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Next-generation routing engine to be deployed in route planners

Published on 14.3.2023

Route planner search functions will be faster and more versatile thanks to the introduction of a next-generation routing engine. The engine will initially be deployed in the Tampere route planner on Wednesday 22 February. It will be added to the HSL and national ( route planners later in the spring.

The new technology will provide users with faster route searches, and particularly for longer and more complicated routes. It will also be easier to integrate demand responsive services or other sustainable modes of transport into the service. The new routing engine will eventually be connected to all regional route planners in Finland in addition to the national, Tampere and capital region route planners.

“Our starting point was smoother travel chains. We’re both proud of and delighted with the new routing engine, as it will provide more comprehensive information about routes all across the country, and will also offer opportunities for creating brand-new features to support the use of public transport. The developments being made to route planners are an indication of successful cooperation between various operators,” says Joona Packalén, Passenger Information Manager at HSL.

“This update has been eagerly awaited at Nysse. It should now improve the quality of routing results and make alternative routes more widely available. It will also create better opportunities for making future developments,” says Petri Hakala, Public Transport Planner at Nysse.

The routing engine that is now being replaced dates from 2016. A lot has changed over the past six years, such as the use of mobile phones to buy tickets and obtain information about routes and timetables. Customers’ expectations have also changed – even more diverse information is expected at the push of a button. The new routing engine will better meet the needs of mobile users by improving the speed and quality of search results.

Faster search results facilitate mobile use

Route planners will be automatically updated to the new version, and no action will be required from users. The waypoint feature will be temporarily suspended after the update.

A new feature will be introduced – once a route has been chosen, the next two departures after the selected one will also be displayed. This will help users to find alternative routes if, for example, they miss an earlier departure.

In practice, the change will be visible to customers in the form of faster results. This will benefit mobile users in particular.

Route planner being used in Finland and abroad

“The route planner developed in Finland is also being used abroad, for example, in Germany and Italy. Most recently, the manual for the joint project’s open-source code was introduced in Oklahoma, USA. The route planner is already a small-scale export success,” says Jaakko Rintamäki, Development Manager at Fintraffic.

The regional route planners developed by Nysse and HSL, and the nationwide route planner, all use a shared service platform: Digitransit. The same open-source platform is also being used by more than ten other Finnish cities. HSL is responsible for the maintenance and development of all route planners in close cooperation with Fintraffic and TVV Lippu- ja maksujärjestelmä Oy.

Fintraffic collates all public transport routes and timetables in a national route planner at It includes both long-distance and commuter services and timetables, and provides information about buses, trams, the metro, trains, ferries and air connections. All you have to do is enter your starting point and destination, and the service will determine the services and departures that will get to your destination as smoothly as possible.