Sustainable social networking services for transport.

Transport service providers

Throughout Europe the challenge for city transport providers is to work with users to capitalise on the opportunities offered by new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

One of the key opportunities is to be able to build on the much greater potential for information generation directly between travellers via Twitter, Facebook, or our tripzoom type application. For example on current delays, level of service and mobility preferences etc. However this opportunity brings with it considerable challenge to orthodox approaches and changes in the central control of information alongside an empowerment of ordinary people to ‘tell it how it is’. One of the  implications of this changing reality is for a renewal of the relationship between city transport providers and road authorities on the one hand and travellers on the other hand in terms of the medium, frequency and quality of information, incentives and interactions.

SUNSET provides a new service called tripzoom, which allows service providers  to get insights into personal mobility and to tailor incentives to individuals or groups.

First of all tripzoom creates an overview of anonimised or actively shared actual and historic mobility patterns on a personal level measured by traveller’s smartphones.  Additionally, individuals or groups may also share their mobility patterns or help each other by exchanging information about traffic jams, preferences etc. A social networking service environment arises, which provides insights into travel patterns and preferences of customers.

Secondly, transport and information service providers can use the tripzoom service in a moderated fashion to design and deploy tailored incentives to actively influence and seduce individuals or groups of people in more sustainable travel decisions. For example by providing personalised information on delays or alternatives or by providing rewards, when people use certain transport services at certain  moments or in certain areas.

Thirdly, the SUNSET projects creates a real-life environment in three European cities (living labs) that allows community building, incentive testing and service optimisation. This provides a learning environment for transport and information service providers.

SUNSET creates new possibilities for new entrant information service providers in the field changing the rules of the game with respect to access to information and the role of public bodies versus private companies in collecting, enriching and distributing travel and traffic information. Social media enhanced traffic and travel information offers considerable opportunities across sectors, for example for social safety situations, event and crowd management, tourist support or the well being sector to align, share and enrich information on travel patterns of individuals or groups.

Are you interested in the potential of  the approach and want to share your thoughts, comments and ideas of application of the SUNSET approach in a transport or information service context please join the conversation on LinkedIn. We would be happy to get in touch.