GMU Study Recommends Policies and Partnerships to Promote Real Time Information

GMU Study Recommends Policies and Partnerships to Promote Real Time Information

July 01, 2016  | Christine Sherman

A recent study by students at George Mason University (GMU) found that strategic improvements in policies and cross-agency collaboration are the keys to improving real-time transportation information options for commuters and travelers. The study, Just in Time: Enhanced Mobility and Equity through Real-Time Information focused on case studies from seven places: San Francisco, Seattle, Jersey City, Atlanta, Oakland, Scottsdale, and Montana. It shows that the availability of real-time information (RTI) can increase transit usage by reducing wait time, improving the experience of captive riders, and attracting so-called ‘choice’ riders to alternate modes.

However, advancing the display of RTI in public spaces faces a number of challenges, including: adequate funding, regulatory ambiguity, and a lack of open data for RTI. In addition, complex procurement processes pose a challenge for small vendors, and cooperation and coordination between public and private entities can be complicated.

The students’ research results also found that transit agencies and alternative transportation providers often partner to create centralized RTI and information sharing; thus, municipalities and agencies should develop transit, technology, and financial policies that are adaptable to emerging mobility options in connected urban environments.

Because RTI can increase transit ridership and customer satisfaction, municipalities and transit agencies should consider developing open data policies to provide sufficient data for use in third-party application and software development to increase the availability of RTI. The study recommends that RTI providers educate municipalities by presenting a clear business case that demonstrates the benefits of open source data provision for use with highly customizable RTI displays and potential ridership impacts for the jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the study team discovered that inconsistencies in the policies governing the use of public infrastructure or that RTI can unintentionally limit the ability to generate revenue through outdoor advertising. As a result, the project team recommends that municipalities and transit agencies carefully review policies to ensure greater consistency of policies governing public space and identify opportunities and challenges for integrating RTI technologies.

It is also important to understand that the public procurement process often unintentionally acts as a barrier for RTI companies attempting to enter the market. The research team proposed that RTI providers learn to effectively navigate public procurement processes, particularly those that benefit small businesses or are focused on best value.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eno Center for Transportation.

Share

Related Articles

State and Local Traffic Enforcement Reforms Gain Traction

State and Local Traffic Enforcement Reforms Gain Traction

In the wake of the national reckoning with racial injustice and policing, states and cities began re-evaluating their approach to public...

Definition of

Definition of "Equity" Elusive at Senate Hearing

The buzzword "equity" is all over President Biden's American Jobs Plan, used in that context to refer to fair transportation outcomes...

Eno Releases New Mobility on Demand Reports with Data Insights and Recommendations

Eno Releases New Mobility on Demand Reports with Data Insights and Recommendations

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, public transit in the United States was going through a very dynamic period. The FTA's MOD Sandbox...

Webinar: Lessons Learned from the Mobility on Demand Pilots in the Los Angeles and Puget Sound Regions

Webinar: Lessons Learned from the Mobility on Demand Pilots in the Los Angeles and Puget Sound Regions

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, King County Metro, and Sound Transit have been piloting mobility on demand (MOD)...

Webinar: Improving Access for All: Bringing On-Demand Technology to Paratransit

Webinar: Improving Access for All: Bringing On-Demand Technology to Paratransit

This webinar offers one AICP Certification Maintenance credit. Click here for instructions on how to submit this event for credits via...

Webinar: Form and Function: The Role and Future of Complete Streets Post-COVID

Webinar: Form and Function: The Role and Future of Complete Streets Post-COVID

"Complete streets" is a design approach intended to accommodate a variety of modes of transportation and has been shown to reduce motor...

Transit Reform for Maryland: New Models for Accountability, Stability, and Equity

Transit Reform for Maryland: New Models for Accountability, Stability, and Equity

The Central Maryland area of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, and...

Webinar: Environmental (in)Justice During COVID-19

Webinar: Environmental (in)Justice During COVID-19

In this webinar, we will address the harm inflicted upon minorities, low-income, rural, and tribal populations through disproportionate...

Guest Op-Ed: Transit Agencies Continue to Renew Their Missions and Reinvent Service

Guest Op-Ed: Transit Agencies Continue to Renew Their Missions and Reinvent Service

In 2020, all at once, public transportation providers were forced to confront multiple and varied challenges. Transit rose to the occasion...

House Committee Asked to Propose New Improvements to USDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

House Committee Asked to Propose New Improvements to USDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

On Wednesday, September 23, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing to discuss the impacts of – and...

Recap of Eno Webinar on Equity in Congestion Pricing

Recap of Eno Webinar on Equity in Congestion Pricing

In August, Eno hosted a webinar titled Congestion Pricing’s Role in Building More Equitable Transportation Systems. The webinar was a...

Guest Op-Ed: Transportation and Health: America’s Longstanding Disconnect

Guest Op-Ed: Transportation and Health: America’s Longstanding Disconnect

Ross Peterson is a consultant and subject matter expert with over fifteen-years' experience in public and community transportation programs...

Be Part of the Conversation
Sign up to receive news, events, publications, and course notifications.
No thanks