Total Digital Journey Planning with New Inform Media from L.B. Foster
A giant leap forward in mobile, always-on digital journey planning for rail passengers is now available from global infrastructure support business L.B. Foster.
Inform Media by L.B. Foster is a comprehensive end-to-end digital navigator platform that brings together journey planning data feeds from a variety of sources to inform personal and business travel decision-making. The integrated hardware and software solution combines the latest in high definition, touchscreen technology with tailored data feeds.
Phil Chester is L.B. Foster’s head of marketing. He explains: “Our new Inform Media platform influences, services and enhances the total passenger experience across the whole journey. Personalised, consistent, real-time information is tailored to individual travel requirements wherever and whenever the customer needs it.
“This is how visionaries saw the direction of travel for passenger information over a decade ago. What we have done is take that vision and turn it into a working reality.”Phil Chester, Marketing Manager, L.B. Foster
Damian McCracken is L.B. Foster’s operations manager responsible for the delivery of Inform Media. He says: “Inform Media is driven by an extremely powerful media generator. The work to get us to this point has been significant and the development work on the Inform engine is now able to provide plug-in applications that support ‘passenger first’ strategies. These include a train, tram, plane and bus locator visualised on maps, plus enhanced wayfinding and mapping tools, as well as walking, taxi and cycle hub links.” “Drilling deeper, the really clever part is the Inform Engine. It delivers a range of easy to understand analytics, giving operators awareness and strategies to cope with capacity, extreme weather events and queue management.”
Inform Media focuses on the total journey line. This is based on a detailed analysis of actual passenger journeys, identifying critical touchpoints at which information is accessed. These include ticket booking, car parking, platform information for station arrival, where to go, security information and retail/food and drink opportunities.
The first hardware interface called Inform by L.B. Foster was launched in 2017. The mobile, wireless, battery-powered information display is now in use by a number of train operators, including TransPennine Express and South Western Rail, as well as Network Rail. The totem is designed and manufactured to Section 12 compliance for use on underground infrastructure, as well as IP65 for outdoor use. The totem hardware is also AICAS Explosion certified for use in public areas, particularly airport terminals.
Current Inform media applications include real-time live train information from Knowledge Base & Darwin feeds, disruption information and a unique and user-friendly journey planner. Additional applications include timetable information, station mapping and customer user surveys.