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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
ITS Joint Program Office

Application Areas

Transit Vehicle Communications


This center-to-vehicle/traveler application area covers the interface between a transit management center and transit or paratransit vehicles. This interface supports the following capabilities:
  • Collecting automated vehicle location information
  • Collecting operational data (e.g., automated passenger counts, schedule performance, electronic fare payment information) and maintenance data (e.g., vehicle status and operating parameters)
  • Providing the transit vehicle driver with electronic dispatch and routing instructions
  • Providing traveler information to the vehicle, which in turn can provide it to travelers.
  • Providing schedule information used to develop corrective actions on-board the transit vehicle.
  • Providing fare management information, including invalid traveler credit identities, to transit vehicles
  • Supporting transit vehicle operator authentication and the ability to remotely disable the vehicle in emergency situations.

This graphic shows the scope of the Center to Vehicle/Traveler Transit Vehicle Communications application area.  This scope is described in the preceding text.
National ITS Architecture Interface
This application area includes the interface between the Transit Management Subsystem (TRMS) and the Transit Vehicle Subsystem (TRVS). Information that is passed from the TRMS to the TRVS includes: <ul> <li>Transit schedule information to be used either by the driver for schedule adherence or for the passengers for connection information</li> <li>Fare management information, which could range from fare schedules to bad tag lists to interactive transactions, depending upon the electronic fare system in use</li> <li>Transit traveler information such as transit schedules, real-time arrival information, fare schedules, and general transit service information.</li> <li>Driver instructions, which could include directions on how to proceed on a flexible route, or pickup information for a paratransit route</li> <li>Vehicle operator authentication information and control data for remote disabling of the transit vehicle.</li> </ul> Information that is passed from the TRVS to the TRMS includes: <ul> <li>Transit vehicle location data</li> <li>Transit vehicle conditions, which can include a variety of operating parameters to be used for vehicle monitoring or maintenance</li> <li>Passenger data, which can include the output of automated passenger counters</li> <li>Fare and payment status, which can include information about the electronic payment system, or actual transactions, depending upon the type of fare system employed</li> <li>Schedule performance data, which can include actual or estimated arrival times at stops or way points</li> <li>Transit vehicle operator authentication information</li> </ul>

Applicable Standards

In general, the following standards are applicable to Transit Vehicle Communications deployments. To determine which specific standards are applicable for a deployment you will need to determine which architecture flows will be needed for the Transit Vehicle Communications piece of your deployment. Contact your local FHWA ITS Division Specialist or an ITS Standards Program Field Support Team contact

Standard Development Status
APTA TCIP-S-001 4.0.0 APTA Standard for Transit Communications Interface Profiles; Published
SAE J2266 Location Referencing Message Specification (LRMS); Published
SAE J2354 Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS); Published
SAE J2540 Messages for Handling Strings and Look-Up Tables in ATIS Standards; Published
SAE J2540/1 RDS (Radio Data System) Phrase Lists; Published
SAE J2540/2 ITIS (International Traveler Information Systems) Phrase Lists; Published
SAE J2540/3 National Names Phrase List; Published
Deployment Resources
Deployment resources can be found in the deployment resources section.