A pragmatic approach for a long distance route calculation

There are more and more regional multimodal information systems (MIS), and they need to be linked together to make route calculations..


There is a variety of approaches. To contribute to the research for pragmatic solutions, making the most of the existing devices, in 2012 we engaged with our colleagues of Canal Tp and under the auspice of the AFIMB (French Agency for Multimodal Information and Ticketing), an experiment based on the following approach:

  • Connecting web services so each ITS keeps its specificities.
  • Centralizing geodata (stopping points), which volumes and updates remain limited.
  • Perform distributed calculation only on schedules, which are updated every evening.

The experiment covers a vast geographical area including Oise, Alsace, Ile-de-France, a fourth territory yet to be defined, and long distance rail. It includes:

  • The creation and update of the central repository
  • The implementation and operation of web services exchanges and Meta calculation.
  • The access to the Meta trip planner via a route search website.

The test phase of the Meta trip planner by project partners (and in particular the Organizing Authorities who made their data available) is planned for a period of approximately 3 months starting at the end of 2014 and concluding in spring 2015. Then a summary document of the specifications will be given to the AFIMB so that it can serve as a starting point for a standardization process.

At this stage the experiment has already demonstrated the technical feasibility of the device as well as the ability to work harmoniously in teams from different areas of expertise, or even competitors.

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Challenges and objectives

How to calculate optimized public transport solutions

  • on a vast perimeter ?
  • without generating large databases ?
  • nor duplicating existing local systems ?


  • Create a dialogue between existing systems via a common meta trip planner.
  • Constitute a partial central repository.
  • Coordinate the action of operating partners, organizing authorities and IT providers.