Crowd-sourcing Market Research for Public Transit

Private transportation options like Uber, Lyft, and Bridj are receiving a lot of investment these days, as noted in a recent Fast Company article. How can public transportation agencies keep up?

Cities like Helsinki are experimenting with on-demand public transit. That’s a somewhat novel approach, and the Fast Company article notes that cities may need to strike a balance between scheduled and on-demand public transit.

Is there still a place for scheduled public transit along established routes, like the bus systems that we’ve known for nearly a century? In marketing speak, does this product still address a need, and can it adapt to the mobile, digital consumer?

Market research is one way to gauge the viability and potential future of a product. That’s where the startup TransLoc enters the transit picture. Their Traveler app allows commuters to share their travels with transit planners. TransLoc then visualizes all the collected trip data, so that transit planners can identify new patterns of travel and thus new opportunities for transit services that are more aligned with what people need.

Public transit along major traffic corridors won’t disappear anytime soon. If we’re fortunate, it will continue to expand and improve, increasing mobility for everyone. But this isn’t enough for more people to consider public transit viable enough for everyday use.

Would you be willing to share your data in exchange for better public services?

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