My experience with transit has been largely effected by acclimating to various living environments: growing up in the Midwest and owning a muscle car, being fascinated by anything with an engine and four wheels; ten years of living in large European cities, not wanting a car at all, and realizing I liked it; and more recently, coming back to the U.S. and trying to reproduce my car-less lifestyle here (so far, with decent success).
When I moved back to Seattle and started using public transit again, I noticed the little things that weren’t really working. Things, such as not knowing if the bus was late, or having a decent schedule of when the bus would arrive. I realized that the biggest obstacle to using transit here wasn’t the transit offer itself, but simply that the system was uncomfortable to use and largely because of poor communication design.
Let’s face it, transit in the U.S. needs a massive overhaul, but that could take years, even decades to accomplish because money is always tight. So, when our design team started asking what we could do to fix transit in the U.S., we didn’t go for the major overhaul approach; instead, we asked ourselves “what are the changes that can be made right here, right now, with the available resources, that can have a big impact?”
Probably the worst and most painful experience for people riding transit is waiting, with poor information and uncertain results. Waiting for the bus sucks, but it doesn’t have to.
By turning a waiting experience into an informed experience, the Traffic 2.0 concept helps people reclaim their time, and lets them have more power in how to use it. Even if it just means five more minutes to grab a coffee and a newspaper, or run an extra errand, these things add up – and when multiplied over time and across an entire city, the result can have a very positive effect on the economy and attitude towards transit.
A three-part design solution aimed at orchestration over re-creation, Traffic 2.0 has the potential for real impact. Find out more at Fast Company.