Would a Frequently Asked Questions webpage be useful, sorted by general topic area? Topic Areas could be: Why Transit Current Transit Studies Information Needed to Comment on a Ride Transit Performance Dashboard - what does it mean? Some answers could include links to protected Word documents (pdfs aren't accessible to most screen-readers used by the blind). Perhaps a link to a translation service would be appropriate ...more »
Not that it hasn't been tried out yet, but If feasible, agencies should look for alternative fuels such as CNG for buses
The ability to offer feedback is very important. Some agencies do better than others. Prince George's County (MD) Transit does not post any information about how to provide feedback on their website. However, they do have a person responsible for receiving that feedback. Putting his name and email/phone on the web would be a great start.
I use para-transit in King County, Washington. There appears to be multiple breakdowns in communication between the various stakeholders: First Student, Violia, Solid Ground Transit, and of course the various 'overload' entities: W.A.T.; Sunshine; N.W. Transport; etc.
Currently I must use OneBusAway to figure out when buses are arriving and Google Maps to find the appropriate bus routes/connections for my trip. These software systems need to be integrated to make trip planning easier. This also reduces the mixed-messages user receive when the two apps are running different data (unscheduled changes, etc).
It should be easy to give feedback about route performance. For example, every time a bus leaves me behind because it is too crowded, I should be able to push a button on my phone and report the overcrowded conditions.
Then this kind of data should be used when making service adjustments.
Transit agencies should update riders when they take action on a rider comment or request. In addition to notifying the individual who originally submitted the comment, agencies can share the results with other riders as well. One way to do this would be to thank the rider who submitted the comment in a public forum, possibly via electronic message sign or an ad on a bus or train. Closing the loop this way would reinforce ...more »
Lots of people have questions about transit, and transit agency representatives are well-suited to answer those questions. The issue is how to allow them to interact. In Washington the CEO/GM occasionally has an online live chat with reporters (like at the Washington Post).
Riders should have a mechanism for reporting issues (e.g. suspicious/innapropriate activity) anonymously if desired.
Recently the OneBusAway phone number in the Puget Sound Region was disabled. Bring this useful tool back so that people with mobile phones that are not web enabled can once again get real time arrival information while they are en route. I heard that only about 2,000 people were using this service. I believe that is because it was not publicized well by the Puget Sound Region transit agencies. I still have the list ...more »
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 ...more »
To encourage participation in service planning, transit agencies should use geomapping tools that allow riders to suggest new or modified routes. Individuals can drop virtual pins onto electronic maps to identify activity centers or key origins and destinations. This technique has been used to crowdsource bikeshare locations but has not been widely used for transit planning.