NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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2 Feb 2001

Call public transportation service brings savings

Kutsujoukkoliikenteen pikkubussi vie edullisesti ovelta ovelle.
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In the city of Pietarsaari and its neighbouring municipalities, a unique call transportation service, in which anyone can order a ride on a "door-to-door"-principle, has been tested for one year. The ride is notably cheaper than a taxi-ride.

The public transportation service based on calls according to people"s needs is flexible and economically advantageous. Passenger fees are only a bit higher than in the current scheduled bus service. The municipalities have arranged their transportation services in this manner, thus saving notably in the costs of statutory transportation.

The transportation orderer gets his/her ride within about an hour's time. The customer is told the timeframes during which he/she shall be picked up and is scheduled to arrive in his/her destination. The call centre of the service optimises bus routes and schedules.

The technological system of the service was developed by VTT Automation and is built on a Nokia 9110 communicator-based vehicle terminal and optimisation software from Germany. The vehicle terminal has been made as easy to operate as possible: only the next address and time are displayed in large fonts. Information between the vehicle terminal and the call centre is transferred via text messages and the driver can easily establish a voice-connection with the call centre when necessary.

Ilkka Kauppi
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NovaCall Oy maintains the system in Pietarsaari. The development work has been funded by the region's administration, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the EU TEN-TELECOM programme, and other companies involved in the work. VTT is also currently participating in an EU-funded project developing a modular, multi-purpose and intelligent vehicle terminal for buses and taxis.

For further information, please contact: VTT Automation, Ilkka Kauppi, tel. +358 9 456 4766 or +358 40 501 5823

Feel free to use all news. Kalle Heiska
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