The official mobile application PID Lítačka for planning public transport journeys in Prague and the Central Bohemian Region has introduced new search features now accessible to the general public. We reported on their testing in October of last year. The ICT Operator company (OICT), owned by the municipality of Prague, has launched a revolutionary next-generation route planner that finds the most advantageous and fastest connections through a combination of urban and public mass transit, trains, taxis, walking, shared and private cars, and bicycles.
According to the city’s announcement, this unique route planner will contribute to smoother journeys and help reduce the environmental impact of personal travel. PID Lítačka thus becomes the only mobile application that plans journeys from A to Z for travelers in the Czech capital and the Central Bohemian Region, including the purchase of individual tickets, long-term vouchers, and parking, all tailored to each traveler, the city stated.
The new route planner can suggest practical combinations of using urban mass transit and bicycles, whether private or shared. This can be especially useful in areas with poorer access to public transportation, either in terms of distance to the nearest stop or due to traveling during less busy times.
For shared bicycles, the planner shows their availability and, if necessary, the application can redirect users to the operators‘ shared bike applications, where the bike can be reserved or rented immediately. For private bicycles it might offer, for example, the option of taking the bike on public transportation in sections where this is permitted, including, for instance, so-called tram elevators.
At the same time, the application offers various settings where users can specify, for example, the distances for which they are willing to use a bike.
Companies such as Rekola, nextbike Czech Republic, and Unimotional collaborated on the development of these new cycling-related features.
While the display of routes in combination with other modes of transportation may be used by a smaller portion of users, or can be seen as a form of promoting alternative transportation modes, the new feature for easily incorporating walking into route searches will likely be utilized by a larger number of users.
In the previous version of the application, when searching for connections from a specific location, it essentially only offered the nearest stop, regardless of how frequently services departed from it. The new version is not afraid to suggest walking to a more distant stop if it means arriving at the destination earlier. It is a matter of course that users can individually set the walking speed and the maximum distance they are willing to walk. This ensures that the application won’t forget to inform you that just around the corner, a connection could take you to your destination much earlier than waiting at your chosen stop.
„This next-generation route planner in the PID Lítačka application represents a revolution in Prague’s transportation. It enables entirely new combinations of ways to move around the city interconnected into one route, with time savings being appreciated by all travelers, pedestrians, and cyclists. It is appropriate to thank everyone who has been involved in the development of this new urban innovation since the previous electoral term, and to wish them a lot of energy in the first weeks of the route planner’s operation, during which practical details will be fine-tuned,“ says Zdeněk Hřib, the Prague deputy for transportation, regarding the next-generation route planner.
Compared to other planners that offer routes within a single mode of transportation (e.g., public transit) or multiple modes that do not combine, the PID Lítačka route planner is one of the top innovations. It allows the use of all personal transportation modes and their combinations within a single route, which is unique not only in the Czech Republic but also on a global scale, adds the city.
„The new route planner represents a groundbreaking technical solution because it can integrate data from various private service providers running on our Golemio data platform, which is utilized for the PID Lítačka application. Less than a week after the gradual deployment of the new functionality, we see that already 13 percent of PID Lítačka mobile app users are using the next-generation route planner, and we are just at the beginning,“ explains Benedikt Kotmel, Chairman of the Board of the OICT company, responsible for the operation and development of the PID Lítačka mobile application.
„In addition to departures and arrivals, the next-generation route planner also informs PID Lítačka users about delays, the locations of public transit stops, places where shared bikes or cars are parked, and parking lots where users can park their own cars (guidance for cars to P+R parking lots). Simply specify which modes of transportation the planner should include, and the result is a tailor-made journey for the traveler,“ adds Petr Borecký, Councilor for Public Transport in the Central Bohemian Region, regarding the recent innovation.
Companies Umotional and CHAPS were involved in the preparation of the next-generation route planner, along with the following data and mobility service providers: Rekola bikesharing, nextbike Czech Republic, HoppyGo, CAR4WAY a.s., Autonapůl, Anytime Carsharing CZ, Liftago, the Association of Czech Car sharing, the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic, the Railway Administration, state organizations, the Regional Organizer that is Prague Integrated Transport (PID), Integrated Transport for the Central Bohemian Region, the Prague Public Transit Company, the Technical Roads Administration of the City of Prague, the Institute of Planning and Development of the City of Prague, and KORID LK.