SOURCE: City of Helsinki

City of Helsinki

April 13, 2017 12:00 ET

Helsinki Metropolitan Transportation Authority's New Journey Planner Showcases Open-Source Software Development

Based on open-source code, the Journey Planner serves as a model and platform for trip planner development in other cities

HELSINKI, FINLAND--(Marketwired - April 13, 2017) - The Helsinki metropolitan transportation authority, Helsinki Region Transport HSL, has released a new version of its Journey Planner. The service is exceptional among similar trip planners worldwide in that it is based on open-source code. Thus the ongoing development of the Journey Planner can be a collaborative activity joined by developers, the general public, and other cities' transportation authorities. Among others, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority MTA is testing the source code.

Keys to the features of the new HSL Journey Planner are the user's location and utilization of real-time data. When the user enables location services on a mobile device or computer, the Journey Planner shows the real-time situation in nearby public transportation services: the user can see the nearby stops on a map, the services available at those stops, and when the next services will depart. Users can also track their journey as they travel.

With location services enabled, route searches are made by entering only the destination. The Journey Planner gives the user a fast, disruption-free route, and it offers alternative routes utilizing the entire Helsinki metropolitan area transportation fleet, which includes buses, streetcars, the Metro subway system, and commuter trains. The Journey Planner filters out routes with disruptions. It alerts the user of any disruptions on the route and, as necessary, it can change the routing during the trip.

Users can personalize their Journey Planner by saving their favorite locations and by choosing their preferred modes of transportation. They can adjust the number of transfers and the transfer margin, they can enter their walking speed, and they can even include legs of journeys made by car.

The Journey Planner will also integrate the Helsinki bike-share system once this seasonal service is resumed in May, so route suggestions can include bike share. The Journey Planner shows the location of bike-share docking stations, the number of bikes available at the stations and, for example, when it is faster to use a bike than to wait for a streetcar. In addition to being included in the Journey Planner, the Helsinki bike-share system can be used with the HSL travel card, so bike share is fully integrated with the rest of the public transportation system.

The Journey Planner has been developed using the principles of open data and open-source code, with open interfaces. It utilizes available open-source code routing tools. The maps are based on OpenStreetMap, which is a crowdsourced map site. All Journey Planner data is available as open data, so any public- or private-sector actor can use it to develop new digital services.

Open-source software development means that the work goes on. "The Journey Planner will never be fully complete; it will be continuously developed, largely with the help of feedback from customers," says Jari Honkonen, who leads the work at HSL.

The Journey Planner is one of the most popular digital services in Finland with 150,000 daily users in HSL's service area of one million residents.

Journey Planner of Helsinki Region Transport HSL: https://www.reittiopas.fi/

Documents and/or Photos available for this release: To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to www.enr-corp.com/pressroom and enter Release ID: 410322
Caption: Helsinki Region Transport's Journey Planner ©HSL

Helsinki streetcar ©HSL

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