Digitalized Public Transport Glossary: Common Terms & Abbreviations
26 Apr, 2021

Digitalization is reshaping public transport, introducing new systems and terminologies. For professionals venturing into the world of digitalized vehicles, navigating through terms like APC to VCG can be daunting. In this comprehensive overview, we provide a helping hand to those starting their digitalization journey, unraveling the modern transportation lexicon and paving the way for a successful transformation.

Digital technologies play a pivotal role in revolutionizing transportation processes and services. Transportation companies and passengers alike reap the benefits of enhanced operational efficiency, real-time services, and new revenue streams. However, the path to the digital world is not without its technological challenges. Before companies and operators can fully embrace this transformation, they must address these obstacles head-on. In this article, we’ll begin by explaining the most common terms related to public transport and digitalized vehicles. Make sure you read until the end to get a solid foundation for you to start your digitalization journey with confidence.


Public Transport (PT) includes high-capacity, short- to medium-range means of passenger transportation like buses, subways, and streetcars, operating on fixed routes at fixed intervals. Contrasts with individual and long-distance transport.

Multimodal Mobility

Multimodal mobility encompasses all means of transportation to get from A to B, including classic modes like buses and trains, as well as sharing offers like car, scooter, and bicycle.


PTA stands for “Public Transport Authority”. PTAs either contract out bus route operations to other companies (PTO) or carry out the route operations themselves.


Public Transport Operators (PTO) are operators of bus and rail vehicle fleets contracted by public transport authorities (PTA).


ITCS stands for “Intermodal Transport Control System”. It is a computer-based operations control system that plans, controls, and monitors the entire operation on board public transport vehicles. It is used in particular to manage the following areas: communication between vehicle and control center, computer-aided operation, dynamic passenger information in vehicles and at stops.


A Multiple-Application Driver Terminal (MADT) is a board computer connected to ITCS providing essential data such as current line, daily line planning, and driver management, ensuring accurate information display at the right time and in the right place.


A Passenger Information System (PIS) provides live data to passengers at bus stops and in vehicles, including route information, arrival/departure times, delays, and obstruction reports. Offers indoor advertising for additional revenue.


Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) refers to optical room surveillance systems in public transport vehicles used for passenger safety and detecting crime and vandalism.


An automated passenger counting system (APC) precisely determines vehicle and route utilization, allowing optimizations in vehicle capacity and scheduling.


Vehicle Communication Gateway (VCG) is a router that establishes the connection between the control center and the vehicle.


On-board ticket validator for payments, supporting various methods like EC, credit card, and smartphone payments, in addition to classic paper tickets.


Communication unit connecting end users in the network and transmitting data on board a public transport vehicle.

Read also: The Ethernet Switch and its Role in Buses and Trains

Out of the Theory and into Public Transport Digitalization Practice

Congratulations! You’ve now gained a comprehensive understanding of common public transport abbreviations and onboard devices in the digital era. Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to embrace the transformation. Digital technologies are revolutionizing transportation processes and services, benefiting both transportation companies and passengers with enhanced efficiency and real-time services.

As you venture into the world of digitalized vehicles, navigating the technological challenges that lie ahead is crucial. One important focus is on digital infrastructure, ensuring the smooth functioning of your systems. Establishing a reliable network and data infrastructure with sufficient bandwidth and capacity will be essential for handling the data streams of digital systems.

To take the next step and bring digitalization to your fleet, don’t miss our accompanying article: “Digitalization in Public Transport.” Discover practical strategies and solutions to overcome current challenges and propel your transport operation into the future. Let’s embark on a journey of innovation together, revolutionizing the way we experience modern transportation!

On-board IP network in a public transport bus itxpt

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Our products are fundamental for the digitalization in public transport. ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet Switches provide the network infrastructure for e-ticketing, passenger counting systems (PCS), dynamic passenger information (DPI) and closed-circuit television (CCTV).


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