Anders Kåbjörn - Articles and news items
The breakthrough of the internet, the mobile phone and the GPS technology during the late 1990s made it possible for the public transport sector to develop new advanced information technology services. In order to coordinate this development in the Nordic countries, the public transport authorities in the four Nordic capitals – Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki – decided to start a joint project in 1998 called InformNorden.
The initiative came from the city of Gothenburg that already had developed and installed a new advanced citywide real-time passenger information system, the first in the world that also used Internet to show minute-by-minute count down arrivals of all buses and trams to all stops.
The breakthrough of the Internet and the mobile phone in the middle of the 90s made it possible to develop different advanced information services in public transportation. In order to co-ordinate this development in the Nordic countries, the public transport authorities in the capitals of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland started InformNorden; an open community for people in the Nordic countries interested in making public transport more attractive and efficient by using information technology.
Now, ten years later, we ask ourselves what new IT challenges we are going to meet in public transportation. This is also the theme of the recent ninth international InformNorden conference in Oslo. The conference was a success; many new ideas were born and some of them have also been identified as different realistic IT challenges within the field of organisation, passenger information, marketing and ticketing.
As far back as ten years ago, the real-time information system in Gothenburg could operate on a citywide basis and countdown minute by minute information about the next departure relating to all trams and buses from all stops. It was around this time that the R&D project GoTiC was launched to develop a user-adapted system for displaying real-time information via different media, such as displays and monitors at the stops, displays inside the vehicles, mobile phones and websites.