Smartphone app aims to monitor public transport concerns

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A new smartphone app is poised to make commuting around Australia stress-free.

Dubbed RateIT, the app enables public transport customers to relay transit issues in real time whilst sending information to public transport operators. With this information, public operators can then revise their services to better serve the public.

Although it is still in the development stage at the University of Sydney, the app is on track for a trial on Sydney buses by the end of the year.

According to Dr Claudine Moutou, a lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies, the app will enable passengers to exchange information regarding various issues including comfort, safety and crowding.

“Through the app, travellers can warn each other that a particular bus is full, there are rowdy students on board or the air conditioning has failed,” said Dr Moutou.

Most importantly, the app will link transport operators into the system, allowing them “to respond to passenger need in real time.”

Using information provided by passengers via RateIT, a bus operator “can respond to delays on the rail network, gauge the need for additional services and inform travellers accordingly,” noted Dr Moutou, adding that the app will not only benefit operators but also passengers.

Data gathered from the app can also help in researching the tolerance levels and expectations of public transport users.

Dr Moutou revealed that their project combines technology, research and operational knowledge in order “to get communities more engaged in the quality of their transport services and tell us how to make them better.”

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