A cheap, easy way to make riding the bus less painful – accurate real-time information
As anyone who rides transit in Ottawa knows, buses are often late or cancelled with no notice. Plus, OC Transpo is not very good about informing customers about delays and cancellations. The Ottawa Citizen reported that over a 29-day period in February and March 2019, OC Transpo cancelled 6,284 bus trips yet they advised the public only about 10% of the time.
An article on Mobility Lab suggests that improving real-time information can radically change the transit experience. With accurate information, riders can modify their plans and choose alternative routes. Their frustration levels go down and some studies suggest that riders perceive shorter wait times.
Ironically this article uses a tweet from an Ottawa customer complaining about OC Transpo as an example of the frustration that unreliable buses combined with inaccurate information cause for riders.
Real-time information supported by GPS can be available on SmartPhones or at screens at bus stops and transit hubs.
Something easy that OC Transpo can achieve