Title

Measuring the Performance of Transit Passenger Information Websites

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2009

Subject Area

operations - performance, planning - signage/information, economics - appraisal/evaluation, organisation - performance, technology - passenger information, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Websites (Information retrieval), Transit, Public transit, Portland (Oregon), Performance assessment, Passenger information systems, Melbourne (Australia), Mass transit, London (England), Local transit, Evaluation and assessment, Bruxelles (Belgium), Brussels (Belgium)

Abstract

Almost all transit authorities worldwide now operate centralized transit passenger information websites (TPIWS). Although a range of research has demonstrated good practices in design and operation of TPIWS, no consolidated measurement tool can objectively assess the performance of these sites. A research project was done to develop an objective multicriteria report card for assessing TPIWS on the basis of the findings of previous research on good practice. The scorecard is structured around a series of general website accessibility, usability, and consistency tests and also includes a review of static information and journey planner evaluations. The research literature is reviewed, the methodology is described, and its application for assessing the performance of nine worldwide TPIWS systems is discussed. The approach is low cost and enables a quick review of sites in an objective assessment of the performance evidence. The findings of the application give the TPIWS systems in Melbourne, Australia; London; and Portland, Oregon, the highest scores of those in the nine cities assessed. Although Melbourne achieves the highest overall score, the application of the scorecard provided a basis for identifying areas for improvement. Many city systems demonstrate high scores in certain areas. Brussels, Belgium, has high scores for site usability, Portland for static information provision, and Melbourne for journey-planner facilities. Possible improvements to the report-card system are discussed, including areas for new research in its further development.