What Do You Do with Your App? Study of Bus Rider Decision Making with Real-Time Passenger Information


Achille Fonzone

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, planning - surveys, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - passenger information, operations - performance


real-time passenger information (RTPI), travel choice, system performance


Provision of real-time passenger information (RTPI) increasingly is becoming a fundamental element of the service offered by transit agencies. RTPI changes how travelers perceive public transport services and can have a remarkable influence on travel choices and, consequently, system performance. Such consequences depend on the objectives pursued by the riders and the characteristics of the transit service. The existing knowledge about transit RTPI is extended by studying the decision-making process of bus passengers in the presence of multichannel descriptive and prescriptive real-time information. The use of different kinds of information, decision-making objectives, travel choices, and their associations (which define classes of travel choice behavior) was investigated by conducting a survey of passengers on Lothian Buses in Edinburgh, Scotland. Descriptive RTPI also was accessed before traveling and influenced decisions about route choice above all. The analysis demonstrated that RTPI was associated with more flexible behavior and that classes of behavior were well defined. Results emphasize the importance to transit agencies of providing RTPI that is tailored to customers. The development of models including the effects of RTPI is recommended to assess its impact on system performance.


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