In Helsinki, Finland a transit signal priority system improved on-time arrival by 22 to 58 percent and real-time passenger information displays were regarded as useful by 66 to 95 percent of passengers.

13-17 January 2002.

Summary Information

This study evaluated a pilot project designed to provide real-time passenger information and signal priority to tram and bus lines in the City of Helsinki, Finland. Automated vehicle location (AVL) and computer assisted dispatch (CAD) systems were installed on Tram Line-4 and Bus Line-23. In addition, transit signal priority was provided on each route, and real-time schedule information was displayed at each transit stop.

Field measurements were collected from April 1998 to May 2000 in order to evaluate the technical performance of each system in terms of service accessibility, travel times, punctuality, and regularity. The evaluation was conducted using records of in-vehicle data, interviews, surveys, simulations, and a representative test ride observations before and after system deployment.



The field study showed the system had positive effects on the level-of-service for each mode of transportation. Overall, the improvements in bus line performance were greater than those for the tramline since the tramline had signal priority in operation prior to field testing.

Based on a cross-section of test ride observations, in-vehicle studies, and ticket sales information; the pilot project increased the number of tram passengers by 0 to 2 percent, and increased the number of bus passengers by 10 to 12 percent.

Customer Satisfaction Personal Interviews

Approximately half of the persons interviewed used the line daily or almost daily. Seventy-one (71) percent of the tram passengers and 83 percent of the bus passengers noticed the traveler information displays. The displays were regarded as useful by 66 percent of the tram passengers and 78 percent of the bus passengers.

The most desirable features of the display were:
  • Information on the remaining wait time.
  • Option to choose another line.
  • Understandability of the display.
  • Knowing if an expected vehicle had already passed so the rider could make use of remaining wait time.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

More than half of the respondents used the line daily or almost daily with 90 percent of the respondents noticing a traveler information display. The displays were regarded as useful by 95 percent of the respondents.

The most desirable features of the display were:
  • Knowing the remaining wait time.
  • Knowing if the expected vehicle had already passed.

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The Benefits of a Pilot Implementation of Public Transport Signal Priorities and Real-Time Passenger Information

Author: Lehtonen, Mikko and Risto Kulmala

Published By: Paper presented at the 81st Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting. Washington, District of Columbia

Source Date: 13-17 January 2002.


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Benefit ID: 2007-00391