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Title: User driven design of real time passenger information solutions for supporting rural passengers in the context of disruption
Author: Papangelis, Konstantinos
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 7114
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Rural communities face a range of challenges associated with accessibility and connectivity. Though real-time passenger information systems (RTPIS) have been long heralded as offering the potential to mitigate some of these challenges their deployment in rural areas has been very limited. The lack of real-time passenger information has been identified as a contributing factor to a multitude of issues, such as high car usage, low public transport use and travel uncertainty. There is considerable potential for appropriate technologies to contribute to the alleviation of these issues, as evidence exists that they can influence travel behaviour, and cultivate positive attitudes towards the service and the operator. This thesis investigated the interplay between rural passenger experience and real-time information provision. Overall, this work aims to provide an initial stepping point on to understanding the interplay between passenger behaviour, disruptions, passenger experience, and real-time information. In order to explore the aforementioned, first, a series of interviews and focus groups with rural public transport passengers, rural transport operators, government agencies and members of academia have been carried out to study the rural passengers' responses to planned and unplanned travel disruption. Based on these i) a conceptual model that aims to describe the passenger recovery phases to disruption and the associated passenger information requirements, ii) and a framework that highlights characteristics of transport behaviour, and aligns them with drivers of transport behaviour adaptation have been created. Next, through a series of co-designed sessions in various rural areas throughout the UK a mobile technology probe, which provides public transport real time information to the passengers has been developed. Then using the technology probe a two-week before-and-after intervention study with 15 participants has been carried out. The results indicate that real-time information provided through the technology probe adjusted the travel behaviour of the participants. Namely, it improved the utilisation of waiting time of the participants, improved the efficiency of their travelling, and enabled them to find alternatives when needed. Further, to get a better picture of the effect of real-time information on rural travellers, during the intervention study 6 of the participants in their everyday travels for 7 days have been actively observed by the author. The outcomes from this supplemented the data from the study and illustrated how the rural public transport travellers used the system in their day-to-day travels. Finally, all our findings have been combined to co-create a system design with rural public transport passengers that aims to improve their experience during disruption. The final design mainly concentrated on providing information regarding pre-trip, on-trip and on boarding point, journey planning, supporting the rural passenger experience through social media, and disruption. In order to evaluate the applicability and suitability of the design, and explore how it relates to the needs of the rural passengers, two focus groups have been conducted. The results of the evaluation activity illustrate that the mobile RTPI system design was perceived as highly useful and relevant to the needs of the rural passenger.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rural transportation ; Transportation ; Digital communications ; Bus travel