.
Founded in 2013, Trafi is a Lithuanian tech start-up. Trafi is working shoulder-to-shoulder with cities, countries, and companies worldwide to create the best in class Mobility-as-a-Service alternative for congested cities. Trafi offers cities the possibility to connect all mobility services into one single platform where users can check itineraries and also book their tickets and trips.
Trafi’s mission is to empower cities’ urban transportation with technology and know-how and encourage citizens to use more sustainable modes of transportation by accessing all services into one single platform. Trafi is currently live in 4 continents around the world and 7 cities.