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Planning Like It’s 2099: The Use and Distribution of Smartphone Transit Applications in Chicago, Illinois

Title:

Planning Like It’s 2099: The Use and Distribution of Smartphone Transit Applications in Chicago, Illinois

Feakins, Jonathan (2013) Planning Like It’s 2099: The Use and Distribution of Smartphone Transit Applications in Chicago, Illinois. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Public transit provides an indispensable service to many of those who make major cities their home. At the same time, smartphones have become a commonplace but powerful piece of consumer technology, whose relevance to its users’ daily lives only promises to increase in the years to come. I describe the intersection of these two fields, in the form of smartphone applications that provide real-time transit information. I gather data via the server logs of two real-time transit applications, AnyStop and TreKing. I present an analysis of transit application users in Chicago, Illinois, and compare these users to the overall ridership of public transit in Chicago to determine if they are analogous. Using a combination of internet surveys and aggregate travel planning data, I attempt to illustrate overall patterns in how and why smartphone users utilize their smartphones to navigate public transit. Using log odds ratio and scatter plots, I specifically demonstrate how these two groups of users ride transit in markedly similar manners, both in space and time: smartphone users demonstrate classic usage peaks during both morning and evening rush hours, and their ridership across one hundred and thirty transit routes parallels overall transit usage with 70-86% accuracy. I also suggest variables that may account for any discrepancies in transit ridership between these two populations, and find that smartphone usage demonstrates negative correlation to factors such as total hours of service and number of stops, positive correlation for spatial complexity, and statistically insignificant or inconclusive results for route length, stops per mile, and buses per hour. Finally, I propose that smartphone applications may provide transit planners with an incredibly rich vein of crowdsourced, real-time travel data, which could be used to augment public transit services.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Feakins, Jonathan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:1 April 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Zacharias, John
ID Code:977064
Deposited By: JONATHAN FEAKINS
Deposited On:13 Jun 2013 20:00
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43
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