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Bus stops and routes should be crowd-sourced info

A bus that is already going on a set route should allow for riders to request official stops to be added along the route. For example, in Brooklyn, there are no direct buses connected Canarsie/Flatlands to neighborhoods such as Gowanus or Park Slope even though buses drive through those two popular neighborhoods.

Additionally, a bus route should be easily requested and put for review. For example, there are no buses that travel between northern Queens and the Bronx, forcing people to drive (adding congestion to the bridges already) when they would rather use public transportation.

Submitted by Elizabeth Wanttaja 5 months ago

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  1. This is similar to another idea, but I'll repeat myself.

    The idea of crowd-sourcing public transit ideas is excellent for all the reasons crowd-sourcing is good (detailed local knowledge, fresh thinking, community connection, etc.) but, public transport is a complicated problem with many tradeoffs. A route change might make sense for a few people, but might be very expensive and/or negatively impact (e.g., delay) many more people.

    This was the idea behind my www.greencitystreets.com project: first educate people about public transport operations (serious game and wiki), then let them suggest ideas for improvements via a crowdsourcing application. Unfortunately I could not interest any public transport agencies in the idea.

    Many agencies did not like the idea that people could "complain" about their service (but a complaint is really a suggestion if you think about it that way, and addressing the person helps build relationships, helping show that your agency is trying to do its best).

    Another problem agencies cited was, how could they respond to all the complaints? The answer is by designing good crowd-sourcing applications with back-end systems that simplify information management (it's not rocket science if you know what you are doing). Furthermore, as you build your community, there will be FAQs answering the basic questions (e.g., why do buses bunch?). Note that the answer is essentially the same for all transit agencies, so this could be one FAQ site for all transit agencies. Your agency could refer to the FAQ in responding to specific complaints. Also, extremely important, as you build good relationships community members (e.g., real people not employed by the transit agency) will start answering questions for you.

    Shameless promotion: I'd love to take the idea of education and crowdsourcing further ... if you are interested contact me.

    5 months ago
  2. I don't necessarily think adding more stops is universally a good thing, but I do think riders should be able to suggest new or consolidated routes. So rather than two routes near each other that run infrequently, a single central more frequent route could be created. Or a new route could be added that serves origins/destinations not currently served.

    4 months ago
  3. www.waze.com for Transit?

    4 months ago
  4. Before receiving what you wish for, expect that the bulk of the requests will be for one-seat rides to replace relatively easy L-shaped transfers, such as between a bus route with 20 minute frequencies and a rail line with better service.

    4 months ago
  5. I agree with both Charles and Steve, that's why I think it's important to educate the participants in the crowdsourcing effort.

    Also, Steve, check out Movit, it's a similar product to waze for public transport.

    4 months ago