FMS-TQ: Combining Smartphone and iBeacon 4 Technologies in A Transit Quality Survey

TitleFMS-TQ: Combining Smartphone and iBeacon 4 Technologies in A Transit Quality Survey
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCorinna Li, Christopher Zegras, Fang Zhao, Francisco Pereira, Kalan Vishwanath Nawarathne, Zhengquan Qin, Moshe Ben-Akiva, Jinhua Zhao
Conference Name95th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
PublisherTransportation Research Board
Conference LocationWashington, D.C.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will offer transit agencies an opportunity to transform ways to measure, monitor, and manage performance. We demonstrate the potential value of two combined technologies, smartphones and iBeacons, for actively engaging customers in measuring satisfaction and co-monitoring bus service quality. Specifically, we adapt our smartphone-based survey system, Future Mobility Sensing (FMS), to connect with iBeacons for an event-driven approach to measure user-reported satisfaction before (i.e. at the stop), during (i.e., while traveling), and after (reflectively) transit trips. The system collects a combination of sensor (GPS, WiFi, GSM and accelerometer) data to track transit trips, while soliciting users’ feedback on trip experience with in-app pop-up surveys. Both bus trip data and passenger feedback are collected and uploaded onto the server at the end of each day. These data are not intended to replace traditional monitoring channels and processes, but, rather, they complement official performance monitoring through a more customer-centric perspective in relative real time. The paper presents the theoretical foundations, describes a pilot implementation of the platform in Singapore, and discusses preliminary results that demonstrate technical feasibility.