Real time passenger information (RTPI)

The arrival of real time public transport information has been a game changer for Dubliners. Now you can have that last pint or extra lie-in bed, with the help of a number of mobile apps that can help you make smarter travel decisions by pushing out the latest information and alerts on transport schedules and traffic delays.  Overhead displays at bus stops also tell the traveller exactly when their next bus is due.

dataset real time passenger infoThe RTPI system was originally developed by Dublin City Council working with IBM and is now a NTA service, which covers Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, Luas and Irish Rail and is being rolled out nationwide.  Apps can be used to make queries about combinations of journeys across different modes of transport while the LEAP travel card provides integrated ticketing and discounted fares.

So how does RTPI work? The transport fleet of Dublin Bus, Luas, and Irish Rail use Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) to track movement in real-time. This AVL data is fed back into the central RTPI server, and subsequently pushed out to display panels and to Dublinked users via API (applications programming interface) who can also retrieve timetable information by date, and the real-time route of a vehicle.

Having this data in the public realm gives further opportunity for people to develop their own apps or research transport flows in the city region. Programmers can write their own queries in XML (extended mark-up language) or JSON (JavaScript object notation) to pull down specific information, which can then be pushed into custom-made displays for specific purposes.

The NTA are continuing to improve the RTPI data service by implementing common standards, integrating across different platforms and gathering more data on actual as compared to scheduled travel times.  Watch this space for news of further data releases.

Further information

RTPI Dataset
 dublinbus.ie/en/RTPI
 transportforireland.ie
 nationaltransport.ie

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