Tampere is the second largest city in Finland and it is one of the fastest growing urban areas in Finland. In European scale, Tampere is a medium size city with 221.000 inhabitants (369.000 if the surrounding co-operating traffic region is included). The public transit system is well organised and relies on bus traffic organized by the city. Tampere’s bus transportation includes over 60 main routes and 3.000 transit stops. It serves over 80.000 passengers per day on the average.
The general opinion about the public transit services is quite favourable: In a recent survey, citizens ranked it as ‘reliable, friendly, pleasant, clean and environment friendly’. Nevertheless, there are plenty of challenges ahead. Historically, Finland is a sparsely populated country and this can still be seen even in urban areas. In this context, a private car has been and is still a natural choice for many people. About one-half of daily trips are currently made using private motorized vehicles making the traffic car-oriented in Tampere.
The main focus for the Tampere pilot is on the reduction of CO2 emissions by changing commuting towards “greener” modes, i.e. by increasing the share of public transport users and by turning car drivers into commuters. Special attention will be paid to the new real-time tools for the public transport authority to manage people flow in their city region. For the passengers, the large scale experiment is a real-time multimodal journey planner with gamification, a public game. In addition, mixed reality field trials are conducted in Tampere.
The goal of the game is to promote the use of public transport and to market the new real-time multimodal journey planner app which integrates several real-time data sources. Gamers can collect points by using public transport. You get points by travelling to different postcodes with public transport and the more areas covered the better. The concept is that the game encourages you to use public transport in occasional trips where you are normally using your own car. The game is accessible within the STREETLIFE Journey Planner using any mobile device.
The real-time journey planner takes automatically into account all the public transport real-time information and gives up-to-date information to the users. Multimodal integration of park and ride enables also to check the availability of parking slots as part of the trip suggestion and will calculate the CO2 footprint to create awareness of greener values.
The main research question is whether better real-time information and gamification changes people’s willingness to use public transport. The initial data analysis shows that the Tampere pilot is on right track. The public game has received a lot of positive feedback on this kind of game and campaign. Users are saying that better real-time information gives them 5-10 min time savings daily.
The public game started on 14th March and ended on 30 April 2016. During March and April the multimodal app had over 15 000 unique users. About 400 out of them registered as gamers. The further analysis of the collected data was undertaken and results were presented, for example at Nordic Public Transport 2016 and Väylät ja liikenne 2016 conferences.