The city of Detroit has a transportation system with the potential to truly mobilize Detroit. DDOT and SMART bus systems, in addition to last-mile mobility options, have the capability of providing Detroit citizens access to the entirety of their city. However, funding these transportation systems would be useless if the public is only partially aware of all the resources available to them. Our team has developed an idea to bridge the informational gap that separates the Detroit community from these attainable resources.
Our solution idea not only addresses the need for improved transportation-informational systems, but it also accounts for accessibility challenges in its design. The Impact Area is home to an extremely diversified community that demands a customized informational tool to accommodate for their needs.
There are many factors that influence user engagement in public programs. One such factor is explained in the "Customer Relationship Management in Public Transportation" study, performed by Mikhaylov. It addressed how important the consideration of language barriers is to the creation of transportation systems. The study determined that limited language options impacts the user-friendliness of transportation systems, thereby negatively impacting accessibility.
This principle was considered during the generation of our informational design idea, since the Impact Area community has members whose first languages are not English. Translations of the TranspoTower's messages are available in 126 different languages. Additionally, to accommodate for the needs of those who experience difficulties while reading, the TranspoTower also accompanies the translations with an automated dictation.
Our idea also considers the needs of the handicapped when accessing transportational information. According to "A review of user-interface design guidelines for public information kiosk systems," by Maguire, information systems tend to exclude wheelchair populations because standard heights don't make access convenient for them. Therefore, tower has a screen that is larger and accessible at a lower height for the benefit of wheelchair-users.
The city of Detroit is continuously expanding and developing. The residents of the Impact Area should not be exempted from these opportunities for the reason of transportation. These residents deserve the knowledge to harness the benefits of existing transportation systems. TranspoTowers are capable of providing this information through a medium that accommodates for their needs.