Review your bus to improve the public transportation system

From hotels and restaurants to movies, we’re used to consulting reviews before making a choice. So why aren’t we doing this with services like building maintenance or public transportation?

As the local authority, Dublin City Council is sponsoring a new service that allows public transport users and providers to engage with each other and exchange feedback. To that end, a mobile device application is currently in development to make it easier for users to share their opinions through one centralised channel and engage with public transport services providers. The council is responsible for the provision of services and infrastructure across its administrative area and, as such, it is hoping to later adapt and reuse this methodology across a wider range of services. 

The application will focus specifically on bus transportation. Every morning, over 100,000 people enter Dublin city centre by bus, train or tram

Infographic: Dublin

Since increased use of public transport reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and transport congestion, the council wants to improve the user experience of the bus services.

Via the app, users can score a bus route and individual stops based on factors like cleanliness and punctuality. Other users can then consult the reviews on the app to inform how they plan their journey. The app would mainly be for regular users of the transport service, but less frequent users like tourists would also provide valuable feedback on the level and quality of a given service

At the same time, the backend data analytics of the app will give transportation providers the opportunity to analyse specific stop information and improve the performance and experience of their service. This information will come online at a time when bus services are undergoing a radical which has started looking at rethink a “next generation” network of bus corridors on the busiest bus routes to make bus journeys faster, more predictable and reliable. This could lead to an improved network, connecting more places and carrying more passengers.

The application will be based on open source technologies and will be language independent. This means it can be easily implemented in different cities across Europe. Dublin City Council will work together with other BE-GOOD partners for transnational replication, the Loiret Département and Glasgow City Council to explore the possibilities for such an application in these regions. Furthermore, the API could be used to develop similar applications for local authorities, central governments or other modes of transport, like rail or train. The app has potential that goes beyond public transport - the model could work for so many other public services such as libraries or building maintenance.

For more information about this app, watch the video below:


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