Increasing ridership through passenger information: it’s about trustThe Trapeze Team | March 23, 2017
Effective delivery of passenger information is all about trust. Just look at Transport for London (TfL), which serves over 70 million unique users, receives more than 250 million visits and continues to increase year on year – despite not offering any form of passenger information application.
Why do people come to TfL for their transport information when there are countless independent apps serving the same data? Because, as we explained on a previous occasion, it is trusted.
Once gained, trust is a wonderful thing. However, humans are volatile creatures: our trust can take time to develop, and can be destroyed in an instant. This is especially noteworthy when it comes to the provision of public transport information, because often the concern isn’t that a disappointed user will go elsewhere for their transport information; it’s that they go somewhere else for their transport.
Poor public transport experiences can have huge repercussions, causing frustrated passengers to eschew public transport entirely. Put simply, they revert to using their cars.
A recent report noted that bus use is increasing in UK towns and cities, with availability of real-time travel information cited as a significant factor. However, if information can help to increase ridership then it must be maintained to retain the growth – and of course, passenger expectations are rising all the time.
So how do local authorities and operators ensure that they, like TfL, establish themselves as a trustworthy source of information?
It is no longer enough to provide accurate departure data, because RTPI isn’t passenger information; it’s one – admittedly very important – component. It is time to take the next giant leap in passenger information: targeted delivery of information during times of disruption.
Once passengers can truly rely on transport providers to inform them of changes to their planned journey, either during the journey or before they have even departed, we can eliminate the poor experiences that damage faith in transport, maintaining the sense of trust, and ultimately growing ridership.
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