Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis--The Transit IDEA Program. Open Platform to Attract, Organize, and Coordinate Volunteers for Rural and Small Urban Transit

Scarcity of funds is a major challenge for rural and small urban transit agencies in the U.S. to meet their operational costs. Despite the potential for volunteers to help transit agencies reduce operational costs, challenges in attracting, retaining, and coordinating volunteers hinder the widespread integration of transit volunteers. This project proposed an online platform for transit agencies to register, organize, and manage volunteers to enhance the existing coordination models. The platform features two interfaces – one for volunteers and one for transit agencies – along with an optimization matching engine automating the task assignment. Through conceptual design, iterative development, and beta testing, the proposed system was advanced to a prototype support platform for application and evaluation. The positive user feedback from the beta testing highlighted the platform’s usability and convenience and its potential to enable volunteering for transit.  The potential impact of the proposed platform is multifaceted. A shift in volunteering practices through this platform has the capacity to simplify and modernize volunteer management, streamline recruitment, broaden the volunteer demographic, and optimize task allocation. Overall, this proof-of-concept project demonstrated the feasibility and potential impact of leveraging technology to optimize volunteer management within transit agencies, paving the way for broader implementation and adoption. However, continued development and the preparation of a scalable platform ready for application and commercialization are imperative to facilitate broader technology adoption.  


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $99888
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-04, IDEA 97

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    West Virginia University

  • Principal Investigators:

    Pyrialakou, V

  • Start Date: 20190530
  • Expected Completion Date: 20231215
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01730925
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-04, IDEA 97
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 18 2020 7:37AM