PANEUROPEAN TRANSPORT SCHEDULES PROJECT 1.0
PANEUROPEAN TRANSPORT SCHEDULES PROJECT
PANEUROPEAN TRANSPORT SCHEDULES PROJECT
(document version 1.0 revised 17/02/97)
changes from 0.2 version of 21/11/96:
This is the first proposal for developing a integrated service of delivery
of informations on public transport services' (railway, ferries, bus, plane)
schedules via internet.
Currently only a few providers have their own pages, http or telnet to let
public read their offers. Only a few such SBB and DB have the complete on
line schedules for all their services, with more or less comprehensive
coverage of other provider's services.
Other have put on line only a subset of their services, most have no other
means of communication (if they have) with the public than wall tables and
telephone - often only for a few hours a day or restricted from some areas.
Many sites on a volunteer base have been built, mostly for railways,
sometimes, as in the case of AMTRAK or AMT, with an official support from the
provider of the transport service.
Also for these sites the same problems occours: some have only a subset of
the services available, other have the problem of poor update or bad proofing
(but these problems, even if in a lesser extents, affect even the official
sites and of course for printed schedules)
There is even the great problem to find the information, sometimes if no
better information are available, the knowledge of the carrier and their
phone number can help in planning travels, for business or leisure.
Thus the IETP will support also a simple directory of carriers, if better
help cannot be given.
This led to the following exigencies:
This manifest is aimed to everyone, be they of a transport company, or
involved in social communication, single enthusiasts or programmers.
Obviously also end-users are welcome since they are the one that can tell us
what are their needs, The project have not to be a case study, but a
- Have a standard way to found the information on HOW and WHERE to get
more detailed informations
- To have a standard (intended as a reasonably similar way to have
human interfaces) way to query the data, if possible taking care of
the different kind of information to be given
- To be able to work in a multiplatform system, allowing to use databases
from single providers, or merging for multi.
Following first advices a draft standard for source data interchange have been draft. You can however ask for modifications. (click to download)
- These systems have to cooperate to keep the whole system updated,
allowing anyone to have a local mirror for informations, then alleviating
the net from traffic and the main servers from load.
For this reasons have been released the sources for 'a' version of the server program. The current version is the old one, the new one will be put on line as soon as possible, so you can experiment.
I strongly ask to look at the 'a' version: it is only one version, you can use it or make as many as you want, if possible (but you have no obligations on this part) giving an line the sources.
- A goal should be to let the user query a system for a travel and then
receive all the information direcly or via a guided link. some inplementations of this feature have been ore are being implemented.
Following suggestions of some people have been added either in the specs and in the next version of the program an option to link top a page for every place in the pages
- The systems should be updated in an easy way, if possible via an e-mail
message, so a temporary change could be delivered to end-user without
How can you partecipate? Are you a technician or a user ...
Not a technician, but a professional in the field ?
- Are you a Network or OS expert ? You can study a way to let the various
servers cooperate in delivering the informations with a minimal overhead.
You can work on the protocols that the servers use to share the data
- Are you doing concurrent processing alghorithms studies?
It should be a challenge for concurrent processing experts to found a way
different servers, one for every area, can give a cumulative answer to a
- You are a programmer ? You con make your program or your routines or
simply propose alghorithms for searching and diplaying the data.
- There is a certain platform you venerate ? You can port the system on
that platform coping with peculiarities of thet one.
(rembember the system is thought to work as a web application,
but you can rewrite as a console
application or (i did once) a stand-alonw windowed application ...
- Are you a writer ? you can write the helps that help the novice user to
get the informations he/she needs.
- Have you a web site? You can host a mirror of the system .
- Are you a transport operator? You can help by giving if possible via
network your up to date schedules, so that one could be available,
You could set up a site using the programmes developed in this project
that will be put freely availble, of if you think you cannot afford this,
give your availability to give raw data. Someone will be able to set-up a
site for your data without any expense.
You do not fall in any of these cathegories ?
You can help in a
lot of ways: First of all you can send in your ideas, suggestion, requests,
The second very important work you can do is to send in , if
pollible in a electonically format, but otherwise even on paper, the
list of services and timetable in your area
The third way is simply e-mailing to the renponsable for an area the
informations on changes you can know about, so he/she could update the
We wish to contact all people that wish to be involved in this project.
We want only your willingness to set up this system.
Those interested please e-mail to:
telling what kind of contribute they can do (experience, databases,
programmer's skill, systyem analysis, user interface, network experts,
dissatisfied users, volunteers for entering data for that areas where
electronically accessible schedules are not available,
volunteers for proofing data, people that
will do nothing more than notify a change they read on a bill ... etc. )
A discussion list have been set-up , to subscribe send a e-mail to above
address requiring to be added - anyway you can always unsubscribe yourself :-(( (you will receive the istructions)
After my experiences i put a page with all MY
observations and comments .
Please read It and reply. If you want to post the answer to the
list you can do at email@example.com
remember that this file is a good point of start for discussion.
You can get all the previous messages sent to the list on monthly digests
I have here the experience in helding the
Italian Transport page,
with full schedules of Railways and some bus and ferry lines or
with a different user interface (please comment on both ones)
You can watch to this page or one or more of
one of other timetables pages on the web
The program I use is available to people interested in the project.
It has currently compiled and is running under WinNT and LINUX without
modifications (ANSI C - CGI interface)
Dipartimento Ingegneria Civile - Università di Firenze
Page last modified at - 17/02/97 on 17.42.00