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Open data and the needs of older people for public transport information

Open data and the needs of older people for public transport information
Open data and the needs of older people for public transport information
People’s life expectancy is increasing throughout the world as a result of improved living standards and medical advances. The natural ageing process is accompanied by physiological changes which can have significant consequences for mobility. As a result, older people tend to make fewer journeys than other adults and may change their transport mode. Access to public transport can help older people to avail themselves of goods, services, employment and other activities. Hence, public transport is important to older people’s quality of life, their sense of freedom and independence.

Within the European Commission funded FP7 project GOAL (Growing Older and stAying mobiLe), the transport requirements of older people were studied on the basis of five different profiles/groups of older people defined within the project, according to their ‘fitness to travel’. It was found that easily-accessible information provision on public transport was important for all of these groups, but that the required content and delivery of the information varied between groups. Even though new technologies can provide useful real-time information in the palm of a hand, the study highlighted that devices and content are not user-friendly for many older people, particularly relating to web sites and ‘apps’ (applications, usually on portable devices). As the system developers target bigger markets from their economic point of view, many products do not address the requirements of specific groups of older people (e.g. those with mobility difficulties). However, this could change with the apps-based traveller information because of the relatively lower cost of apps development when data is available in an open data server.

In this context, the on-going EC-funded TIDE (Transport Innovation Deployment in Europe) project is exploring the issue of open data for apps-based traveller information as one of the innovative urban mobility measures. The benefits of open access data is that it allows third parties (private or public) to access data and develop apps to provide information to users in a variety of ways according to user needs. For example, older people may need larger font displays and primary data only, while mobility impaired people may need information on walking distances and the existence of gradient, steps, seats, etc. Reviewing the international cases of open data implementation, the study found examples of authorities initiating the market by running competitions to develop apps for targeted groups such as older or disabled people.

This paper will present the findings of the information needs of older people using public transport from the GOAL project and then explores the possibility of apps-based traveller information for them currently being looked at in the ongoing TIDE project. The aim here is to address information needs of older people particularly using public transport to make it more attractive in the 21st century

older people, public transport, open data, traveller information
2352-1465
Hounsell, Nick
54781702-9b09-4fb7-8d9e-f0b7833731e5
Shrestha, Birendra
2c6a62ae-f327-4af5-8b5a-d96cc898726b
Mcdonald, Mike
cd5b31ba-276b-41a5-879c-82bf6014db9f
Wong, Alan
5f0c96fb-605f-4c3d-a50d-3f07e6e7c8f2
Hounsell, Nick
54781702-9b09-4fb7-8d9e-f0b7833731e5
Shrestha, Birendra
2c6a62ae-f327-4af5-8b5a-d96cc898726b
Mcdonald, Mike
cd5b31ba-276b-41a5-879c-82bf6014db9f
Wong, Alan
5f0c96fb-605f-4c3d-a50d-3f07e6e7c8f2

Hounsell, Nick, Shrestha, Birendra, Mcdonald, Mike and Wong, Alan (2016) Open data and the needs of older people for public transport information. Transportation Research Procedia. (doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2016.05.355).

Record type: Article

Abstract

People’s life expectancy is increasing throughout the world as a result of improved living standards and medical advances. The natural ageing process is accompanied by physiological changes which can have significant consequences for mobility. As a result, older people tend to make fewer journeys than other adults and may change their transport mode. Access to public transport can help older people to avail themselves of goods, services, employment and other activities. Hence, public transport is important to older people’s quality of life, their sense of freedom and independence.

Within the European Commission funded FP7 project GOAL (Growing Older and stAying mobiLe), the transport requirements of older people were studied on the basis of five different profiles/groups of older people defined within the project, according to their ‘fitness to travel’. It was found that easily-accessible information provision on public transport was important for all of these groups, but that the required content and delivery of the information varied between groups. Even though new technologies can provide useful real-time information in the palm of a hand, the study highlighted that devices and content are not user-friendly for many older people, particularly relating to web sites and ‘apps’ (applications, usually on portable devices). As the system developers target bigger markets from their economic point of view, many products do not address the requirements of specific groups of older people (e.g. those with mobility difficulties). However, this could change with the apps-based traveller information because of the relatively lower cost of apps development when data is available in an open data server.

In this context, the on-going EC-funded TIDE (Transport Innovation Deployment in Europe) project is exploring the issue of open data for apps-based traveller information as one of the innovative urban mobility measures. The benefits of open access data is that it allows third parties (private or public) to access data and develop apps to provide information to users in a variety of ways according to user needs. For example, older people may need larger font displays and primary data only, while mobility impaired people may need information on walking distances and the existence of gradient, steps, seats, etc. Reviewing the international cases of open data implementation, the study found examples of authorities initiating the market by running competitions to develop apps for targeted groups such as older or disabled people.

This paper will present the findings of the information needs of older people using public transport from the GOAL project and then explores the possibility of apps-based traveller information for them currently being looked at in the ongoing TIDE project. The aim here is to address information needs of older people particularly using public transport to make it more attractive in the 21st century

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__filestore.soton.ac.uk_users_krc1d15_mydesktop_TRA2016-OlderPeoplePT_InfoPaper(1).docx - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 21 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 June 2016
Keywords: older people, public transport, open data, traveller information
Organisations: Civil Maritime & Env. Eng & Sci Unit, Transportation Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397322
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397322
ISSN: 2352-1465
PURE UUID: c64d7c08-1ab1-4755-b0f9-648da6030094

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jun 2016 09:11
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 02:20

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