transport for london

The Power of Information

UC BerkeleyThis post by the blog Greater Greater Washington (GGW) called to mind a study published earlier this year about Tech for Transit.  We covered the article and highlighted its finding that it’s not so much ownership of an automobile that drives transportation choices, but rather ownership of the trip one is about to make.  Technology, specifically mobile apps that provide information about trip lengths, costs, and directions, can provide people with a sense of ownership over their trip that induces more public transit use.

GGW, in collaboration with the Mobility Lab (a project of the Arlington County Community Services) and OpenPlans, is working on a project to develop mobile apps and physical maps for Washington, DC that could provide people with the information they need in order to feel ownership over their trips.

Using London’s “spider maps” as a model, GGW envisions building software to automatically generate a sort of transportation choice map, which includes the various options such as bus, rail, or Capital Bikeshare, centered around any point in Washington (depending on where the person is standing).  They suggest hotels using it to hand out to tourists or realtors to potential homebuyers.  The sentiment reflected in comments on GGW’s post suggests these maps are needed and wanted.

- Terra Curtis