An active, complex reality
The Bologna Coach Station is an important junction for suburban, national and international busses and coaches, located right in the centre of the city close to Bologna Central Station.
Management of a bus terminal
With an eye to improve the services on offer, in terms of the information provided to travellers and the receptive capacities of the bus lines, the Coach Terminal decided to create a system for automatic management of the square so as to optimise the use of departure terminals.
The project, which was drawn up in an invitation to tender, was carried out by a Temporary Association of Companies: Solari Udine who supplied LED panels, Pluservice who supplied the management software part, access control and hand-held terminals for the station managers, Aristea who carried out the installation works. The experience gained from “manual” management of the terminal processes was transformed into an advanced automatic management system, for better control of the coach station, improved performance and better supply of information.
Automated coach station management system
- Access control system, to regulate access to the coach station square by automatic operation of a bar. The access control system is able to read the vehicle number plate and the weight of the various vehicles accessing the coach station square. The need for an optical number plate reader arose due to the high number of vehicles passing through the station, by the heterogeneous nature of the owner companies and by the different services offered by these companies. Detection of the weight of the vehicle makes it possible to apply different levels of number plate reading, for example a heavy vehicle can access the controlled area directly, whereas a van or car will only be able to access the area if the number plate is recognised.
- Optimisation program for management of departure gates: minimises the use of gates for departures of bus lines; the application starts from the scheduled timetable, but also has to manage in real time any anomalies such as delays or cancellation of services, sending the necessary information to the electronic display panels for users and those directing the busses.
- Electronic panels displaying information for users, fitted in the departure area and along the departure walkways. The information is dynamic and provides all significant details both for services departing normally and in the event of anomalies that involve delays or the cancellation of services.
- Dynamic panels automatically directing busses to the departure gates: the driver entering the square reads the gate assigned for departure of his service on the panel provided. An intercom located in the panel area allows the driver to contact the station manager to deal with critical situations, for example severe delays in the service so that the gate is no longer assigned.
- Hand held terminal for the station manager and central server managing the entire system: all system operations are carried out using a hand-held terminal used by the station manager which, via a wi-fi connection, allows full management of the processes, interaction with the programs, management of anomalies.
- Loudspeaker system: in the square and inside the waiting area, using vocal synthesis, for improved communication to users of any anomalies with respect to the scheduled service (delays, cancellation of services, ...)
To this system is added management of 2 supplementary services provided by Pluservice:
- Web access for agencies and carriers to communicate changes in the daily schedule
- Information system for the visually impared: connected to the central system, this provides information in real time by means of a Toll-free telephone number.