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Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
09/01/2012 - 01/31/2014
Principal Investigators
Project Status

As new communications technologies are adopted by both transit managers and riders, there is increasing potential to improve dialogue and transportation services. Transit managers across the nation are conveying service information to riders through outgoing messages yet web-based customer feedback has rarely been used to inform transit policy and influence transit service. “Crowdsourcing,” a concept that refers to tapping the wisdom of large numbers of people to determine a conclusion, is particularly ripe for development in the New York City Region, which has millions of transit riders and heavy social media users.

Transit crowdsourcing can take the form of non-urgent service complaints, like overflowing trashcans, and real-time discussion of conditions that could precede information through official channels. Arriving through a variety of channels, including social media, emails, phone calls and some web applications, no singular channel exists for this information, which managers could use in order to obtain a timely, consumer perspective on field conditions. This project will produce a toolkit of best practices, emerging technologies, and suggested methods of collecting and acting on crowdsourced feedback on both a real-time and near-term basis, building upon the New York City Region, but potentially applicable across the nation.