Transit Co-Monitoring uses rider data to improve system operation and management.
Transit co-monitoring starts with three basic information sources: official agency reports, passive mobile phone data feeds, and riders’ social media posts.
Co-Monitoring integrates public input with official reports to show transit managers what’s going on in the system that they may not be aware of (e.g., a straphanger pulling an emergency brake, a careless bus driver). Don’t riders already voice their concerns in satisfaction surveys? Yes; click here for a full chart of what top U.S. transit agencies measure.
But rider surveys represent a small number of riders and a brief snapshot in time: it’s time for real-time system evaluations.
Compare traditional survey topics and useful tweets in the chart below; which measurement is more useful?
Transit Rider Survey Topics and Related Tweets
Tools already exist to collect, verify and categorize public input. They exist within government organizations, as third-party creations for government, or as independent entities. Some useful crowdsourcing, co-monitoring and crowd-funding tools are:
Links: Open311.org, ChangeByUs, Adopt-A-Siren; SeeClickFix, MindMixer, Hatch; Waze, IOBY, Ushahidi. See the report for a full list of useful tools and how transit agencies should use them.
In the meantime, let’s see what people are tweeting right now about major US transit agencies.
Some of these tweets are useful to the agencies, aren’t they?
Let’s build a bridge between riders and agencies.
Choose your transit agency and start tweeting at them using the hashtag #comonitoring. Be courteous and responsible. This is the start of a cooperative relationship.
Questions/comments about this work? Contact Sarah M. Kaufman: sarahkaufman /at/ NYU /dot/ edu.