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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER FOUR Resource Requirements." 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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Page 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER FOUR Resource Requirements." 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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Page 34

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31 CHAPTER FOUR RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS IT department was most often responsible for the deployment of mobile real-time information, with customer service and marketing/communication as the next departments respon- sible for deployment. FIGURE 30 Percentage of survey respondents in which agency departments involved in deployment of mobile real- time information. There was only one response to the question regarding the training requirements for each department/staff involved in the deployment and use of mobile technology to provide real- time information. This indicates that agencies deploying this technology do not understand the training requirements well. When asked about the labor hours spent by each depart- ment/staff involved in the deployment and use of mobile technology to provide real-time information, only four respondents offered an estimate, as shown in Table 6. Responses to the questionnaire regarding the costs of provid- ing real-time information on mobile devices yielded limited information. Unfortunately, few respondents provided costs, indicating that the actual costs of providing real-time infor- mation are not well known. Three respondents did provide information regarding the cost to the customer to receive one SMS message: Carris charges €0.30, STL charges $0.15 Canadian dollars, and Trafikanten AS charges 3 Norwegian krone. Through a brief Internet search, the cost of receiving one SMS was obtained for additional agencies, as follows: • For many customers, receiving and sending SMS messages are included in their monthly calling plan. For example, as of May 2010, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile offered unlimited messaging as an add-on to a monthly voice plan for mobile devices (e.g., $20 per month for Verizon Wireless and $10 per month for T-Mobile in addition to the monthly voice charge). • For many customers, access to the mobile Internet can be included in their monthly calling plan by having a data plan (e.g., unlimited access to the mobile Internet, mobile e-mail, and data downloading). For example, as of May 2010, Verizon Wireless offered an unlimited data plan for $29.99 per month or 25 megabytes of data for $9.99 per month. • Dublin Bus charges €0.30 per message. • Irish Rail charges €0.30 per message. • Metlink in Melbourne, Australia, charges $0.55 Australian dollars per message. • Singapore Public Transport charges $0.30 Singapore dollars. • Leeds (UK) Traveler Information charges 25 pence per premium rate response text for SMS. One hidden cost of providing real-time information through SMS is the cost associated with obtaining a CSC. An agency must establish an account with the CSCA and apply for a specific CSC. Then “registering and leasing a CSC costs $1,000 per month for each ‘Selected CSC’ (which could be numbers that match the agency’s name) and $500 per month for each ‘Random CSC.’ A CSC may be leased for three, six, or 12 month terms” (60). To determine the labor required to support providing real- time information on mobile devices, the survey explored the departments involved in deployment. As Figure 30 shows, the TABLE 6 NUMBER OF LABOR HOURS PER MONTH PER AGENCY DEPARTMENT Agency Name Number of Labor Hours per Month AC Transit • Marketing/Communication—5 • Planning—5 • Customer Service—5 MTC • Operations—30 STL • Information Technology—4 • Operations—4 • Marketing/Communication—40 • Customer Service—80 TMovia • Information Technology—200 • Marketing/Communication—320

32 less environment. However, agencies need to understand the gaps in information provided by means of nonprinted mate- rials to ensure that a reduction in printed materials does not result in a lack of customer information. Providing information on mobile devices has the potential to reduce the need for printed materials, thus saving the cost of printing and distributing these materials. For example, TriMet has drastically reduced the number of printed time- tables as part of its overall strategy to move toward a paper-

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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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