Are you a public transit user? Or an airline traveler? Or a train rider? Travel and transportation organizations want to hear from you! Why are they so interested in what you have to say? Because they have realized that the crowd is one of the best resources available to them.
Following a series of drastic cuts in funding, public transportation in Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh was a mess. Public transit riders understandably responded with frustration and anger when routes were changed and reliability of remaining routes descended rapidly.
In response, a crowdsourcing app called Tiramisu was born, helping public transit riders answer the question, “When is the bus coming?” Riders themselves helped to keep their fellows informed by providing live updates about arrival and departure times, and capacity information. This is just one of the many ways that organizations are working on getting their communities and constituents involved.
One of the biggest reasons for involving the crowd in transportation is that the crowd can often give on-the-ground information that even those at the organization may not immediately know. The accessibility and availability of many organizations through social media platforms has allowed the crowd to provide that on-the-ground information, and for that information to then be quickly disseminated to other interested parties (namely, other travelers).
This has had positive and negative impacts for organizations like airlines, which have experienced both glowing recommendations, but far more often, vilifying communications about bad experiences, which are then spread widely among other travelers and have had strong implications for those airlines. It pays to focus on customer service and experience these days.
Users of transportation services are also a unique resource for open innovation. They are often able to see potential solutions or updates which those within the company would never be able to see because they are so entrenched in the organization.
To find out more about ways in which using the crowd is helping travel and transportation organizations, click here to download and read our recent white paper on Innovation in Transportation.