Our app offers a personalized MTS exprience for all riders. During onboarding, the user enters information about frequently treveled bus routes, which is saved in the profile section. We plan to implement a machine learning algorithm that would learn from this information and from the routes that are most searched for on the app to provide alerts relevant to each individual user.
Adapted from OneBusAway, Bus Tracking allows you to view buses near your location and view their live schedules and trip statuses. You can view the routes on the map, add them to your favorites and even report problems about the route or bus.
Adapted from Compass Cloud, the compass card feature allows users to pre-pay for their rides. They can scan the QR code to pay when they enter the bus.
Alerts are customized according to current location and user preferences, and provide information like bus schedules, service availability, new buses/bus routes and changes in MTS schedules due to construction. These alerts will be catered to each rider's routes and bus stops so they can get the relevant information that they need as efficiently as possible.
You can report issues with the MTS on the My Reports tab, where you can view the status of each report. A report can be filed about Bus/Trolleys or Transit Centers by entering information like route number, license number, description of the issue and a photograph for verification. Once submitted, you will be able to see the status of your report, whether MTS has reviewed the information yet, when they are working on the issue, and when the issue has been resolved. Riders will have the certainty that MTS is listening.
Every time you file a report or answer a survey, you get reward points! These points are redeemable at vendors like Starbucks and Panda Express. Surveys show up as banner notifications and if unanswered, get saved in the Available Surveys section. Input from riders through these surveys and reports will help gather data for MTS to improve on rider retention.
Our initial idea was to have interactive touchscreens at every major bus stop that would allow riders to view their bus traveling in real-time and view how many seats are available on each bus. RICK, the real-time interactive communication kiosk, would also allow riders to purchase their tickets before getting onto the bus, provide feedback to MTS, plan their routes, and has a voice control system that would allow the visually-impaired to also use the screen.
After receiving feedback about RICK being costly, we went back to the drawing board and what we knew was that we wanted to keep focusing on the challenge of improving communication between MTS and riders. We decided to switch over to an app so that we could greatly reduce the cost. We thought, "what are the best ways to connect with this population of riders, and actively get their input about specific spots that need improvement?" We would keep the tracking information on the app, but make the alerts customizable to cater to each rider's routes.
Since, people did have input, but they didn’t give them to MTS, we decided to offer them rewards for giving input. Research has shown that reward systems can customers to do things they don't usually do. We thought to do something to encourage people to do surveys for MTS, like a point system, where points can be redeemed for rewards from vendors like Starbucks.
Tracking was the most desirable service among our interviewees. So, we thought of making an app with the advertised feature to be tracking. However, this app would have other features like pre-paying for bus tickets and getting rewards for providing feedback to MTS.
Did you know San Diego public transportation logged 4 million fewer passenger trips in 2016? We set out to find why MTS was losing business.
Still, our user interviews showed that the people of San Diego were discontent with MTS services because of a communication gap. Users did not have accurate and clear information about bus schedules and routes, which led to frustrated passengers and overcrowded buses. Bus riders need a way to track their buses and pay bus fares in advance.
There are other apps that track buses, such as One Bus Away. However, this tracking data is not accurate enough for passengers. Moreover, most people don't know about One Bus Away because it's affiliation to MTS is not clear when people search for a way to track MTS buses on the App Store.
MTS is constantly looking for more data from users through online feedback forms and their Twitter page. Talking to Sharon Cooney from MTS, we found that they do have means of getting ridership data, like surveys and outreach, but that there’s always a need for additional data to help them serve public more effectively and efficiently. From this information, we wanted to give MTS more data, more input, more surveys. We conducted interviews again and found that people did have complaints and general problems, but most didn’t talk to MTS about them.
Post • Check status • Share
Buy • Activate • Use
Check timing • Plan route • Go
How do we improve communication between transit and commuters?
An application which rewards users for reporting MTS related problems.
MTS - TRACK YOUR BUS
Closing the gap between MTS and its users.