Urban Public Transport Service Co-creation: Leveraging Passenger's Knowledge to Enhance Travel Experience

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - performance, technology - passenger information, economics - operating costs, economics - benefits, place - urban


public transport, value, mobile, crowdsourcing


Mobile devices are increasingly pervasive and are transforming information distribution paradigms. A rapidly growing segment of urban public transport passengers carry mobile computing devices, permanently and on the move. In a context of thinning financial resources, getting customers involved in the actual delivery of a public transport service as real-time information consumers and providers, may be a powerful method to enhance travel experience while reducing operational costs for the service operator. Each and every customer travelling on a public transport network has unique knowledge about the service operation as it unfolds. This paper proposes a framework that aims to unify public transport passengers’ collective intelligence through crowdsourcing, using their mobile computing devices and dedicated web services. It strives to intensify win-win relationships between public transport passengers and operators. The structured exchange of information is sustained by a validation mechanism for data reliability, and an incentive mechanism to encourage passenger participation. Passengers benefit from rich real-time data tailored to their profiles, to ease their journeys and improve travel experience, in exchange for their own participation providing and validating information. Operators gain access to rich customer generated data, which in an aggregated format may provide a real-time assessment of customer experience and of local performance across the entire network operation. Operators may be required to reward travellers who become prolific co-creators of the public transport service, but higher customer experience levels, lesser needs for investment in controlling mechanisms, and continuous free monitoring of customer opinions can jointly lead to financial returns.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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