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Facilitating transport mobility

Facilitating transport mobility involves guiding all users, including people with disabilities, throughout their journey.

The assistance provided covers the whole journey from the point of departure to the point of arrival. It includes public transport, freight, private vehicles, planes, boats and soft modes of transport (cycling, walking).

Tourist information and parking also form part of this concept.

Information and communication technologies have revolutionised the means for facilitating transport mobility.

Pre-journey information

Pre-journey information covers all tools enabling passengers to plan a particular journey in advance, whatever the mode of transport they are considering using. It also covers services providing journey planning advice.

Traffic information also comes under this category, but is dealt with on this site under the heading ‘Traffic / Incident Management’.

Planning a journey.

Planning is an important phase to ensure a journey goes smoothly, especially when there is disruption to services. The user should be able to choose their mode(s) of transport based on one or more criteria. It should also be reiterated that both an excess and a lack of travel information can make journey planning tools ineffective.

Deciding which mode of transport to use.

Prior to planning their journey (a few days or even a few minutes before), the passenger needs to choose their mode of transport.

Should I get a travel pass, which one? Can I sell my car? Where is my home in relation to my workplace, the children’s school?

This is known as journey planning advice, which is a form of intelligent transport (in the sense of smart and informed), although it requires little in the way of technology.

Moving towards offering personalised information.

Travel information can also be sorted by ‘passenger profile’ with some information shared across several profiles and other information reserved for specific profiles.

A few examples of passenger profiles:

  • The user of a private vehicle or HGV driver.
  • Teenager / student.
  • Worker
  • French or foreign businessperson.
  • French or foreign tourist.
  • Occasional traveller.
  • Disabled passenger with or without a wheelchair (people with reduced mobility).   * Passengers with pushchairs who can also be classed as people with reduced mobility.

A few examples of profile specific information:

  • The user of a private vehicle or HGV will be more attentive to weather conditions, traffic conditions, journey time, the possibilities for changing route and the location and availability of parking areas. Real-time information is also invaluable.
  • The worker who uses public transport every day will be more interested in information on service disruptions than times and connections for services they use daily and generally know well. Car sharing is also of interest to them.
  • Business people are usually looking for quick modes of transport and sometimes ways of easily bringing forward or putting back departure times, as well as catering and accommodation services (ticket exchange, hotel reservations, vehicle hire, car sharing and parking).
  • Disabled passengers look for services that are tailored to people with reduced mobility and on-demand services.
  • In addition to transport information, the French or foreign tourist will be interested in things to see and do at the end of a journey. Car sharing and vehicle hire may be useful services for exploring a town. Parking options are also of interest to tourists. In this case, multilingual information is vitally important.
  • The occasional traveller (people who rarely use public transport) is often on a journey into the ‘unknown’ and is not necessarily well-acquainted with their departure and arrival points (layout, connections, where to buy a ticket, where to take their connection, and they generally feel ‘stressed’). For these people journey planning is important and reassuring. Augmented reality applications, maps of stations and transport hubs can be of additional help.

Journey planning tools for each mode of transport.

  • The user of a private vehicle (motorcycle, car, HGV)

The internet has become a must when planning a journey because it offers a whole range of tools for route-planning (sometimes available on the same website).

Comprehensive websites such as « ViaMichelin » and « Mappy » offer you indispensible tools when travelling across France or even across Europe.

  • Check the weather forecast. 
  • Find out the latest traffic information. 
  • Consult maps of European countries.
  • Work out your route and choose from a range of options. As well as selecting the departure and arrival points, you can select the shortest route, the quickest route, the mode of transport, vehicle type, and work out the journey cost based on fuel type and consumption and motorway tolls. Car parks and motorway services information, tourist information and the option of reserving certain hotels are all also available.

The media, radio and TV also broadcast weather forecasts with alert levels and projected or real-time traffic information, enabling you to put forward or delay your departure so that you can travel as safely as possible. Industrial action is another important factor to take into account, as well as school holiday start and end dates.

You can also plan your journey based on tourist attractions. In addition to the aforementioned websites, you can visit the national gateway for tourist offices and tourist centres: or websites such as which primarily provides information about the Rhône Alpes Region and finally certain towns such as Chamonix,0,fr.html which offer weather forecasts and traffic news.

Here are a few key websites to round off the road journey information section :

  • The public transport user (bus, coaches, trains, trams, air travel, ferries)

The transport organising authorities are making use of new technologies to offer passengers a large number of tools enabling them to plan their journey more easily and enjoy a smooth journey.

The regions, departments and many towns provide transport information on their websites.

Some tourist offices and centres offer transport information (public transport, taxis, boats, vehicle or bicycle hire) on their websites, in addition to information about tourist attractions, town maps and parking information.

L’’office de tourisme de Paris is a good example of this type of website.

Some websites,  known as multimodal transport information services, offer more extensive regional and even cross-border travel information. They generally have a journey planner featuring all modes of transport, as well as network maps, timetables, ticket prices, and information about service disruptions, with the option of registering for alerts and for on-demand services. These websites are now developing and in the long term could lead to multimodal transport information becoming standard.

A need has emerged for specialised websites to make it easier to find out about public transport at national level, such as the Portail Annuaire des Sites et des Services sur la mobilité (Transport services and websites gateway) ( PASSIM )

A few example websites:

Information about on-demand transport (often used by people of reduced mobility), car sharing and vehicle hire is often listed on these websites.

  • Users of soft modes of transport (bicycle)  

Cycling, a non-polluting mode of transport, is classed, along with walking, as one of the ‘soft modes of transport.’

It can be included in a multimodal journey, especially as availability increases, with many towns providing bicycle hire services and many websites and Smartphone applications enabling users to locate hire points and sometimes even check availability. Some towns, such as Tours, even offer tourist cycling routes.

Here are a few cycling journey planner links (the list is not exhaustive)

These constantly developing tools and services enable users to plan their journeys using the new technologies.

However, people still request information by telephone and paper copies of timetables



  • Display - photo credit:© Actigraph

Information while travelling

The article concerns information that can be obtained (via a range of media) or requested (generally from a mobile phone) in real time by the passenger during their journey, in particular regarding service disruptions and potential alternative options.

The article also includes information about real-time passenger feedback features.

Traffic information also forms part of this section, although it is also dealt with under the ‘Traffic Management’ section.

The same information service often provides theoretical or reported (dealt with in the article on ‘Pre-journey information’) and real-time information (dealt with here).

  The importance of systematic real-time information when services are disrupted.

The possibility for obtaining information while travelling depends on the mode of transport’s on-board technologies and the technologies made available. Nowadays, real-time information, whether for private vehicles or public transport, is a means of providing quality information, but is not available in all the ‘means of transport’.   A feeling of wasting time in a tailback, at a bus stop or at a railway station in the depths of the countryside tends to disappear as soon as real-time information is provided. The informed user can better manage the time spent waiting and will be less ‘stressed’. This could even be referred to as ‘smart waiting’.

Private vehicle users (motorcycles, cars, HGVs)

Depending on the channels of communication and on-board technology used, drivers have access to numerous sources of information. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly linking up our vehicles and even making them ‘smart’.

Here is a list of sources of information for private vehicles.

  • SFN radio station on 107.7 MHz across the entire French motorway network.
  • RDS-TMC, a service providing real-time traffic information to vehicles fitted with a special terminal.
  • Variable Message Signs providing real-time information on disruptions (roadworks, accidents, congestion, the state of the road and journey times.
  • On-board GPS systems can also receive real-time traffic information.
  • Active traffic management (see the section on Traffic Management)

Public transport users ( bus, coaches, trains, trams, air travel and ferries)

In the case of public transport, information availability greatly depends on the mode of transport and the transport organising authority. A small rural town does not have the same resources as a conurbation community. This article only deals with passenger information.

  • Variable Message Signs on the infrastructure providing real- time information on times and service disruptions (also see the section on accessibility).
  • On-board variable messages providing real-time information about times and service disruptions (also see the section on  accessibility)
  • Announcements on the infrastructure or at stops (also see the sections on accessibility).
  • On-board announcements (also see the section on accessibility).
  • Register for text message updates about network disruptions.
  • Smartphone applications (SNCF direct).
  • Requesting information from on-board staff who are now equipped with specially adapted hand-held terminals.

Travel payment methods

Ticketing refers to all the operations involved in issuing paper tickets

Smart ticketing refers to automated transport ticket management using advanced technology devices (including swipe cards, smart cards, mobile phones and smart phones.)

For more information about smart ticketing, particularly with regard to system interoperability, please go to the smart ticketing gateway run by the Certu.

The website aims to encourage smart ticketing systems to become interoperable. It therefore makes studies and documents published by the Certu and partners who wish to participate available. The website also provides technical information about the networks that use smart ticketing and aims to showcase good practices for setting up an interoperable smart ticketing system


Associated pages

STI en France