Feb 4, 2009

Inconvenience with public transit: A barrier to innovation and change

With the end of the disastrous two-month public transit strike in Canada’s National Capital, people are wondering what can OC Transpo do to regain its former popularity among commuters. Mike Kesterton of the Globe and Mail has pointed us to an interesting story by Fox News about novel technologies that would make public transit more convenient, eliminating some of the current barriers:

"For commuters who have to choose between breakfast and catching the bus, companies such as TransitTracker keep tags on buses and trains so you can track them online or on your cell phone.

The system follows your ride's actual location — not an estimated schedule — so you know exactly when it will arrive at your station or stop." It’s currently being used in Portland, Oregon.

"Once you're on that train or bus, you can finally get back to what matters most: going back to sleep.

Thanks to an ingenious iPhone application called iNap (get it here) , the phone's built-in GPS device will track your location (as long as you're above ground) and set off an alarm when you're near your destination — not too soon, not too late, leaving you little excuse to be grumpy when you actually arrive."

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