Mobile Transit Information from Universal Design and Crowdsourcing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bus, technology - passenger information, operations - capacity, operations - crowding


bus, real-time arrival, riders with disabilities, bus fullness, universal design


Extensive interviews with riders of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, bus system revealed that, as the top priority, riders wanted to know the actual arrival time of buses. Following a universal design approach, a system called Tiramisu was created to foster a greater sense of community between riders and transit bus service providers. The design focused on acquisition of crowdsourced information for bus location and bus fullness. On the basis of that input, the system predicted the arrival time of buses and provided a convenient platform for reporting problems and positive experiences within the transit system. The intention was to create a community of riders that materially participated in the delivery of the transit service. Tiramisu also supported specific information and reporting needs for riders with disabilities and thereby provided greater independent mobility around the community. An early field trial of Tiramisu suggested that the approach was both feasible and potentially viable.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.