Travel Information Systems in the Netherlands

Travel Information Systems in the Netherlands


F Cheung, DVS Centre for Transport and Navigation, Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, NL



Mobility management is a cornerstone in the Dutch policy document "Nota Mobiliteit: Towards reliable and predictable accessibility". The provision of comprehensive and up-to-date travel information is envisaged to play an important role. Research studies in the Netherlands and abroad have indicated the importance of providing reliable and actual travel information. A better informed travelling public can influence individuals' travel behaviour and their collective travel decisions will have impacts on journey patterns over time and space.

The Dutch Ministry of Transport has stated its intention to promote the provision of door-to-door travel information. It will take the form of public and private partnerships. The overall aim is to provide comprehensive traffic and travel information on all modes to enhance seamless travel and to ease traffic movements for passengers and for freight. This paper will concentrate on the efforts and the achievements in passenger transport.

The primary objective in the provision of multi-modal travel information is to offer travellers coherent and integrated information for different travel options. In the Dutch context, it means detailed information related to door-to-door transport services and facilities between points of origin and destination. The emphasis is placed on the concept of transport chains, such that travellers can choose to travel by different means of transport and interchange will be made easy and effortless. To achieve this aim, travel information should not be static or confined to one mode or single possibility. For each realistic situation, comprehensive and actual (i.e. real-time) information should be readily made available so that travellers can make a rational choice regarding the mode to use and the time of departure. Such course of action is likely to promote awareness of possibilities offered by the travel environment and increase multi-modal trips. Conscious choice of modes, routes and time of departure can also contribute towards the reduction of congestion at critical locations. Over time, there can be impacts on land use.

Task Force Mobility Management has been given the task to develop a strategy that will lead to the formulation and implementation of a multi-modal travel information system. At present, the Netherlands has an efficient traffic information system on the roads and a well-used passenger travel information system for public transport. The main challenge is the question how best to organise the collection of data and integrate them to provide multi-modal travel information. It is important for sustainable transport and for effective mobility management to provide travellers with coherent and integrated information regarding the full range of possibilities available, the related travel costs (in terms of travel time and travel costs)and any incidents that may affect travel discomfort and inconvenience. Travellers need to know the situation at different stages of their trip and service providers have the task to provide the required information at a cost effective manner.

The paper will describe respectively:
* the strategic plans that have been formulated on the road traffic side and in the public transport sector in pursuing the stated goals to provide integrated multi-modal travel information,
* the reserch programme that has been undertaken to identify the needs, requirements and preferences of the different groups of travellers, and
* the study findings regarding the priorities that travellers give to different kinds of information, level of details and their willingness to pay for additional information over and above the essentials.


Association for European Transport