Purpose of the Transmodel

Public transport services rely increasingly on information systems to ensure reliable, efficient operation and widely accessible, accurate passenger information. These systems are used for a range of specific purposes: setting schedules and timetables, managing vehicle fleets, issuing tickets and receipts, providing real time information on service running, and so on.

“Transmodel” is the short name for the European Standard “Public Transport Reference Data Model” (EN 12896). It improves a number of features of public transport information and service management; in particular, the standard facilitates interoperability between the information processing systems of the transport operators and agencies by using matching definitions, structures and meanings for their data for the component systems. This applies both when connecting different applications within an organisation, and also to connecting applications between interworking organisations (for instance, a public authority and a transport operator).

The Transmodel standard provides a framework for defining and agreeing data models, and covers the whole area of public transport operations. By making use of this European Standard, and of data models derived from it, it is possible for operators, authorities and software suppliers to work together much more easily towards integrated systems. Moreover, the breadth of the standard helps to ensure that future systems’ developments can be accommodated with the minimum of difficulty.

Conformance statements

A specification which cites Transmodel needs to include comparisons of the specification against the Transmodel reference data model in at least two conformance levels:

  • level 1 (the global level) identifies which data domains within the specification are drawn from the Transmodel data domains, and which are not;
  • level 2 (the detailed level) compares the data model within the specification against the Transmodel entities.

The level 1 conformance statement should be presented as a table based on one of the following:

  • the Transmodel data domains as described in the normative part of the document. This covers the description of the network, versions/validity/layers, tactical planning components, vehicle scheduling, driver scheduling, schedules and versions, rostering, personnel disposition, operations monitoring and control, passenger information, fare collection, management information, multi-modal operation, multiple operators’ environment; or
  • the corresponding UML diagrams as presented in the Standard [note: UML models were an informative annex in v5.1 of Transmodel, but will be in the normative documentation of v6 of Transmodel].

The level 2 conformance statement should be presented as a table in which the data concepts used in the specification are described as:

  • “Unmodified”: concepts in the specification which have the same definition, properties and relationships as in the corresponding Transmodel domain;
  • “Modified”: concepts in the specification which are similar to a Transmodel concept but which differ in the details of certain attributes and/or relationships (e.g. attributes added);
  • “Alternative”: concepts or groups of concepts in the specification which model the same concepts as in Transmodel but in a significantly different way;
  • “Additional”: concepts in the specification which are not covered by, and therefore cannot be drawn from, Transmodel;
  • “Omitted”: concepts in Transmodel which are not used in the specification.

Applicability of Transmodel

Transmodel may be applied to any framework for information systems within the public transport industry, but there are three circumstances to which it is particularly suited:

  • specification of an organisation’s ‘information architecture’
  • specification of a database
  • specification of a data exchange interface

Specification of Information Architecture
An ‘information architecture’ refers to the overall structure of information used by an information system, which is used to determine:

  • the structure of data held in system databases
  • the structure of data exchanged across interfaces between systems

It may be used as a strategic guide to system planning and evolution, and as the basis for the specification and acquisition of individual systems.

An information architecture made up of independent modules with well-defined interfaces is easier to maintain. A malfunctioning module can be taken out of service or completely replaced without disrupting the rest of the system. This is particularly beneficial for on-line or safety critical systems. The modules can also be reconfigured more easily onto hardware located elsewhere on the network to fit in with changes in organisational arrangements for managing the business and data administration processes.

The information architecture itself should be evaluated from time to time to make sure that it is still meeting the needs of the organisation. Technological changes in communications and computing are continually bringing forward new opportunities for evolving the systems supporting the business.

Specification of a Database
At a more technical level, an organisation’s systems will have a collection of data in one or more databases, which may be associated with individual applications or may be common to many applications.

In either case, Transmodel can serve as a starting point for the definition of a database schema, which will be used for the physical implementation of databases. Whether applications access a common database built to this schema, or have their own databases and exchange data built to consistent schemas, the use of an overall reference data model assists integration.

Technical constraints (such as memory capacity restrictions of smart cards) may affect the detail and complexity of the data models that can be used in particular data storage devices. Transmodel does not itself specify a level of detail to adopt.

Specification of an Interface
Public transport organisations may require different applications to exchange data with each other. Also, public transport organisations may exchange data with other organisations. In either case, the reference data model can be used to help design the interfaces.

Again, technical constraints (such as bandwidth limitations of radio communications links) may affect the detail and complexity of the data models that can be used for particular interfaces. Transmodel does not itself specify a level of detail to adopt.

EU regulatory and use of Transmodel

Mobility Factsheet
Read the Mobility Factsheet

The normative Public Transport Reference Data Model (Transmodel) covers Network topology representation, Scheduling, Operation monitoring, Fare management, Passenger information and Driver management information domains. Transmodel has to be viewed in the context of the European ITS Directive 2010/40/E (in particular the Priority Action A,  supplementing the European Directive 2010/40/EU  with regard to the provision of EU-wide multimodal travel information services) since it facilitates the definition of the necessary requirements to make EU-wide multimodal travel information services accurate and available across borders to ITS users.

For what concerns the exchange of static scheduled data (such as public transport, long distance coach and maritime including ferry), the relevant data in the national access point should use the CEN data exchange standard NeTEx CEN/TS 16614 based on the underlying conceptual data reference model Transmodel EN 12896: 2006 and subsequent upgraded versions or any machine-readable format fully compatible by the agreed timeline.

Transport authorities, transport operators, infrastructure managers or transport on demand service providers shall provide the static travel and traffic data through the national access point in the required formats in line with an agreed  timetable.

The Priority Action A determines 3 levels of service (data catergories) in this context.

Mobility Factsheet
Read the English version or download in your language
  1. level of service 1 for the travel and traffic data for the comprehensive TEN-T network, by 1 December 2019 at the latest
  2. level of service 2 for the travel and traffic data for the comprehensive TEN-T network, by 1 December 2020 at the latest;
  3. level of service 3 for the travel and traffic data for the comprehensive TEN-T network, by 1 December 2021 the latest;
  4. for the travel and traffic data for the other parts of the Union transport network, by 1 December 2023 at the latest.

As Transmodel is a reference standard, it is not necessary for individual systems or specifications to implement Transmodel as a whole.

It needs to be possible to describe (for those elements of systems, interfaces and specifications which fall within the scope of Transmodel):

  • the aspects of Transmodel that they have adopted;
  • the aspects of Transmodel that they have chosen not to adopt.

Transmodel may prove of value to:

  • organisations within the public transport industry that specify, acquire and operate information systems;
  • organisations that design, develop and supply information systems for the public transport industry.

For an organisation within the public transport industry wishing to specify, acquire and operate information systems, Transmodel may be distilled, refined, or adapted to form a comprehensive data model for the organisation. This will enable the organisation to specify its database structures and/or its system interfaces, in such a way that separate modules can be tendered openly but will still integrate easily. The organisation also has a greater likelihood that information exchange interfaces with external organisations will be achieved easily.

For an organisation wishing to design, develop and supply information systems for the public transport industry, Transmodel may be distilled, refined, or adapted to form a comprehensive data model for the product suite. This will enable the organisation to develop its products in such a way that separate modules will integrate easily, but so that they also may be sold separately to clients seeking Transmodel-compliant systems.

Transmodel is a large and complex model, and allows for great flexibility. Consequently it takes some skills and resources to apply it effectively in order to develop the physical data model and its implementations for a particular aspect. For instance it might be applied to :

  • one particular functional domain such as vehicle scheduling or fare management; or
  • a particular interface, such as between a ticket machine and a management system; or
  • a particular organisational boundary, such as between two connecting transport operators.

For such situations, Transmodel provides a wider setting and a starting point. The specific elements of Transmodel have to be refined, and attributes and data formats will have to be completed, for a specific sub-model of the Transmodel data model. The resulting specification, although specific, will facilitate the build of a coherent overall systems framework, since it will coexist more readily with other Transmodel-based specifications.

For all of these potential users, the adoption of Transmodel as a basis for development means that a common language is being used. Thus users will understand and assess the claims of suppliers better, and specification developers will be more likely to be working in alignment with each other.

It has to be mentioned that Transmodel constitutes an important reference for the EU initiative Urban-ITS, that deals with identification of standardzation needs in support of deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Urban areas.
In order to carry out the tasks resulting from the Standardisation Request of the Urban ITS initiative, besides a new Working Group (WG 17, created in May 2016),  the Project Team PT0302 has been created  within TC278 WG3 (Public Transport)  in charge of the update of Transmodel.

Cick here for more information on the project team.

Overview

The purpose of the Transmodel Standard

Public transport services rely increasingly on information systems to ensure reliable, efficient operation and widely accessible, accurate passenger information. These systems are used for a range of specific purposes: setting schedules and timetables, managing vehicle fleets, issuing tickets and receipts, providing real time information on service running, and so on.

“Transmodel” is the short name for the European Standard “Public Transport Reference Data Model” (EN 12896). It improves a number of features of public transport information and service management; in particular, the standard facilitates interoperability between the information processing systems of the transport operators and agencies by using matching definitions, structures and meanings for their data for the component systems. This applies both when connecting different applications within an organisation, and also to connecting applications between interworking organisations (for instance, a public authority and a transport operator).

The Transmodel standard provides a framework for defining and agreeing data models, and covers the whole area of public transport operations. By making use of this European Standard, and of data models derived from it, it is possible for operators, authorities and software suppliers to work together much more easily towards integrated systems. Moreover, the breadth of the standard helps to ensure that future systems’ developments can be accommodated with the minimum of difficulty.