IMAGE: real-time traffic information
Because the unexpected can cause stress and indecision, improving the information provided to passengers is one of RATP's biggest priorities. The IMAGE project, currently in the test phase, aims to provide constantly updated, real-time local information on the state of traffic in the networks, including those run by other Île-de-France operators (SNCF, Optile).
Thousands of IMAGE screens will be rolled out between 2012 and 2016 (versus 1,700 screens currently in operation) to broadcast a wide variety of information (operating hours, traffic reports, disturbances, sales information, etc.) about the network on which they are located, as well as about connecting lines. IMAGE screens will gradually replace the existing information systems being used by the various public transport networks.
They will display the expected arrival times of the next two metros, RERs and buses, and inform passengers of any traffic problems on the line. This will allow passengers to manage their time better and adapt their route in the event of disruption.
The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a multimodal information system for all transport service providers throughout the RATP networks.
Stages of the project
The eventual aim of the Image project is to install more than 3,000 screens across all transport spaces (metro stations, RER stations and bus stations). These will display the waiting times for the different modes of transport, regardless of the operator (RATP, SNCF, Optile, etc.), the state of traffic and information about special circumstances (disruptions, security information, etc.).
Phase 1: Test of two screens (displaying
bus schedules) at the Pont de Sèvres station in late 2008
In December 2008, the Pont de Sèvres station was equipped with 2 IMAGE screens indicating in real time the departure times for buses leaving the terminal.
2: Test of ten screens in the Châtelet – Les Halles station (metro, RER)
They will provide real-time arrival information on:
- The five metro lines passing through the station
- The , and lines
Phase 3: Testing at four other sites between 2010 and
Four new sites will be equipped with various configurations of IMAGE screens, including the Saint-Denis Université (bus schedules), Val de Fontenay (bus and RER schedules), Massy-Palaiseau stations and Orly airport.
Focus on the St-Denis Université station:
Four IMAGE screens were installed in April 2010:
- Two screens were located inside the station, just above the exits towards the bus terminal,
- Two screens were attached to a pole in the square outside the station (transflective LCDs were used to compensate for bright sunlight).
Focus on the Val de Fontenay station:
22 IMAGE screens were installed in June 2010:
– 14 RER IMAGE screens were set up inside the station:
- Eight near the access areas,
- Six on the platforms
– Two Bus IMAGE screens were placed inside the RER station, in the main access to the bus terminal.
- Six Bus IMAGE screens were installed at designated bus stops.
Focus on the Massy-Palaiseau SNCF train station:
– Passenger information concerning the RER Line B was communicated to SNCF, which displayed it for passengers on four screens (summer 2011).
Focus on Orly airport:
– ADP (Paris Airports) was provided with passenger information for RATP buses (Orlybus, 183, 285, 292, N31).
- ADP displayed the information on two screens in the Orly Sud and Orly Ouest passenger terminals (summer 2011).
Phase 4: Widespread deployment of the IMAGE system in all networks as of 2012
The deployment phase calls first for the creation and rollout of the system with new displays between 2012 and 2015, followed by new display standards once the system architecture has been overhauled. IMAGE will operate in metro and RER stations and in bus terminals connected to the rail network.
The passenger information system will consist of displays in various sizes, to adapt to the wide range of configurations within the RATP network.
Contributing to sustainable development
The Image project also fits in with the sustainable development goals defined by RATP. The new LCD screens will use less energy than the existing cathode-ray-tube displays, and provide a much higher level of service. They will be made from materials designed for optimal end-of-life recycling.