An integral part of OneBusAway as a research project has been to evaluate the effect of such tools on ridership and rider perceptions. We found a set of important outcomes about real-time information:

  • In New York City, real-time information led to an increase in weekday ridership of 1.7%, with the biggest increase on routes with the greatest level of transit service.
  • In Seattle, 92% of riders reported increased or greatly increased satisfaction with public transportation.
  • Riders self-report an increased number of transit trips per week, particularly in the off-peak when transit is below capacity.
  • Riders self-report increased feelings of safety (e.g., while waiting at night).
  • Riders self-report an increase in walking, which has a public health benefit.
  • For riders without real-time information, perceived wait time is greater than measured wait time. But, having real-time information brings perceived wait time in line with actual wait time.
  • Mobile real-time information users have been observed to actually wait almost 2 minutes less per trip than those arriving using traditional schedule information.