Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, has a population of two million people in its metropolitan area. The historical city centre, included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, welcomes approximately four million tourists every year. The city has one of the highest rates of public transport usage in the world, thanks to an integrated transport system including 900 trams, 30 suburban railways lines, three major underground lines, a funicular, six ferries and a widespread bus service managed by several operators. ROPID, the Regional Organiser of Prague Integrated Transport, has been in charge of harmonising and coordinating public transport in Prague and part of the Middle Bohemia Region since 1993.
ROPID’s challenge was in modernising the city’s integrated public transport system so that it could respond to the increasing car traffic levels by enabling the combined use of private and public transport and encouraging the use of the latter. Time, price, comfort, reliability and security had been identified by ROPID as the main features making the public transport system attractive. Different public transport alternatives, timetables, route-finders and traffic maps were already available to passengers in stations and online. However, before the implementation of a new satnav solution, there was no one-stop-shop information source for travellers covering all means of public transport.
The satellite solution
ROPID decided to create a unified information system on public transport, accessible for travellers online at any time. With the support of SmartGIS, a company specialised in providing innovative transport and logistic solutions, ROPID collected geolocalised information on itineraries, stops and departure and arrival times of all means of public transport in the city. These were then made available through an interactive map on the online portal of the Prague Integrated Transport System (http://praha.planydopravy.cz). The map gives an overview of the transport situation in the city, providing real-time information on traffic events, restrictions to public transport, dangerous situations, road accidents, works, traffic delays, precipitations and visibility. Main sites of interest, as monuments, public offices and police stations are also shown on the map, together with the nearest stations to reach them. All the data are collected in GIS format and made available in the stations and on the web portal in real time by SmartGIS, who is in charge of updating the information system.
The interactive map created by ROPID provides online accurate and reliable information on all means of public transport in Prague in real-time. The application, also available on smartphones, is proving to be extremely useful for Prague’s inhabitants and tourists, in addition to proven benefits for ROPID, both in terms of customer satisfaction and reputation, and efficiency of the management system. ROPID expects the service to diminish the car traffic in Prague, hence contributing to lowering CO2 emissions in the city.
“The interactive map became for many customers the most complete source of information on public transport in Prague. It increased customer satisfaction and the reputation of the Prague Integrated Transport system. We hope that the information provided on the map, being accessible and user-friendly, will further increase the use of public transport in the city”. Filip Drápal, Prague Integrated Transport System.