The Groupon model for transit

This Big City tries to apply the lessons of consumer-demand services like Groupon and Living Social to transportation planning. These programs are based on the economic concept of market equilibrium, or the intersection of supply and demand. Translating this concept from consumer goods to transit services, the post asks the following: Why not take the ridership data collected by smart cards and use it to deploy vehicles where and when they are needed on a dynamic basis?

Instead of subway cars perpetually packed at 5 PM because of linear deployment schedules, there would be a smoothing of the deployment process coupled with real-time ridership numbers.

While acknowledging that a transportation-on-demand approach may be simplistic (not to mention challenging to implement), the post concludes on an optimistic note: “We exist at the center of an ever-rising pinnacle of innovation, not just with technology but also in ideas.” Link to full story in This Big City.

Original post

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply