Skip to content →

Transit Guidance System

At the annual Somerville Open Studios, staff members were spending a significant amount of time managing the 3 event trolleys that loop around the city. As the day went on, trolleys would “clump together”, leading to empty trolleys and longer wait times. Now they have an automated system that sends drivers alerts as they round a checkpoint, instructing them to leave, wait, speed up, slow down…

In the video, which is sped up for simulation purposes, Trolley 3 has reached the end of the route and is about to loop back to our checkpoint at Joy St. Trolley 3’s driver is sent this SMS message:

Sending SMS to 123-123-1236:
Trolley 3, welcome to Joy St!
Trolley 2 is 24.2 mins behind you. Please wait an extra 2.2 mins at Joy St.
Trolley 1 is 22.4 mins ahead of you. When you leave, it’ll be 24.6 mins ahead of you. Drive at a normal pace on your next round.

A clear prompt telling them exactly what to do next. Messages are only sent to drivers as they approach our checkpoint since they’re not allowed to use their phones while driving for safety reasons. Drivers agree: This lends itself to a low-stress method for “rebalancing” trolleys over the course of the day.

Want to learn more? Explore a demo simulation of the system in action. Interested in white labeling it for your route? Contact me.