Influencing Travel Behavior via an Open-Source Platform

This project will use the open-source platform OneBusAway (OBA) developed at the University of South Florida (USF) to explore how travelers choose between public transit, transportation network companies (TNC), and other methods (e.g., micro-mobility) and how to influence this behavior to increase transit ridership. The project will focus on first and last-mile connections, filling gaps in the transit network and vulnerable populations such as older adults and people with disabilities. The project will also explore how alternative methods can assist transit during emergencies by studying how mobility service providers can better support transit operations (e.g., route replacement, optimization, seamless mobility platforms for routing, booking, and payment; and how best to "message" travelers in real-time (via texts, emails, etc.) to nudge them toward making congestion reducing travel choices like taking public transportation. OneBusAway currently provides real-time transit information to users on a full range of devices and communication platforms, such as mobile apps, and serves more than 400,000 individuals across ten cities in the United States. Phase I implemented this open-source platform in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. The UPRM NICR team, with the support of USF developers of OBA, coordinated the activities to implement OneBusAway on two bus services operating in Mayagüez. Collected georeference data corresponding to these transit systems’ influence area will be recorded in a geographic database. Focus groups, ridership studies, and a travel survey will provide further data from the activity system. Behavioral data collected using a new survey tool developed and embedded in the OBA platform to solicit information on users' travel choices and their motivations will also be integrated into the georeferenced database. Statistical and econometric methods will be used to analyze focus groups and to determine what influences travel preferences. Spatial econometric models incorporating all the collected data will be estimated and used to test various strategies to increase ridership.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $82915
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    National Institute for Congestion Reduction

    University of South Florida
    Tampa, FL  United States  33620
  • Managing Organizations:

    National Institute for Congestion Reduction

    University of South Florida
    Tampa, FL  United States  33620
  • Project Managers:

    Li, Xiaopeng

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

    Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
    PO Box 9000
    Mayagüez PR 00681-9000, PR  United States  00681-9000
  • Principal Investigators:

    Valdes Diaz, Didier

    Figueroa Medina, Alberto

    del Valle González, Carlos

  • Start Date: 20210601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220531
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01784703
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Congestion Reduction
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551947136, 79075-00-A
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 14 2021 12:20PM