Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

We're Here!

Helps bus riders be seen and noticed through innovative, yet simple, tech improvements and incentive schemes with the existing bus system.

Photo of lama alfulaij
4 16

Written by

Our solution focuses on building a clear and impactful communication channel between commuter and bus driver. Currently, commuters do not get accurate and reliable data from the Port Authority and 3rd party apps because bus drivers are not turning on their Live Tracking devices. We are proposing to incentivize the bus drivers (within Union approval) to turn on these tracking devices. Furthermore, buses often pass commuters at bus stops for multiple reasons. We plan on installing low tech and low cost lights and buttons to enable bus drivers to see commuters and know where to stop. Finally, we're taking communication a step further and building a digital communication channel between commuters and bus drivers to enable them to know exactly where commuters are requesting to be picked up and dropped off.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Bus drivers and riders mutually benefit from this solution. Drivers - A small bonus is added to their hourly rate each day they enable the bus’s real-time location system - Through technological improvements to the bus and bus stops that improve rider visibility and awareness, drivers no longer miss picking up a rider - The integration of rider awareness improvements into the bus’s stop request system taps into an existing behavior for drivers who, once they hear the “ding,” know to stop at the next stop. Riders - Since drivers are being paid more, riders will receive better customer service and a more pleasant ride - The indicator light at each stop better informs the driver that the rider is waiting. This is particularly useful at night and in poor weather conditions. - By using the new Port Authority white-label app from Moovit, riders passively communicate that they’re waiting at bus stops, which ensures drivers know to pick them up.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Our team is a diverse group of graduate students and transportation professionals. Jamie -2nd year MBA student at the Tepper School of Business Lama - Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services student Ayman Alalao - senior interaction designer at Nutonomy Jim Gibbs - Co-founder of MeterFeeder Amy Silbermann- Manager of Data and Evaluation at Port Authority Allegheny County

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would like to pilot this idea in 3 phases by building a special task force team of CMU students, experts in transportation: 1. Better data - Get more drivers to turn on Live Tracking device by incentivizing them through small increases to their hourly wage 2. Better visibility (low tech) - A low tech solution involving upgrading bus stops with a button (similar to pedestrian walkways) and solar-powered lights to indicate when a rider is at the bus stop waiting to be picked up. Start with one-way bus stops in low visibility/ darker areas of the city. 3. Better communication (digital solution)- Port authority to partner with Moovit to create a white label app that: - Tells the bus drivers when to stop (powers the ‘ding’ to stop digitally rather than just by pulling the cord) through: - Commuters communicating their pick up and drop off stop through this app - Commuters communication their pick up through the stop button (see phase 2) - for commuters with no access to a phone

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We would measure each phase as follows: 1. Better data: - Calculate the rate at which bus drivers are turning on the Live Tracking device before this pilot before and after the incentive scheme. - (# of drivers turning on Live Tracking after incentive)/# of drivers turning on Live Tracking before incentive) -1 -Calculate the improvement in Live Tracking data and accuracy of bus timings 2. Improve ridership visibility: - Calculate the increase in ridership from bus stops that have the light and button feature (# of riders from targeted bus stops with light and button feature (e.g. November 2018)/ # of riders from same targeted bus stops (e.g. November 2017) ) -1 -(discount y-o-y ridership increase 3. Improve ridership communication: - % increase in riders - Prompt quick experience survey after each trip [three faces - :) :I :( ] - Survey bus drivers on experience


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mitch Turck

Another great submission from a Mobiliti workshop squad, inclusive of local residents, employers, CMU students, and transit & tech providers. Go team!

Photo of Jim Gibbs

It was a great workshop. Really exciting ideas came out of these conversations!

View all comments