Passenger information on all channels
The MENTZ Event Management System (EMS) quickly and easily provides reliable information on the current traffic situation or on operational changes to a planned trip. The Munich Public Utility Company (SWM) has recently and successfully started using the EMS on routes of the Munich Transport and Tariff Association (MVV). The many decentralized individual solutions for customer information have thus become a real media center for the simultaneous use of diverse channels.
Photo: MVG, Christian Bullinger
Employees at the central control center in Munich’s Emmy-Noether-Straße relay current passenger information to be displayed on a screen using MENTZ’s Content Management System (CMS). Development has already proceeding quickly: at the same time a message is displayed on the yellow ticker in all Munich subway stations, announcements and other indications can be replayed centrally, easily and consistently over each stations’ audio speakers. Bus, subway, and tram drivers will also receive information from the control center through the EMS.
EMS is a Trendsetting Information Hub for Various Media
The system developed by MENTZ is well equipped for the future because it can centrally manage all passenger information – across all transport and media channels: delays, safety information or redirections through construction sites can be centrally created and electronically distributed.
MENTZ developers are proud to report on the successful integration of what is probably the most important source of information for passengers: by integrating various social media, passengers are kept up to date through their smartphone. For example, the MVV has connected its Twitter platform using the EMS, which serves customers centrally controlled real-time information on a silver platter. Another planned feature is the integration of the MVV’s operational change interface, the website that is exclusively reserved for service disruptions and where commuters can monitor their own route. The Stuttgart Public Transport and Tariff Association (VVS) also relies on e-mails that it sends to its customers. It is precisely these proactive push notifications that are very well received because it prevents passengers from having to wait on the platform to find out that their originally planned trip has been rerouted. Notifications via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are also possible.
The EMS serves as a control system for various communication channels and as such is ready for what comes next in modern communication. In the near future, this could also include passenger information systems that are still in the developmental phase, like smart public displays (SmartMMI) on the windows of buses and trains, or social media channels that do not yet exist today, but will quickly become established means to source information.
Consistent Information is Good for the Company Image
During exceptional operational circumstances, passengers expect fast, accurate and comprehensive information about the latest rerouting of services, their duration and the options available to them. It is important that passengers receive consistent – and therefore reliable – and easily digestible information through all media channels because contradictory or confusing messages are bad for the company image. MENTZ’s EMS enables customers to be informed more precisely and reliably and offers passengers immediate solutions when things do not go as planned.
The system consistently follows the »two-senses-principle« and ensures wide-ranging accessibility: both audio and visual information is provided in a central location. The provision and distribution of public transport information is dynamic, automatic and always consistent.
Quicker and More Efficient Trasfer of Information for Passengers and Drivers
Thanks to central data management (CDM), transport authority employees develop scenarios in advance, which are repeatedly used on all information media to inform passengers about recurring events. This is particularly useful, for example, during planned construction work or during major events with an increased number of passengers. The CDM regularly supplies the EMS with master data, which makes an employee’s job in the control center much easier: the employee selects a cause, an impact, and affected stop(s), information is mainly generated automatically and can therefore be relayed within a few seconds.
At the same time, the EMS is so flexible that it can also react quickly to unplanned events. An audio management system (AMS) can play customized, prepared information modules over various audio channels (station speakers). An employee can quickly select the stops to receive the audio message, receives information as to whether the unit is currently in use or free, and can then connect the selected speakers to a live microphone. Alternatively, text-to-speech (TTS) modules can be used to relay texts entered on short notice or render standard, pre-made texts as speech at a speaker on the platform. Cyclical use of public address systems at varying stations is no longer cumbersome.
MENTZ’s EMS is specially integrated into an existing system landscape and augments the systems intended for operational control by enabling a central option to coordinate and relay passenger information. It requires commonly used systems, the IMS (information management system) and the AMS (audio management system). The EMS is thus a real control center, a passenger information hub for numerous output media: existing audio systems, modern, smart terminals, and communication media of the future.