Crowdsourcing Real-Time Traveler Information Services: Issues, Challenges and Recommendations

Traditional approaches to providing travel information are based on physical sensor networks that are prohibitively expensive to install, costly to maintain and operate, limited in their coverage and suffer from unreliability. However, technological advances combined with participatory paradigms of information sharing such as Crowdsourcing, offer an alternative solution to providing traveler information services that can overcome these challenges. In crowdsourcing, individuals instead of physical sensors serve to collect data and contribute to content repositories; the information then gets processed and distributed to other users so they can make informed choices. The crowdsourcing paradigm is also gaining in popularity in the traveler information circles because of the growing penetration of internet-enabled and location aware handheld devices. However, despite its potential, a number of issues about its feasibility and applicability to provide complete traveler information services about entire transportation networks across all modal alternatives remain. In this regard, there are three main issues, namely, quality and validity of crowdsourced data; algorithms and approaches for synthesizing structured and unstructured crowdsourced data; and understanding participant behaviors as they relate to motivations for participation, and incentives for continued involvement. The main focus of the proposed research is to contribute alone these three lines of inquiry by deploying a crowdsourced project for providing real-time transit information services.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $219786.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Start Date: 20120602
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39224

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01556869
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC01, UCNR24-31A
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 13 2015 1:00AM