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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER TWO Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13323.
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9 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW The first demonstrations of using fleet management tech- nologies, such as CAD/AVL, to provide real-time informa- tion were conducted in Europe in the mid-1990s (2). These projects included Advanced Transport Telematics in Urban Sites with Integration and Standardisation; Telematics Appli- cations in Bavaria, Scotland and Others; and QUARTET PLUS. One of the first U.S. applications of providing real- time transit information on mobile devices using AVL data was described in “Wireless Internet Access to Real-Time Transit Information” (3) and “Real-Time Bus Information on Mobile Devices” (4). Although the technology discussed in these papers is somewhat outdated, the resulting applica- tion is still operational and has expanded to a variety of new mobile devices (5). In the United Kingdom, the Real Time Information Group reported on the number of stops covered by virtual dissemination media, including mobile media, in 2008 (6): In 2008, approximately 25 local authorities [LAs] curr- ently use a form of virtual dissemination to make RTPI [real- time passenger information] available to the public. The two most common choices of virtual dissemination methods were SMS and the LA website with 24 and 20 LAs offering this service respectively. By far, the greatest number of stops are covered by SMS (6, p. 25). Second, one underlying technology not usually thought of as facilitating the provision of real-time information is trip-planning software. However, the integration of the aforementioned underlying technologies and trip-planning software to provide real-time information has been docu- mented, is being demonstrated, and is operational in specific locations. One application of trip planning with real-time information using mobile devices, called the Transitr sys- tem, was demonstrated in three transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay area: It combines a user’s geographic location with real-time transit information provided by transit agencies to determine the fastest route to a desired destination. It fuses real-time data feeds with the existing technology of schedule-based transit trip planners (TTPs) currently available online. . . . The system predicts the shortest paths between any two points in the transit network using real-time information provided by a third party bus arrival prediction system, relying on GPS [global The literature review revealed that a wide variety of reports, papers, articles, and press releases have been written about providing real-time transit information on mobile devices. The literature is divided into the five dimensions as outlined in chapter one. The first step of the literature review was to conduct an online Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) search. This TRIS search yielded 31 documents, several of which were reviewed and used as input for this report. The second step was to obtain and review articles, press releases, and website information directly from agen- cies and mobile services vendors across the world. The third step was to review FTA, FHWA, and TCRP research reports. Finally, other papers and articles were obtained from various sources, including the following: • TRB annual meetings, • APTA conferences, • Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) America annual meetings, • ITS World Congress meetings, and • Internet searches. All documentation reviewed for the synthesis is listed in Appendix A. UNDERLYING TECHNOLOGY The literature reviewed in this dimension covered many of the technologies required to generate the information that will be disseminated on mobile devices, including automatic vehicle location system (AVL) software, computer-aided dis- patch (CAD) software, software that calculates the real-time information from data generated by CAD/AVL systems, and software that provides the real-time information to mobile devices. First, as stated in TCRP Synthesis 73, an AVL sys- tem facilitates the “use of schedule adherence and/or loca- tion data to develop real-time predictions for bus arrival times at stops, and providing these predicted arrival times and other service announcements to the public using various methods” (1). Most of these underlying technologies have been the subject of numerous reports and articles; this syn- thesis describes these technologies briefly in chapter three.

10 positioning system] equipped transit vehicles. Users submit their origin and destination through a map-based iPhone application, or through a JavaScript enabled web browser. A server implementing a dynamic K-shortest paths algorithm with predicted link travel times returns personalized route directions for the user, displayed on a map. The results show that routing using the predicted bus arrivals marginally increases the accuracy of the total travel time and the optimality of the route (7). Another mobile trip-planning application using real-time information has been deployed in Austria (8). The SCOTTY mobil application available from ÖBB-Personenverkehr is a mobile route planner that provides timetable information, retrieves regional maps, saves personal timetables, and pro- vides real-time information on specific connections (9). Yet another mobile application of trip planning using real-time information was developed for Verkehrsverbund Berlin–Brandenburg (VBB), which is the public transport authority of the Berlin–Brandenburg region in Germany (10, 11). VBB-Fahrinfo is VBB’s traveler information system that provides the following information by means of both the Internet and mobile devices: • “VBB-Fahrinfo for all standard devices (based on XHTML [extensible hypertext markup language] technology) offering the full functionality which is available on the Internet; and • “VBB-Fahrinfo Mobile, which is a version that has both offline and online functions offering a ‘real time check’ for connections that are saved on the device” (10, p. 5). After the deployment of this system, “The percentage of requests from mobile phones raised from less than 1% in January 2008 to around 13% in January 2009” (10, p. 6). Third, in areas that have multiple transit operators, one of the underlying technologies that is necessary to provide a traveler with consolidated real-time information is the integration of the information generated by the agencies’/ operators’ CAD/AVL systems. There are several ways to accomplish this integration, as noted by Bjersing (12). Three potential approaches to regional information integration are as follows (12, p. 2): • One system is used by all operators/agencies; • Each operator/agency uses its own system and exchange information with other operators/agencies systems; and • Each operator/agency uses its own system and exchange information through a central integrator. Depending on the region, the third approach (shown in Figure 1) can be the most beneficial, ensuring information consistency, allowing individual operators/agencies to select their own CAD/AVL systems, and providing the capability to add more operators/agencies. Stockholm Public Transport (SL; AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik) uses this approach, as shown in Figure 2. FIGURE 1 Approach to using a Central Information Integrator. [Source: (12, p. 10).] FIGURE 2 SL Integrator approach to providing transit information. [Source: (12, p. 13).] Finally, from an intermodal perspective (with transit as one of the modes), a different approach is being used on a pilot basis in six European cities (Oslo, Norway; Munich, Germany; Brno, Czechoslovakia; Vienna, Austria; Flor- ence, Italy; and Bucharest, Romania) to provide real-time information. The Intelligent and Efficient Travel Manage- ment for European Cities (In Time) project is a pan-European approach to RTTI [real-time traffic and travel information] service provision based on an open, standardised service oriented infrastructure and B2B [business-to-business] services that will facilitate access to urban traffic related data, RTTI service provision and interoperability by traffic information service providers (TISP). . . . The In-Time RDSS [regional data/service server] will be set up in all pilot sites to ensure the easy access of real-time multimodal traffic data for external TISPs. This model ensures the easy access to all urban traffic related data within one region resulting in the distribution to the end-users through several information channels and in parallel enhancing user acceptance (13, p. 2).

11 Figures 3 and 4 show the interoperable intermodal trav- eler information and RDSS concepts, respectively. FIGURE 4 Concept of the In-Time Regional Data/Service Server (RDSS). [Source: (13, p. 5).] MOBILE DEVICE TECHNOLOGY The proliferation of mobile phones and smartphones has created a challenging environment in terms of developing real-time transit applications for mobile devices. “Ana- lysts contend that the mobile market remains in a state of flux, leaving plenty of room for these companies to build momentum if they can create something that catches the attention of consumers” (14). This statement describes the state of the mobile phone and applications market as of May 2010, with a new mobile device being introduced every few weeks, and with devices having more and more capabilities. For example, as of May 2010, numerous new mobile phones and smartphones were introduced to the market—each from various manufacturers with various operating systems being offered by various mobile phone providers (15). Mobile technologies can be divided into the follow- ing categories: type of mobile device, handset manufac- turer, and mobile device operating system. The literature describes three major types of mobile devices: mobile phones with no Internet access (but with the capability to send/receive text messages), mobile phones with Internet access (and text messaging), and smartphones with the capability to run mobile application programs. The wide variety of mobile phone and smartphones on the market as of May 2010 included the following, which are listed for information purposes only and not as endorsement of any kind (16): FIGURE 3 The concept of interoperable intermodal traveler information. [Source: (13, p. 3).]

12 • Apple • Motorola • Casio • Nokia • Dell • Palm • Fujitsu • Pantech • Garmin-Asus • Research in Motion • Google • Samsung • Hewlett Packard • Sanyo • High Tech Computer Corporation • Sharp • LG • Sony Ericsson • Microsoft • Vertu • Mitsubishi There are several operating systems used by the mobile devices manufactured by these companies. As of May 2010, the most common mobile operating systems, listed for infor- mation purposes only and not as endorsement of any kind, were as follows (17): • Android by Google • bada from Samsung Electronics • BlackBerry by Research in Motion • iPhone OS by Apple • Maemo (Debian OS) by Nokia • MeeGo from Nokia and Intel • Palm OS, Garnet, and WebOS • Symbian by Nokia • Windows Mobile by Microsoft Given the large number of handsets and operating sys- tems, their detailed characteristics vary widely. For example, communications technology [e.g., code division multiple access, global system for mobile communications, number of pixels on the display, number of colors on the display, standby/talk time (e.g., battery life), and GPS availability] varies widely among all available mobile devices. There are three major mobile channels through which real- time transit information is provided: mobile web/Internet (including mobile social networking websites), short message service (SMS) (a.k.a. text messaging), and mobile e-mail. Mobile Web is the term used when the Internet is accessed by means of a cell phone, PDA [personal digital assistant], or other device with Internet capabilities (such as the Sony PSP™ or the Apple iPod Touch™). With the introduction of new phones and increasing technological capabilities, mobile web use in the United States has grown to over 95 million users in 2008 (18). SMS is the transmission of short alphanumeric text-messages to and from a mobile phone, fax machine and/or IP [internet protocol] address. As of September 2010, messages must be no longer than 160 alphanumeric characters and contain no images or graphics. (It is possible to send an SMS longer than 160 characters, but a longer message is divided into separate messages each with 160-characters.) Once a message is sent, it is received by a Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which must then get it to the appropriate mobile device (19). An SMS message can be sent to a mobile device that is not turned on—the mobile network operator will store the SMS message and send it when the mobile device is turned on (20). There are two types of SMS: pull and push. Pull tech- nology is a situation in which someone makes a request for information by means of SMS, and then the requested information is provided to the requester through SMS. The reverse is known as push technology, in which a system pushes data to those subscribed to receive specific infor- mation. Push technology is a situation in which the request for a given transaction is initiated by a central system. Often, push services are based on information prefer- ences expressed in advance by the user. For example, users may “subscribe” to receive various updates regarding the specific transit route or line they take on a regular basis. Whenever new content is available regarding those specific routes or lines, the system will push that information out to the users. Real-time transit information provided by means of SMS is typically sent using a push approach—the customer requests specific information by sending a code to a pre- determined common short code (CSC), a five- or six-digit number. For example, in Chicago, a customer can request real-time bus information for a specific stop by sending “cta- bus 14624” to 41411 (the CSC), where 14624 indicates the bus stop at the intersection of Fullerton and Pulaski. SMS is desirable over e-mail because “95% of text mes- sages are read within four minutes (compare that to email which is 48 hours)” (21, p. 1). Further, if an agency uses an SMS vendor, it is recommended that the vendor “offers an SLA (Service Level Agreement) with guaranteed response times for support issues (SMS happens in real-time. Think ‘American Idol’ or the ‘Dave Ramsey Show,’ it’s all live)” (21, p. 5). However, guaranteed response times may be challenging to honor because there can be situations beyond the SMS vendor’s control (e.g., if there is a carrier or network outage). In 2005, a mobile device application of real-time tran- sit information by means of SMS called PredictBus was developed in Kuala Lumpur (22). As shown in Figure 5, PredictBus is “a mobile information service which is fully integrated with multiple technologies and information into one seamless system. The forecasting system is the ability to track the current location of a particular bus and esti- mate the arrival time of that bus to particular bus stop” (22, p. 1).

13 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MOBILE INFORMATION Beyond the survey results presented in chapters three, four, and five, there are myriad reports that describe the character- istics of real-time information provided on mobile devices. First, the factors governing providing any information on mobile devices that should be taken into consideration include the following (23): • Mobile screen “real estate” (i.e., dimensions), • Type of browser used by the mobile device (because different browsers display information differently), • Handset/hardware limitations in terms of memory and processing speed, • Costs of mobile Internet access and SMS use for customers, • Access to mobile phone networks, and • Minimum of customer interaction with application. Second, typical formatting of real-time information on mobile devices is shown in Figures 6–8. Figure 6 shows the mobile site providing real-time information by means of Traveline in the United Kingdom. “Nextbuses is a service that gives you the next bus times anywhere in Scotland, England and Wales straight to your mobile phone. It is designed to work on mobile phones that have internet” (24). FIGURE 6 Real-time information available through Traveline. [Source: (25).] FIGURE 5 PredictBus System modules. [Source: (22, p. 91).]

14 fare by means of the application and save journey details for later use. KAMO users can track the progress of any buses, trams or underground trains included in the real-time posi- tioning-based monitoring. The service also enables journey planning and tracking the planned route by means of mobile phone. Travel news concerning problems or changes to pub- lic transport is also available by means of the KAMO appli- cation. The mobile service developed by VTT is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Once loaded into the mobile phone, KAMO can be accessed using the phone’s menu. RFID remote reading—featured by Nokia’s 6131 NFC model, for example—enhances the speed of usage. Touching the RFID tag with a mobile phone opens the application on the phone’s display without the user having to access it separately through the menu. Tags can be used for mobile travel ticket purchases or accessing stop-specific timetable information (27). Another example of providing real-time information on mobile devices was developed to provide “a route-choice support system which helps passengers make appropriate decisions when train operation is disrupted. The system helps passengers decide whether to take the detour routes to their destinations or wait for the resumption of disturbed opera- tion and continue their journey on the originally scheduled route” (29, p. 12). Figures 11 and 12 describe this system. Third, the literature describes the reliability of mobile dis- semination methods. For example, the use of SMS to provide real-time information must consider the reliability and time- liness of delivering the message. The delivery of a single text message depends on the reliability of many devices. “Each device in the path is highly specified, requires high perfor- mance, automatic recovery mechanisms and dependability. The user experience drives the success of the operators and suppliers. Suppliers must deliver high quality systems over and over again” (30). Providing real-time information by means of SMS is analogous to using SMS to deliver emer- gency or mission-critical messages owing to the require- FIGURE 7 Traveline search for stops in Yorkshire. FIGURE 8 Real-time departures for Leeds University stop in Yorkshire. Real-time information provided by SMS requires that the mobile user send a text message formatted in a specific way to a five- or six-digit CSC. The user will receive a text mes- sage back containing the requested real-time information. An example of real-time information through SMS is shown in Figure 9 (26). FIGURE 9 Example of requesting and receiving real-time transit information by means of SMS. In Helsinki, Finland, real-time transit information on mobile devices was deployed in 2006, as shown in Figure 10. The Mobile Guide for City Traveller (KAMO) is a new mobile application that offers journey planning and stop- specific timetable information. Passengers can also pay their

15 suitable replacements for real-time voice emergency com- munications. SMS and MMS messaging that exists on cell phones today were not designed for real-time, 2-way com- munications and do not provide the level of reliability and the capabilities that are available in a voice 9-1-1 call (such ments of timeliness and reliability of the message delivery. “Neither the existing Short-Messaging Service (SMS) nor the existing Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) are FIGURE 10 KAMO system description. [Source: (28).] FIGURE 11 Information required by passengers during disrupted train operation. [Source: (29, p. 2).] FIGURE 12. Route Choice Support System (Mobile version). [Source: (29, p. 8).] FIGURE 10 (continued). KAMO system description. [Source: (28).]

16 • $0.30 Singapore dollars for Singapore Public Transport; and • 25 pence per premium rate response text for SMS for Leeds (U.K.) Traveler Information. Also, there is a cost to the agency to provide SMS infor- mation. In some cases, the customer pays both agency and customer costs; in other cases, the agency pays for all SMS fees except for the customer SMS fees imposed by the wire- less carrier. For example, as of September 2010, the Tri- County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) offers SMS real-time arrival information at no cost to the customer (except for standard carrier-imposed text messaging costs) by displaying a short ad at the end of each message. See http://trimet.org/transittracker/bytext.htm (as of September 3, 2010). According to the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA), the cost to an agency for a CSC is $500 per month for a random CSC and $1,000 per month for a “select” CSC (e.g., digits representing the agency’s name). “A CSC may be leased for three- (3), six- (6), or twelve- (12) month terms” (37). Another aspect of required resources is the costs and benefits to an agency to participate in an open transit data program. The literature generally discusses what is neces- sary for agencies to provide open data (38). This includes exporting their data using the general transit feed specifi- cation (GTFS) (see http://code.google.com/transit/spec/ transit_feed_specification.html as of September 30, 2010). GTFS is a widely accepted format for publishing transit data and allows agencies to be included on Google Transit. Once the data are exported, an agency makes the data available through either a developer website (within the agency web- site) or another website that will host the data feed. Many agencies create a license agreement or terms of use agree- ment to govern how developers can use data. Finally, it is important that agencies keep developers aware of changes to schedule data and other pertinent information so that third- party applications provide accurate information. As of September 2010, little information was available regarding the specific costs associated with participating in an open-data program. However, some of the agencies that have most recently created open-data programs state that open-data programs require resources to continuously ensure the integrity and accuracy of the data. However, these same agencies also tout the benefits to customers while saving the costs that would be necessary for the agency to develop these applications in-house. For example, Jay Walder, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chief Executive Officer, stated that he hoped “that the tools that might be developed using the agency’s data would help transform the city’s transit system into an even more useful resource for residents much faster and cheaper than it could do so itself” (39). Further, at the end of 2009, the Massachu- as location, routing to the appropriate PSAP [public safety answering point], and callback capabilities). Considerations about legacy mobile device, mobile network, and PSAP system compatibility versus service expectations must be evaluated” (31). Further, in analyzing the reliability of SMS, “although the SMS service incorporates a number of reli- ability mechanisms such as delivery acknowledgement and multiple retries, our study shows that its reliability is not as good as we expected. For example, message delivery failure ratio is as high as 5.1% during normal operation conditions” (32, p. 1). Overall, it is important that the needs of mobile clients be considered when providing real-time information, including access to wireless networks, processing require- ments, and status of the network (33). In terms of the acceptance of mobile real-time informa- tion, Brian Caulfield and Margaret O’Mahoney describe the factors that influence user preferences for this information (34). In the pre-trip stage, individuals were found to derive the greatest utility from using an SMS, followed by the Inter- net and a call center. At the next stage of the trip, which is at a stop or station, respondents indicated that they would derive the greatest benefit from a passenger information display, with SMS being the next most important, followed by the call center. This result may be a product of the convenience and speed of accessing an SMS compared with those of a call center. At the pre-trip planning stage when at work return- ing home, respondents indicated that they would derive the greatest benefit from using an SMS, followed by a call cen- ter and the Internet. These findings demonstrate that at this stage respondents derive the greatest benefit from using an SMS. As with the first stage, this finding may be related to the convenience associated with using this method of real- time information compared with the other options (35). RESOURCES REQUIRED TO PROVIDE MOBILE SERVICES The literature provides a limited amount of information regarding this aspect of providing real-time transit informa- tion on mobile devices. For example, several references that describe the costs of real-time information do not give the specific costs of providing that information on mobile devices. Cham et al. (36) provide general costs for the underlying tech- nology and real-time information software, dynamic message signs (DMSs), Internet services, and phone-based services. After conducting a brief Internet search, the following customer costs were noted for one SMS containing real-time information: • €0.30 per message for Dublin Bus; • €0.30 per message for Irish Rail; • $0.55 Australian dollars per message for Metlink in Melbourne, Australia;

17 setts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) launched the first phase of its open data initiative by releasing real-time information for five bus routes. The data released to software developers included real-time GPS locations of buses and arrival countdown information for every bus route. Within just one hour of releasing this data, a developer built an appli- cation showing real-time bus positions. Within two months, more than a dozen applications had been created including websites, smart phone applications, SMS text message ser- vices, and 617 phone numbers. All of these applications were created at no cost to MassDOT or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). In his first week on the job, MassDOT Transit Division Administrator and MBTA General Manager Richard Davey announced that real-time data would be provided for all routes throughout the entire bus system. The expanded rollout began in June and was completed yesterday [September 8, 2010] (40). In terms of the benefits to agencies and customers, Fleet- Beat (38) cites the following: • Free development of mobile applications, • Increased ridership, • Improved customer service, • Time saved by agencies in developing customized applications, • More accurate applications, and • Positive image for agencies. CONTRIBUTION OF MOBILE MESSAGING TO AN OVERALL AGENCY COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY A significant body of literature covers the topic of mobile messaging as a way to partially meet an agency’s commu- nications needs. The literature can be separated into three major topics: information equity, acceptance of mobile mes- saging, and the use of innovative techniques to enhance real- time information provided on mobile devices. In terms of information equity, A. C. Rizos recognizes the conflict among the following current conditions in the United States: • The proliferation of mobile device-based transit applications; • The pressure on transit systems to deploy more cus- tomer information systems; • Transit agencies facing serious financial difficulties; • “The demographics of transit users, many of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged, often do not have access to the latest (and still expensive) mobile devices, and who are also without other transportation options” (41, p. 1). “As mobile-connected traveler information systems con- tinue to mature and become the norm, how can we recon- cile these issues to ensure equitable information delivery and consumption, and what are and will be the implications for the ‘under-connected’ to access information concern- ing a service which receives extensive public funding with a primary objective to secure accessibility and mobility for everyone? Obstacles to successful and informed transit use impede the sort of societal integration transit is supposed to enable, when some benefit from the trend and others cannot” (41, p. 1). The topic of information equity was raised in review- ing the deployment of information on mobile devices as a way to reduce call center costs at the Orange County Trans- portation Authority (OCTA) in California. “According to a recent rider survey, published in November [2009], 75% of bus riders have cell phones and 64% have text-enabled cell phones” (42). This fact and saving a considerable amount in call center operational costs drove OCTA to the deployment. Although as of May 2010, OCTA was providing schedule information only by means of SMS, this example shows that information equity is being considered even though the pri- mary driving force in deployment could be cost savings. Another discussion of information equity was found in Robertson (43). A survey was conducted in Leeds, United Kingdom, at the end of 2008 to determine the effect(s) of the availability of travel data on mode choice. The following elements of information equity were determined as a result of the survey: • “Data has to be reliable with consistent quality of information, and timely, i.e. up-to-the-minute.” • “Information must be comprehensive. People need to know about any problems on alternatives being considered.” • “It needs to be accessible. A digestible amount of infor- mation needs to be delivered at appropriate decision points” (43, p. 2). In terms of providing accessible information, which is a component of information equity, VBB provides com- prehensive traveler information for disabled and mobility- impaired persons by means of the Internet, mobile devices, and speech-based telephone (44). This system, called VBB- Fahrinfo (described earlier in the literature review), provides barrier-free routing. This is done by collecting information on the accessibility of vehicles, stations, and transit facilities, and combining this information with real-time information. Second, in terms of user acceptance of mobile real-time information, several studies have been conducted. A research project published by KTH Infrastructure in 2004 assessed

18 technology” (46, p. 10). The breakdown of individuals sur- veyed is as follows: • 31% resulted from a random sample of pedestrians and bus riders in the Oakland corridor and downtown; • 35% were students, faculty, and professionals in the higher education field; and • 34% were members of developmental, cultural, and transportation advocacy groups. The use of SMS was most preferred by 30.2% of those surveyed, and the use of the mobile website was most pre- ferred by 8.9%. Third, we explored the enhancement of mobile real-time information by using innovative tools including location- based services (LBSs) and social networking. The literature describing this area is plentiful, and several of the papers on this subject are briefly presented here. Webster Lewis describes the relationship between the use of social media and proliferation of mobile devices: There is an inseparable link between social media and mobile devices. As the capabilities of these devices expand, we can expect that updating social-network sites by means of mobile will continue to increase and may eventually even surpass the wired web. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are remarkably dependent on mobile access for the value they provide to their users. Mobile status updates are, by their very nature, timelier, more relevant and potentially more interesting to their readers. Today, every major social network offers its users a range of mobile services, from mobile web access to downloadable mobile applications. Although consumers with high-end devices may be the primary users of these mobile services, some social networks also offer a number of SMS-driven features that allow consumers to stay engaged by text, even on low-end mobile phones. This represents a big opportunity for brands to maximize their efforts and move consumers easily between their mobile and social media experiences. While social media campaigns are becoming more common, we often see that when agencies and brands begin their engagement with social networks, they act as if their entire audience is on a computer—the mobile aspects of social media are frequently neglected. And the reverse can also be said about many brands’ initial mobile marketing efforts: They often neglect to effectively integrate the power of mobile social-media elements (even when these elements already exist) to further engage consumers and fans of the brand (47). One example of real-time information on social network- ing is the case of the MTA in New York City (48). After a ceiling collapse in the 181st Street Station on the Num- ber 1 subway line in New York City, New York City Transit (NYCT) opened a Twitter account to report the details of the repairs. “While some might say the level of detail was mind-numbing, the updates represented an unusual level of transparency for New York City Transit, which is often customers’ perceptions and behavioral responses to infor- mation technology-based public transport information (45). This research examined behavioral changes resulting from the use of IT-based applications including real-time informa- tion on mobile devices. The paper describes user response to public transport information by means of telephone, mobile devices, the Internet, and at-stop displays. Several examples of providing real-time information by means of SMS and wireless application protocol (WAP) in Europe showed that, for the most part, mobile technology was accepted, and that there were changes in travel behavior based on the use of the information provided on mobile devices: The success of mobile devices for travel information depends on technology and user-friendliness. Once the resistance to using the new technology is overcome through exposure and familiarity—by means of for example participation in a field test—acceptance of travel information delivered by means of mobile devices rises to a high level when the technology is applied to various interfaces and media. The possibility of being able to receive travel information by means of mobile devices shifted the point in time that information requests were made from pre-trip to on-trip. That most of the enquiries concerned journeys starting within 30 minutes showed that most of the enquiries were done with the intention of using the PT [public transport] alternative. Commuters or frequent travellers on a route greatly appreciate service-disruption information available through their mobile devices. There are some important psychological aspects to receiving more personalized, and up-to-date information. Owning a mobile device and knowing that the information service provides constant access to up-to-date information about the traffic situation made respondents feel more secure. It was shown that the information displayed on mobile devices shortens the perceived waiting time, and made participants feel more secure. Furthermore, the availability of the information service makes people feel better informed about the PT system. Feeling informed is also usually accompanied by an increased sense of “being in control,” which can be seen as a positive. Some indications were found that up to 10% of people receiving PT travel information via mobile devices could be influenced in their choice of transport mode. Psychological factors, though they cannot be readily quantified, are nonetheless very important—evident in expressions such as “feeling informed about the actual situation means having control”—and contribute to a more attractive image of PT in general (45, p. 10). In Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University, students developed a real-time application called My Ride for the shuttle bus services that are operated in and around campus (46). This system provides real-time information by means of several media, including mobile devices. An in-person and online survey of 148 people in the Oak- land corridor and downtown was conducted to “measure attitudes and perceptions in regards to public transit and

19 • Ninety-three percent of the respondents reported that they were likely to walk to a different stop based on information from the application (versus 77% who used other OneBusAway tools); • In a comparison of “how long they took to perform a typical information lookup with the assistance of a location-aware map-based interface, a map-based interface without location information, and a text- based search tree from the existing OneBusAway mobile web interface, the location-aware map-based interface is fastest for navigating to a target stop” (49, pp. 17–18). FIGURE 13 OneBusAway iPhone application. [Source: (49, p. 14).] The literature describes several location-based real-time transit applications on mobile devices in Europe. One such sys- tem is called Seekstr (50). This system takes into account the following four factors: the customer’s location, the customer’s preferences, the customer’s calendar, and the current time: Seekstr offers positioned, seamless, personalized and situation-aware value-added services. Since 2006, the service has been designed and implemented in a unique Swedish “Triple Helix” constellation, involving authorities [Swedish Road Administration, Stockholm Public Transport (SL)], ICT [information viewed as an opaque, even unfriendly, bureaucracy.” Paul J. Fleuranges, Vice President for Corporate Communications at NYCT, stated, “All in all I do think it has been a success, as it allows us to provide information to customers by means of a communications platform that allows for direct contact with interested riders.” Other innovative services that are facilitated by the use of mobile devices and contribute to an agency’s communica- tions strategy are LBSs. LBSs use the customer’s location (available on many mobile devices) to provide more per- sonalized real-time information on mobile devices. Several systems that use LBSs to provide real-time transit informa- tion are described in the literature. OneBusAway, which was developed at the University of Washington, “provides real- time transit information and commuter tools for Seattle-area bus riders through a variety of interfaces, including web, phone, SMS and mobile devices” (49, p. 1). OneBusAway provides route maps and timetables using Web 2.0 enhance- ments to facilitate searches, real-time arrival information, service alert notification, and trip planning. (The term Web 2.0 is commonly associated with web applications that facili- tate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user- centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with each other as contributors to the website’s content, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of informa- tion that is provided to them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Web_2.0.) One unique feature of OneBusAway is that mobile applications have the potential to integrate location sensing technologies, such as GPS and WiFi-localization, with the real- time transit information system. In the other interface modalities, much of the interaction involves trying to determine where the users currently are and what routes and stops they are interested in. With the mobile apps, the location information can make narrowing the context of interest much easier, so that relevant information can be found more quickly (49, p. 7). A location-aware iPhone application was developed for OneBusAway that “leverages the localization technology in modern mobile devices to quickly provide users with real- time arrival information for nearby stops and improved context-sensitive response to their searches” (49, p. 13) (see Figure 13). The application indicates the direction of travel of transit vehicles for each stop on the map, which is impor- tant for distinguishing between two nearby stops on oppo- site sides of the street. When users click on a stop, they see the stop name and the set of routes servicing that stop, help- ing them further disambiguate between stops. Once users identify the correct stop, they press the blue arrow button on the stop detail to bring up real-time arrival information for that stop (see Figure 14). This localization application was evaluated after it was deployed and the evaluation yielded the following:

20 Figure 15 shows Seekstr’s design, which includes SL, the public transport authority in Stockholm. Another innovative application in Europe was designed to provide real-time information to visually impaired trav- elers (51). Because the focus of the Attraktiv Kollektiv Transport for Alle (AKTA) project is to make public trans- port and related information accessible for everyone, it uses mobile devices to provide real-time information to visually impaired individuals as follows: 1. The traveller gives a message by the web or SMS to the real time system about a wanted trip with the express bus from a particular bus stop at a certain time of departure, and how many minutes before (i.e., 10 minutes) arrival the real time information is wanted. 2. When the bus is approaching the bus stop, the real time information will be sent to the traveller’s mobile phone in accordance with the order. 3. Additionally the passenger who has required assis- tance gets a SMS for instance two minutes before the bus arrives. At the same time the real time system sends a message to the driver of the bus that a person in need for assistance will enter the bus at the relevant stop. 4. As an additional service AKTA can send a SMS to the passenger two minutes before the arrival at the destination. 5. The bus driver will also receive a message two min- utes before a person who wants assistance is going to leave the bus (52). and communications technologies] and consulting companies (Eniro, Idevio, Info24, Saab Security, WSP Analysis & Strategy) and a university (BTH) (50, p. 1). FIGURE 14. Real-time arrival information at a particular stop. [Source: (49, p. 14).] FIGURE 15 Technical design of the Smart Mobile Travel Planner Seekstr. [Source: (50, p. 3).]

21 The main objective of the project was to make it easier for visually impaired persons to travel with public transport. By the use of a real time system for buses and mobile telephones among the users, the visually impaired persons are ensured to get on board on the correct bus departure and off at the right bus stop (52). Beyond social networking and LBSs, agencies are seri- ously examining their role with respect to providing infor- mation on mobile devices. At MTA NYCT, Sarah Kaufman stated that transit agencies are no longer just transportation providers—they are information providers (53, p. 1): As transit riders seek information both on-the-go and at transit facilities, the onus is upon our agencies to provide informative, yet cost-effective, tools. We are now responsible for a range of pushed real-time information to customers, a broad set of available schedules, service information and news online, and visible and audible information at subway stations and bus stops and in vehicles (53, p. 3). In May 2010, MTA announced that it was opening its data to application developers: NYCT has massive potential for cutting-edge Web 2.0 initiatives, including a public Application Programmer Interface, which would allow web developers to create web-based software using NYCT’s data; a blog, which would discuss NYCT projects and industry news; and a plethora of possible systems associated with the automated bustracking system, which is currently in development (53, p. 4). Two unique applications that combine social network- ing and LBSs are Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)’s partnerships with the location-based mobile network Four- square and junaio. These applications are described in chap- ter six. Finally, an innovative unique application running on a unique mobile device was described by Joe Hughes in the San Francisco area (54). As shown in Figure 16, he has a Sony Ericsson MBW-150 Bluetooth watch that displays “the next few SF Muni bus arrival times for a nearby stop. The code to fetch the arrival times is running on my Droid phone, and communicating with the watch using Marcel Dopita’s OpenWatch software for the Android platform” (54). FIGURE 16 Sony Ericsson MBW-150 Bluetooth watch, showing the next few SF Muni Bus arrival times for a nearby stop. [Source: (54).]

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 91: Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information examines the use and deployment of real-time transit information on mobile devices.

The report explores the underlying technology required to generate the information to be disseminated, the mobile technology used for dissemination, the characteristics of the information, the resources required to successfully deploy information on mobile devices, and the contribution of mobile messaging to an overall agency communications strategy, including "information equity."

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