There is more to effective passenger information than just meeting the TSI-PRM regulations. The perfect message can vary greatly, depending on the context and circumstances. The ultimate goal? Reassuring passengers and optimizing the passenger flow.
In a nutshell
- A well-thought-out design allows passengers to understand the message in the blink of an eye.
- Reassurance is the essence of passenger information. TSI-PRM regulations offer guidance, but don't show the complete picture.
- Always think about why you want to share a particular message at a certain time or place during the journey.
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Accessibility is just the start
There are several regulations concerning passenger information for the European Union’s railway sector. One example: the Technical Specifications for Interoperability for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (TSI-PRM).
The TSI-PRM entail regulations concerning visual and audible information, such as font characteristics, the contrast between text and backgrounds, the height of characters, the scrolling speed, visibility of next stop information, the presence of a public address system, certain audio quality metrics, …
These specifications are entirely focused on improving the accessibility. However, to guarantee the best possible passenger experience, there is more to it than meets the eye. Providing clear, relevant, consistent and easy-to-interpret passenger information is still key to reassure passengers and optimize the passenger flow.
Context is key
Designing a modern passenger information concept starts at the very base, by defining what audiovisual messages should be conveyed on-board, and why one would do so at a particular time or place during the journey.
Content is different on a light-rail with frequent stops than on a high-speed vehicle with several hundreds of kilometers between stops.
The message in the vestibule area is clearly different from the one visible from the seating areas.
Passengers want to see different types of information during times of disruption compared to when the journey proceeds completely as planned.
A well thought-out design allows passengers to understand the message in the blink of an eye.
Design is thinking made visual
How information is presented on a TFT screen is in some cases defined by the railway authority operating the vehicle. Ideally, they use well thought-out designs which make it possible for the passenger to instantly understand the presented information.
By using variations in contrast and through subtle animations, you can easily guide passengers - for example - to a free seat, a bicycle section, or even just the right car.
Customize your design for any situation
The far-going configurability of the Televic PIS system makes it possible to realize an ideal PIS behavior for every individual market and situation without having to fall back to fully-custom PIS developments which may be costly and are hard to maintain. While Televic can assist transport authorities to create and when needed further adapt their PIS needs, our LiveCoM Suite Content Management tools also make it possible for them to take care of the audiovisual design completely by themselves. As such, the relevance of the audiovisual announcements is not only guaranteed when a project first hits the tracks, but can be safeguarded for the entire lifecycle of the vehicle.
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About the author: Stefan Bouckaert
At Televic since 2016, Stefan is product manager 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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