ITxPT Can Benefit U.S. Transit Operators
Contributing article provided by Marcel Maes, CEO of Maestronic®
A standardized IT architecture specification with open interfaces enabling interoperability for on-board and back-office IT systems in public transport is essential. ITxPT exists to provide those specifications to ensure smooth integration between vendor IT solutions. This open IT standard enables transit operators to select the best technology to benefit their riders and the communities they serve.
Many transit operators have extensive, complex legacy IT systems with multiple integrations. These legacy systems may include Automatic Vehicle Location, Automatic Fare Collection, Automatic Passenger Counting, Infotainment, Destination Signs, and many wireless modems with separate antennas.
If one integrated legacy system fails, other systems may be impacted. Solutions to these errors are often complicated and time-consuming, alluding to the need for a universal standard to ensure compliant integration. The universal standard can save cost and improve the availability of all connected systems, for example, by consolidating resources like wireless gateways and sharing real-time vehicle information.
Distributing all systems into modular components that all communicate through ITxPT standards makes it simple to replace or add one component without affecting others. If one component doesn’t perform well, it’s easy to swap that component out with another of your choice. ITxPT can help to reduce the total cost of ownership and improve the performance of all IT systems.
Open IT Architecture
ITxPT enables an open architecture, data accessibility, and interoperability between IT systems. The members of ITxPT develop the IT architecture for public transport and other mobility services together based on open standards and best practices.
The ITxPT Association
ITxPT is a non-profit association open to all companies and organizations interested in developing public transport into the most efficient, sustainable, and attractive means of travel. ITxPT members are a mix of industry, operators, and authorities from all over the world.
The mission of the ITxPT Association is to enable interoperability between IT systems in public transport by offering public specification of an IT architecture based on standards with open interfaces for on-board, over-the-air, and backoffice IT systems.
The ITxPT governance is shared between decision-makers (public transport authorities and operators) and industry (vehicle manufacturers and IT suppliers).
The ITxPT specifications provide public transport authorities and operators with recommendations and requirements to support the purchase and integration of interoperable IT architecture. Moreover, industry suppliers use the specifications to design ITxPT-compliant equipment and services. ITxPT architecture is based on standards and best practices from in-operation implementations and projects, such as the European Bus System of the Future (EBSF _2).
ITxPT should be understood as an agreement between many public transport stakeholders to enable the digitalization and integration of mobility services. The ITxPT specifications do not limit the design of IT. They provide a framework for designing hardware and software so that modules can be integrated into a coherent architecture. This simplifies IT suppliers’ access to the market and gives purchasers the flexibility to select services and components from many providers.
ITxPT defines interoperability on three levels:
- Hardware level: installation rules, space requirements, connectors, etc.
- Communication protocol level: interfaces, declaration of service, etc.
- Service level: list of services, format of the service, format of data, etc.
Before a product can be granted the ITxPT label, it must pass extensive tests conducted by the ITxPT laboratory. This evaluation process ensures that the product complies with the ITxPT technical specifications, ensuring interoperability and a smoother integration process. Any supplier can apply for the ITxPT label, which certifies that the vehicle, equipment, software, or service complies with ITxPT standards and specifications. The ITxPT label is granted after completion of the labeling process. The label can be applied to a:
- Module hardware and module software,
ITxPT labeling is offered through a straightforward step-by-step process supported by the ITxPT laboratory. It should be noted that tests only evaluate technical compliance and do not in any way assess functional performance.
Maestronic® provides ITxPT-certified TransitWar08 solutions, is independently owned and operated, and was established in 1992. We are a trusted designer, manufacturer, and contractor of reliable transit information, communication, and security systems. We operate in the United States, The Netherlands, Canada, and Asia. We are proud members of APTA, UITP, CUTA, and ITxPT, and our systems are in operation in over 10,000 buses and railcars worldwide. Visit maestronic.com.