"...new solutions that make it simple for travelers to understand their transportation options and how to use them."
The tactical trips solution is a means to capture the last data point on whether or not a rider at a bus stop is able to get onboard....are we full yet?!! Current solutions through a multitude of bus arrival and trip planning apps do not inform how full the bus is, which is a critical measure of rider comfort or access during peak times of operation.
The concept is to capture metrics of how full the bus is by activating a computer vision routine on the bus camera system after the fare box registers a certain number of riders onboard. The combined logic is then used to resolve three states of bus occupancy levels (i.e. light, standing only, full). A bus driver may also voluntarily log these states through a simple, push-button interface. With this added data value to bus real-time arrival information, there is an opportunity for riders to consider whether or not the bus mode of travel is suitable for their needs OR to get advanced notice of times when they may be at an involuntary risk of not being able to board one or more bus at this time.
A companion app can serve as a journal to capture how people tactically decided what their next course of action should be through the use of alternative modes of transportation. Bike? Walk? Rideshare/TNC? Taxi? ZipCar? Turo?....by capturing narratives from a community of travelers, people will be able to see a spectrum of alternatives to bus use with guidance on what implications to consider (i.e. cost, space/amenities, speed of arrival, eligibility for use/operation, etc.). As alternative travel modes are explored, people can consider the benefits of using these travel alternatives in other scenarios with greater confidence and comfort....all initiated by the one time the bus was full and drove right past them at a bus stop.
Routine bus users know that there are times when a bus driver does not see them and drives by with multiple seats open, this is another scenario where the tactical trips journal can log on the fly decisions on how to keep moving towards a destination.