The Influence of Real-time Rural Transit Tracking on Traveler Perception

Disruptive change in transportation systems emerges in myriad forms and contexts. Perhaps the most significant of these changes has been the rapid advancement of communication technologies and their ubiquity. Public transportation systems require accurate and reliable information as part of their day-to-day operations. Rail systems have been successful in integrating real-time information in their services, providing expected arrival times and service alerts to patrons waiting at the station. Bus systems have typically had less opportunity and success taking advantage of real-time traveler information technology. As public transportation information moves to the web and eventually to web-enabled smartphones, bus systems can begin to harness some of the benefits of the communications revolution to improve operations and the perception of service. The objectives of the proposed research are twofold: 1) Implement real-time bus tracking technology in a rural setting and 2) Test the impact of improved information on public perception of bus transit. Real-time bus tracking is gaining considerable momentum across the globe. There are over two dozen systems in place across the U.S. and many more coming on line in the near future. Real-time tracking certainly is a disruptive technology in transportation - the question is: does it actually improve travelers' perception of bus transit quality, thereby improving the likelihood of using the service?


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    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      Connecticut Technology Transfer Center

      University of Connecticut, Storrs
      179 Middle Turnpike, Unit 5202
      Storrs, CT  United States  06269-5202
    • Principal Investigators:

      Lownes, Nicholas

    • Start Date: 20091101
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20110831
    • Source Data: RiP Project 24560

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01480753
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT07-G-0001, UCNR22-13
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: May 7 2013 1:01AM