In the following, the different steps for an itinerary search in VBB’s international service and additional functionalities available are described in detail.
How to enter user request:
When entering the EU-Spirit network via the VBB home page (www.vbb.de) or the Fahrinfo home page (https://www.vbb.de/fahrinfoeuropa), the system’s concept and the available functionalities are explained to the user. The user can select a region of departure and destination in order to either enter an address or a stop of departure and destination. The day and time of departure or arrival needs to be entered as well. When entering an address (street and house number), the system searches automatically for the ideal stations and generates ideal door-to-door itineraries.
Itineraries are then displayed in the user’s well-known local travel information system in his mothertongue. In the Berlin system, all possible itineraries are first displayed in a short format, indicating departure / arrival time, total travel time, and number of interchanges.
In a second step, the user can select single itineraries of which any other information needed is displayed, e.g. arrival and departure times at interchanges, information about transport mode (train, bus, tram, etc.) and line number, indication of foot paths, etc.
Simple stop and address information is not sufficient when searching for a place in an unknown area. Maps indicating the shortest footpath from the station to the destination or footpaths inside large stations are clearly a benefit for the customer. As an additional service, a map of origin, route or a selected destination can directly be generated by the local system in Berlin.
Real time information
Real time information for bus and rail lines is also available for almost the whole region of Berlin and Brandenburg. Boards at a stop or station give a prognosis about next real time departures. The route planner considers current delays and offers alternative routes in the case a connection cannot be reached due to a delay.