The connection between easy-to-use customer information (schedules, maps, etc.) and transit ridership seems obvious. And online tools provide a powerful way to make transit information easier to use (remember: unfamiliar transit riders find conventional maps and schedules difficult to use; in fact, in one study, they failed to plan trips about half of the time).
I am searching for, and cataloging, studies and accounts of online transit information and its potential, or observed, impacts on ridership.
Today, I turned up “The Effect of ITS on Transit Ridership” (Abdel-Aty, Mohamed A.; P.P. Jovanis. ITS Quarterly. Vol. III. 1995). Unfortunately, the article is old (1995) and the ITS Quarterly is not published online. But the literature review paper (“The Factors Influencing Transit Ridership: A Review and Analysis of the Ridership Literature”) gives a few highlights:
ITS-delivered transit information might encourage shifts to transit: 58.7 percent of respondents were likely to use transit at least once per week given the availability of ITS-delivered transit information, and about half of the non-transit users who might consider transit would be more likely to use it if certain information items were available.
I wish the whole paper was available. Does anyone know of other research on the connection between online information, or customer information in general, and ridership?