11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services

Research Article

Tube Star: Crowd-Sourced Experiences on Public Transport

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257846,
        author={Neal Lathia and Licia Capra},
        title={Tube Star: Crowd-Sourced Experiences on Public Transport},
        proceedings={11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services},
        publisher={ICST},
        proceedings_a={MOBIQUITOUS},
        year={2014},
        month={11},
        keywords={public transport; crowd-sourcing; mobile},
        doi={10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257846}
    }
    
  • Neal Lathia
    Licia Capra
    Year: 2014
    Tube Star: Crowd-Sourced Experiences on Public Transport
    MOBIQUITOUS
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257846
Neal Lathia1,*, Licia Capra2
  • 1: University of Cambridge
  • 2: University College London
*Contact email: neal.lathia@cl.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Public transport information systems have been shown to positively affect passengers' usage of their city's transport infrastructure, by providing information such as the location and schedules of trains and buses. These systems, however, lack qualitative information about passengers' ongoing experiences and may be out of date. In this work, we examine how smartphones can be leveraged to provide crowd-sourced information to transit passengers. We have deployed a prototype for London, England, that merges social media with transport statuses and report on the results of a thematic analysis of the content provided by passengers. We have found that passengers readily share their positive experiences more often than reporting problems, and find evidence that crowd-sourced reporting augments the timeliness of status information, for example, via reports flagging disruptions before the transport authority announces them. We close by discussing the limitations of our prototype and how these findings may inform the design of future transport information services.