Viability of Crowd-Source Transit Information Systems
Department of Transportation
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
Tiramisu Transit LLC
405 Wickford Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15238-
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThe company is commercializing a mobile social computing system named Tiramisu (“pick me up” in Italian) that is intended to connect riders and transit service providers. It supports a variety of collaboration mechanisms designed to improve the experience of riders in a transit service and improve the service provided by service operators. The system has been designed using current knowledge in social computing systems and it incorporates novel service design and crowd-source technology. At the most basic level, Tiramisu is a crowd-sourced, real-time transit information system for transit vehicles. While research suggests crowd-sourced transportation information systems have the potential to dramatically facilitate engagement and collaboration between riders and agencies with considerable cost savings over traditional AVL-based systems, there is a critical open question regarding long-term sustainability. For various reasons, advertising is the most promising revenue approach. However, the crowd-source nature of the system presents considerable unknowns due to the reliance on user contribution and potential for repelling contributors with improperly designed advertising models. Our goal is to use research techniques to determine if crowd-source transit information systems can be commercially viable and what revenue schemes have the most potential.
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