Providing passenger info beyond PIS regulation

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The Technical Specifications for Interoperability for Persons with Reduced Mobility (TSI-PRM) and people with disabilities has a strong influence on European players in the railway sector. However, we believe that it’s necessary to go beyond these specifications in order to offer every customer an excellent experience ... Here, we explain how.

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Strong guidelines for accessibility…

In the railway sector, TSI-PRM applies to all new infrastructure and a range of rolling stock subsystems, renewals and upgrades – with few exceptions. To these subsystems belong operational systems and telematic applications for passengers, which entail both visual and audible passenger information systems (PIS) in stations and aboard rail vehicles.

Diving deeper into the specification’s details relevant for PIS, there are regulations that govern visual and audio information.

To give you an idea: PIS regulation fields

  • font characteristics

  • contrast

  • character height

  • scrolling speed

  • visibility of next stop info

  • audio quality…

And the list goes on.

… but you can take your PIS further

It goes without saying that Televic GSP’s passenger information systems meet the TSI-PRM requirements related to accessibility. However, in order to offer the best possible passenger experience, there are more criteria for PIS than what is included in the TSI-PRM.

Offering clear, relevant, consistent and easy-to-interpret passenger information is still key in ensuring that all passengers feel reassured, and in optimizing passenger flow upon boarding and exiting.

Which message – when, why and where

The design of a modern passenger information concept starts with its foundation: defining which, when, why and where audiovisual messages should be conveyed on board.

For example, the content shown within a light rail vehicle with frequent stops is different from the content displayed in high-speed vehicles that may go hundreds of kilometers between stops. The content shown in the vestibule area is clearly different than content visible from seating areas. Passengers want to see different types of information during times of disruption vs. smooth journeys that proceed as planned.

Strong audiovisual design is often subtle

The way information is presented on a small display screen is defined, in some cases, by the railway authority’s branding, or by a standard template. Ideally, well-considered designs should be applied so the passenger instantly understands how to interpret the presented information.

By using variations in contrast and subtle animations, it’s possible to draw the eye to certain pieces of information which can, for example, instantaneously and effectively tell passengers whether to go left or right to find a free seat, a bicycle section or even just the right car.

Ensure effective communication – today and tomorrow

Over time, audiovisual needs of passengers evolve. Understanding their struggles and information needs during travel is a huge asset in continuously improving the behavior of your PIS.

The excellent configurability of Televic GSP’s passenger information systems makes it possible to offer ideal information delivery design to every individual market and situation without falling back on bespoke developments – which are often costly and difficult to maintain and upgrade.

About the author: Stefan Bouckaert

Since 2016, Stefan is the product manager at Televic GSP for onboard passenger systems and team lead for product management. An engineer by education with a keen interest in human and commercial aspects of his job, he keeps his finger on the pulse of product development from a technical and user perspective.

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