April 25, 2018 Return to overview

How IoT Improves Public Transport For Passengers

Public transit whether it is buses, trains, or ferries can be particularly frustrating for passengers...


Public transit whether it is buses, trains, or ferries can be particularly frustrating for passengers. Although public transit is typically cheaper and more green than traveling by a private vehicle, public transit may not be as comfortable, convenient, or as quick as a private vehicle, passengers will have to plan their schedules around the public transit timetables, and unforeseen circumstances may disrupt public transit operations. However, the drawbacks of public transportation is slowly being eliminated; public transit is starting to become more comfortable, districts are offering more amenities for passengers such as internet access, and districts are starting to improve service by offering more trips and express service. Further, Internet of Things (IoT) technology is now becoming more commonplace in public transit too. Smart connected public transportation systems will offer many benefits to passengers. This technology will further improve the passenger’s experience on public transit by offering real time vehicle tracking1, notifications in the event of an unexpected events, and personalized travel news to passengers2.

 

Real Time Vehicle Tracking: Perhaps one of the biggest complaints of public transit made by passengers is the inability to get real time information about where the vehicle is or when it will arrive at a particular stop. Luckily, Internet of Things (IoT) technology allows districts to easily track the location of their vehicles3. Districts can install GPS systems on their vehicles that are connected to the internet. The GPS data is transmitted back to a central command center. Once the GPS data is received by central command, the information can then be relayed to the passenger’s internet enabled mobile device or to an electronic sign at transit stops. Passengers can then know the exact time the vehicle will arrive at a particular stop.

 

Unexpected Events: Unforeseen circumstances can sometimes disrupt public transportation such as breakdowns, road closures, or inclement weather. Internet of Things (IoT) will enable districts to more easily re-route vehicles, notify passengers, and help them make alternate arrangements4. In the event of an unforeseen circumstance, transit agencies will be able to notify passengers ahead of time by sending out alerts to their mobile phones instead of leaving passengers in the dark. IoT technology will also better enable transit agencies to develop a contingency plan in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. For example, in the event of a disruption in rail service, transit agencies can take information from ticket scanners that are connected to the internet to determine how many passengers are on the train instead of waiting on a conductor to relay the information. The transit agency can then determine how many buses to use in a bus bridge to reduce the inconvenience experienced by passengers.

 

Personalized Travel Information: People love to feel special. Personalized information will make passengers of public transport feel as if they are being taken care of. Internet of Things (IoT) technology will enable transit agencies to easily send out personalized travel information to passengers5. For example, transit agencies can track a particular person’s travel habits and determine which station and/or route that person frequently uses. In the event of a scheduled station closure or the re-routing of a particular route, the transit agency would be able to notify the person ahead of time.

Conclusion: Obviously Internet of Things (Iot) technology will continue to improve the passenger experience for public transportation by offering real time vehicle tracking, improved responses in the event of an unexpected event, and personalized travel information. As cities become more congested and as more people look for ways to go green, public transit will become a very attractive option for people looking to forgo using their personal vehicles. IoT technology will only improve public transit and as public transit improves, there will be converts left and right.

 

About the Author:

Nathan To is an Intern at Davra . He will be a sophomore at the University of California Riverside in the fall where he is majoring in Business. In the past, Nathan was one of the leaders of his High School’s student iPad repair group. He has also moderated a panel on Student Experiences with Educational Technology at the annual Educational Learning Technology Consortium (ETLC) in Atherton CA.

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