The Road Administration is working on a new public transport portal called peatus.ee that should make getting around without a personal vehicle more convenient. A test version made available to users a few weeks ago highlighted several shortcomings.
Even though there are several international solutions available that include updated transport information for Estonia, the Road Administration has decided to create a new travel planner.
The agency's public transport department head Kirke Williamson says that the state needs an independent travel planner that would give passengers a lot of the information they need. "Including real-time information on the location of rental bike parking areas," she says.
The new portal will be based on a solution used in Helsinki and while using it might seem inconvenient at first, Williamson says it is no more complicated that Google's travel planner.
"The old peatus.ee solution did not make it possible to show bike parking areas, real-time traffic information, including incidents such as a broken-down bus or situations where a scheduled departure is canceled. The new planner, once completed with the help of test users, will be a very good thing," she promises.
The first week of testing saw problems for mobile users, while the application also failed to show which county public transport stops were in. The portal currently lacks county level public transport information that Williamson regards as its greatest shortcoming.
"The next step our programmer is already working on is real-time information. We will be doing real-time information for Pärnu at first," she adds.
Technology journalist Peeter Marvet said that the recent schedules table will be replaced by an automatic route planner that is currently having trouble communicating data to users.
"When I search for Volta, I receive a list of different Voltas followed by five-digit numbers, which makes it hard to tell whether it is a bus stop or a street," he notes.
Marvet says that adding only a little additional information can greatly improve the result. For example, for search results to show whether they designate streets or bus stops heading into town. He does not regard having an Estonian solution as pointless.
The new travel planner is expected to be completed by next summer and is estimated to cost around €200,000.
Editor: Marcus Turovski