GOOD Ideas for Cities: Making Transit Social

Posted by Alissa Walker

For many people in Cincinnati, taking public transit is not a choice. But for those who do have a choice, elective riders are faced with an overly confusing transportation experience—four separate transit agencies, each with different name and identity. Could a unified, region-wide transit line that serves the entire city help get more riders on board? As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities Cincinnati, Mission Possible presents their idea for a new bus rapid transit system, The HUB, that makes transit more social. The team quickly realized that poor user experience was turning potential riders off from using the system. By employing touchscreen kiosks at stations and smartphone apps, The HUB would allow users to create profiles where they could save routes, track buses in real time, mark favorite locations, and "friend" other riders. This allows riders to plan their trips more efficiently, or meet up with riders who are nearby, thus removing much of the the uncertainty of transit and making for a more enjoyable experience.

Challenge: Four transit agencies operate public transportation in the Cincinnati region, each with its own name and identity, spanning multiple counties and two states. How can we create a more user-focused transit experience around a bus rapid transit line that builds brand equity and consumer commitments with a unified, region-wide voice, creating rising public demand for a better regional system?
 
Urban Leaders: Metro, Sallie Hilvers; TANK, Gina Douthat; Agenda 360, Mary Stagaman and Adena Kass; Vision 2015, Bill Scheyer
 
Mission Possible: John Rizzo, Ben Patrick, Chris Simmons, Kelsey Hawke, Meghann Craig, Jon Cramer, Sarah Strassel, Missy Raterman, Carrie Farler, Ashley Plank, Kelly Horan
 
The HUB: Connect with What's the HUB-bub on Facebook or at @whattheHUBbub on Twitter or email good-cinci[at]possibleworldwide[dot]com
 
Video by The Queen City Project 
 
Additional support provided by the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.
 
GOOD Ideas for Cities pairs creative problem-solvers with real urban challenges proposed by civic leaders. To learn more visit good.is/ideasforcities. Watch more videos of recent GOOD Ideas for Cities events, and if you'd like to talk about bringing the program to your city or school, email alissa[at]goodinc[dot]com or follow us at @IdeasforCities