People are busy. We can’t expect them to consider every option, including transit, each time they make a trip. If you’re someone who is accustomed to driving, then you’ll probably just hop in the car and go.
But, when we put new options in front of people, this can widen the range of considerations, and maybe change behavior. The idea put simply: Put the transit option in front of people when they’re planning to make a trip, and make it as easy as possible to figure out how to ride.
On May 28, my local news and events weekly, the North Coast Journal announced and launched their new website and events calendar. At the launch, they offered convenient driving instructions to venues in the calendar. That made me think, “Why not transit?”
The folks at the Journal being game, we collaborated to incorporate a transit directions form into event pages that is automatically populated with the arrival location and time for the event. Just enter in where you’re starting from and voilà, Google Transit tells you where and when to catch which bus, transfer, and then walk to the destination.
Below, a screenshot of the feature as implemented on the North Coast Journal website.
At the same time, Trillium has worked to make it easy to implement for other businesses and organizations to implement something similar. The link here page at Humboldt Transit Authority’s website will generate a destination pre-populated transit trip planner form and/or link badges to use on 3rd party websites to reach transit-dependent or transit-oriented markets, demonstrate committment to sustainability, and and free up parking for other customers, clients, and employees.
This isn’t the only example of a trip planner link included on a third party website. One terrific example I’ve come across recently was when Trillium was hired to work for Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. Each event in the region’s event calendar, the217.com, has a transit directions link that goes to the MTD trip planner. In marketing the new Green Route service expansion, we reached out directly to the217.com to make transit an even more prominent and useful option on event pages.
Below: the217.com actively promotes transit trip planning features as a value-added service to their users. Everyone wins.
And for helping people share rides to an event, Goose Networks offers useful rideshare widgets for events or locations.
Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 12 years of web-development with 8 years in public transportation, with knowledge of fixed-route transportation, paratransit, rural transportation, and active transportation modes. Aaron is a recognized expert in developing data standards, web-application design, digital communications, and online marketing strategy. He originally developed Trillium’s GTFS Manager, and has played a key role in the development of the GTFS data specification since 2007.