On 11.4.2019 the Interconnect partner network of Rostock (containing City of Rostock, RSAG -local transport association and regional planning association region Rostock) invited to a joint activity WP 5.1 and 5.2 workshop to the Hanseatic City of Rostock. Rostock is WP 5 leader of the INTERCONNECT project. Most of Rostock's activities with WP partners will be implemented in 2019, considering the first outcomes from other work packages.
On Monday the 11th of March a meeting took place in Karlskrona between Stena Line and Region Blekinge including Blekingetrafiken. Purpose of the meeting was to investigate how the new ticket system Blekingetrafiken is implementing could work together with the booking system of Stena Line. First step is to investigate deeper how these two systems could communicate. The long-term goal for the cooperation is a one ticket solution for the ferry passengers travelling with no car between Blekinge (Sweden) and Pomorskie Region (Poland). Participants in the meeting were Anders Hellberg, Fredric Torstensson, Magnus Forsberg, Lars Karlinius and Mattias Andersson.
The InnoBaltica Ltd. has published a report about the project INTERCONNECT and the WP 4.3. The aim of this study is to support decision-making and implementation processes in the introduction of a public transport toll collection system common for all transport organisers and transport undertakings. The system may be used for intraregional and international connections. This study presents the objectives and principles underlying the introduction of a uniform toll collection system, the most important information and analyses concerning economic, technological and legal factors influencing the system, as well as the concept of its pilot implementation.
You can read more about it in the report: http://interconnect.one/works-results
On 14th December 2018, the Interconnect project partners held the monthly online meeting to review the implementation status and staff changes.
The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) flagship project INTERCONNECT addresses the challenge of curbing the car-reliant mobility trend in the South Baltic (SB) are through user-adjusted and more sustainable public transport services for regional and cross- border travels. The current public transport offer hardly meets customer expectations for easines and attractiveness of regional and cross-border journeys, with scarce range of integrated ticket options for multimodal rides, difficult access to one-spot passenger information and no clear benefits for users when choosing the public transport over car.
Infrastructure and technical facilities
The importance of infrastructure has for instance been highlighted by the good practice of the integrated regular interval timetable. In order to allow certain departure as well as arrival times, trains have to reach certain speeds. To form a proper network across modes and for convenient transfer the vehicles have to also meet at certain node stations at defined intervals. These measures are usually not possible without infrastructural adaptations since investments in e.g. new stations, transport routes and the fleet can be necessary for meaningful time-table changes.
Society seeks to move the transport sector towards sustainability, but operational plans for how this shall be achieved, over and above reaching fossil fuel independence, are still missing. Planning for any societal system to develop towards sustainability includes many complicated tasks. To effectively deal with such considerations, there is a need for a framework with principles for sustainability that are universal for any sector as boundary conditions for redesign (i.e., covering all aspects of sustainability regardless of scale) and with guidelines for how any organization or sector can create economically feasible step-by-step transition plans to comply with the boundary conditions.
Klaipeda 8 th of March, 2018: there were 17 participants at the workshop in Klaipeda and seven people from the organizing team as well as four additional table leaders. Based on that, and the signature issues (Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.), the organizing team planned to have groups focusing on four perspectives (Resource bases, Technical and business models, Passenger value, and Governance and Spatial planning). Governance and Spatial planning were merged as the results from the previous workshops showed that they were closest related to each other. There were unfortunately not enough participants to have all four groups, so the resource base perspective was instead integrated in the others. To meet the preferences of the local host the target group was slightly changed in the Klaipeda case. Rather than inviting a wide range of stakeholders the focus was on publicly funded organizations (e.g. The Region of Vilnius and Klaipeda, the Municipalities, and the Klaipeda Transport Administration).
Gdynia 22nd February, 2018: there were 53 participants at the workshop in Gdynia, including eight from the organizing team (InnoBaltica in Gdynia and BTH) and seven additional table leaders from InnoBaltica and HIE-RO in Rostock. As there where almost 80 participants enrolled, the organizing team decided to extend the group work perspectives to seven and due to the difference in signature issues (Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.) adjust the focus slightly (Resources bases, Spatial, Technical 1 – ticketing, Technical 2 – vehicles and infrastructure, Passenger value 1 – Accessibility and affordability of Public Transport, Passenger value 2 - additional values of Public Transport, Governance and business models). The Passenger value 1 and Governance and business models were later combined for the current reality and solutions sessions since some participants left the workshop. There was an overweight on participants from publicly funded organizations (e.g. Region of Pomorskie, Municipalities, InnoBaltica, and the Polish Transport Administration, but also a few participants from companies involved in public transport (e.g. QB-mobile, LG CNS, Indata Utilities SA, Asseco Data systems).
Karlskrona 13th February, 2018: there were 43 participants at the workshop in Karlskrona, including six from the organizing team and two additional table leaders. Based on that, and the signature issues (3.1 )the organizing team decided to have groups focusing on five perspectives (Resource bases, Spatial, Technical and business models, Passenger needs, and Governance). There was an overweight on participants from publicly funded organizations (e.g. Region Blekinge, the Municipalities, and the Swedish Transport Administration), but also a few participants from companies involved in public transport (e.g. CGI, Food tankers, and Stena Line). Representatives from InnoBaltica from Gdansk (Poland) and HIE-RO from Rostock (Germany) provided their perspectives as well.
On 7.11.2018, INTERCONNECT project partners participated in a monthly online meeting to review the implementation progress.
Of particular interest was the work on the project pilot cases, the highlights of which are presented below:
- Pilot case Blekinge: successful launch of the bus infotainment system - good media coverage and meetings with stakeholders (municipalities); bus line 6 to be furnished with information for ferry passengers
- Pilot case Pomorskie: first step completed (automatically updated database + tags identifying mobile devices and operational systems installed in PT vehicles along test corridors); second step to focus on an app linked to the database and processing travel data from PL and SE (timetables, connections etc.) to be followed by a passenger portal (with optimised routes, tariffs and – ultimately – a joint ticket solution), and a beacon system to assist PT passengers;
- To link up the two cases, the joint work with Blekingetrafiken continues to agree on standards for technical interface, with Stena Line to be involved for the planned integrated ferry-punlic transport ticketing solution)
- Work progresses well also for the joint Rostock-Gulsborgsund activities, which aim at encouraging specific target groups to go to the other shore with the use of public transport solutions. The cooperation is focused on education and schools exchange, tourism and culture events and business cooperation. Specific initiatives are being planned, with Scandlines ferry cruise packages to support the socio-economic integration processes across the German-Danish border. To exemplify, a new joint brochure on bike routes in Guldborgsund Kommune and Rostock/Warnemünde will be published in connection with the Viva Touristika exhibition in Warnemünde in January 2019.
Sharp at 12:00 the 5th of September 2018, Blekingetrafiken (managing body for public transport in the Swedish country of Blekinge) pushed the button and 260 screens in 130 buses started - at the same time - to stream media services. From that day forward, the Blekingetrafiken's new information channel - one of the deliverables in Work Package 4.3 of the INTERCONNECT project - is up and running. The Buss-TV shows to the passengers the real time traffic data, news highlights and details on the sites of interest passed by on the bus ride. Also, the new traffic information helps them out to choose the next travel segment when the bus approaches a transfer point.
The Buss-tv information is geographically profiled, which allows to ascribe the data to the bus line crossing the specific area. To exemplify, tv screens on bus line No. 6 connecting the downtown of Karlskrona with the ferry terminal promotes the ferry line service to Gdynia, Poland.
With this new system, Blekingetrafiken hope the passengers are going to experience the travel time as shorter, more useful and may help attract more customers to the public transport service in local and interregional travels.
This pilot demonstration work in INTERCONNECT project raised public media interest (local radio station as well as national branch magazines and local newspaper).
Estonia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. And its capital, Tallinn, has been considered one of the cities with the most interesting communication solutions for years. It is no wonder that the fourth study visit within the Interconnect project took place in Estonia (and neighboring Finland).
Not everyone knows that free public transport has been operating in Tallinn for five years. Free for residents of the city - tourists and other people arriving in these pages, buy and delete tickets must. In addition, since July this year, free trips have been introduced throughout Estonia. But only for residents of individual regions. Together with partners working on the Interconnect project, we went to test communication solutions there - both local and international. After all, one of the goals of Interconnect is to develop the best solutions for cross-border traffic.
From the moment we got off at the airport in Tallinn, we were moving by public means of transport. We did not have any problem buying tickets. Special prepaid cards were available at the airport, which allowed us to travel by any vehicle (except taxis). You could also pay for the trip using a special application. We took a tram to the centre of Tallinn from the very exit from the airport. Then a bus that brought us to the town of Viimsi northeast of the capital of the country. Later, we returned to Tallinn, to get there from Helsinki by sea. Already on the ferry we got a ticket for public transport in Finland. Also in the form of a card - this time we chose a solution: an all-day ticket. And on this ticket we could also travel, what the heart desires all over Helsinki. For 24 hours from the moment of deleting the first vehicle.
During our travels we saw how the Estonian and Finnish system works in practice. We saw how people "bounce" in vehicles, how they deal with this activity and whether everyone complies with this obligation (although public transport is free, all except students and pensioners have the obligation of having a city card and performing so-called "want-in" when boarding to the bus or tram). We tested the intuitiveness of the operation of devices of the type, natural, which are suspended in vehicles. We studied how friendly the applications and the passenger information system are.
Although it is still too early for a deeper analysis and summary, we must admit that the solutions applied in Estonia have made a great impression on us. We also had the opportunity to take part in two seminars, during which people responsible for organizing communications in the visited regions of Estonia and Finland told us about the details of their systems and presented development plans.
There is one more study visit to the participants of the Interconnect project - in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where new solutions in the field of ticket distribution and control are currently being introduced. After completing the visit cycle, a detailed report summarizing the experience gathered and analysing the solutions applied in particular regions will be created.
The signing of agreements enabling pilotage on the joint ticketing system began on Thursday during the Seminar "Patterns for modern public transport". After the ceremonial signing of the agreements, participants of the seminar became acquainted with one of Interconnect Project’s reports, concerning the analysis of communication systems in different regions of the Southern Baltic Countries.
The agreements to join the pilot project were signed at the Marshal Office of the Pomorskie Voivodeship by representatives of the cities of Gdańsk, Gdynia, Słupsk, Tczew and Starogard Gdański and Pomeranian Voivodeship’s self-government.
23 participants, seven locations, four types of public transport, over 100 km of routes - these are just some of the numbers associated with the study visit in Pomerania as part of the Interconnect project . On 7th September, project partners visited our province and tested and analyzed communication systems in practice.
The study visit began at the Gdańsk Główny railway station to prosecute to Gdańsk Wrzeszcz. Here, participants visited the “Road and Green Areas Management office in Gdańsk”, heart of the intelligent traffic control system TRISTAR, where they learned about its principles and operation, and listened to lectures on the development of rail public transport in Pomerania.