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Push- and Pull-Services

Commuters benefit from real time

If there is any kind of delay or problem in operations, passengers want to get the information they need as quickly as possible. By taking a look at the departure schedule on the internet or a portable device, travelers can get the latest information on everything they need to know about their train or bus connections. Nevertheless, commuters in particular normally assume that their bus or train will be on time and don’t usually bother to look and see whether or not they can expect any delays. Compared to the “traditional” version of passengers obtaining this information themselves, push services offer a considerably more convenient alternative and added value for commuters: if there are any deviations in the regular schedule, the change in the connection will be automatically sent or “pushed” directly to the passenger’s smartphone. The advantages are obvious: once the app has been installed, users can subscribe to individual messaging on their connections and will be informed if any irregularities occur. The reports communicated this way include not only information on delays from the starting point, arrival and departure delays at changeover points and delayed arrivals at the final destination. The push service also covers a check of whether or not the connections can be reached along the route and such “fuzzy” messages as storm or flood warnings.

Aside from app-specific push messages, real-time information on vehicle locations and on the timetable can be provided to the passengers via email, SMS and Twitter push. By offering them a variety of options, travelers can choose their favorite communication channel to easily keep track of any irregularities in operations and quickly make any alternate plans that may become necessary.

Example: Bremen/Lower Saxony Transportation Association (VBN), Germany

The VBN considers supplying passengers with information as their duty and not the duty of the passengers to obtain their own information. “Push services are the contemporary answer to the increasing expectations of our customers,” says VBN managing director Rainer Counen.

In order to automatically receive push messages on a particular connection, select “subscribe” (1). Next, individual preferences can be specified, such as how many delay minutes must at least be reached before a push message is sent (2) or on what days of the week messages are desired (3). An incoming push message automatically provides the latest information on operational disruptions in the selected connection (4). One click opens an overview of all relevant notifications (5). If necessary, passengers can choose an alternative connection via real-time routing (6).


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