During the workshop four key-issues have been discussed:
Service level versus costs
In many cases, developers and operators of FTS have to cope with the dilemma between the service level and the costs of the transportation service. The better the services are, the higher the costs per unit will be. Determining aspects are:
- Booking time limits; a longer booking time limit makes it easier to realise an efficient planning. Shorter booking time limits however enlarges the benefits for the traveller.
- Punctuality: broad margins around departure or arrival time make a more efficient planning possible, but reduces the quality for the traveller. Especially in case of transport chains the punctuality must have a high level in order to facilitate seamless changes.
- Trip speed related to detours in order to create combinations; long detours are unattractive for the traveller, but make combined trips better possible.
- Frequency of services; a hundred percent demand responsive service without any restrictions is highly attractive for the customer, but creates higher costs than a service that is supplied only in certain intervals like e.g. once every hour.
It is obvious that technologies as described in this paper facilitate a higher service-level to lower costs, but the dilemma’s still exists. How to cope with these dilemma’s using state of the art or future technologies and what developments in technologies must be supported to improve the quality-cost balance. Can investments in technology lower the costs and increase the service level at the same time?
Wishes for future development
FTS-services are mostly developed on initiative of public authorities. The question is how nowadays FTS meet all wishes and demands that authorities have. What experiences do the authorities have and what lack of services do they meet. Can public goals be realised by using nowadays technology, or is research or development needed. What are the needs to be fulfilled in future? What role can a public authority take to stimulate development and what role is expected from operators, industry and consultants.
Multi Service Multi Operator services
Flexible Transport Systems are developing from stand-alone systems with a single operator and a single dispatch system to multiple operators and multiple services. This implies lot of changes in the way information and technologies must be organised. The importance of standardisation becomes more important. What advantages are expected from Multi Service Multi Operator services and what demands does it make on the use and development of technologies in FTS.
Possibilities of GPRS and UMTS for FTS
Since most FTS make use of data-communication technology the development of new telecommunication-networks can have a high impact on the organisation and costs of FTS. As rather new possibility GPRS is available in all European countries, in contrast with existing networks that are only national or regional available. What are the possibilities of GPRS and how does the use of GPRS differ from more traditional networks in terms of:
After GPRS UMTS appears at the horizon. Is UMTS for FTS applications even more attractive than GPRS? Or are all main functionalities already covered by GPRS?