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Information needs along the journey chain: users’ perspective about bus system

Caiafa, M.M.; (2010) Information needs along the journey chain: users’ perspective about bus system. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Buses constitute the main public transport mode in most cities of the world. Accessible Bus Systems are defined as systems that are easy to use. However accessible the infrastructure may be, it is unlikely to provide access if people cannot know about it. Therefore it is essential to have comprehensive and accessible information systems which describe the bus systems during all the stages of the journey. There is a widespread understanding amongst researchers that Information Systems can increase the efficiency of the system and that they should be oriented to meet bus users’ needs. However, existing information systems largely ignore the user’s point of view, in special the requirement of the disabled users. This thesis describes a methodology developed to investigate the problem of using information during a journey by bus in real conditions taking into account the (un)familiarity of the area in study and the individual’s previous knowledge of information system. Two main aspects are identified — the “Required Environment Capability” (the physical, social and psychological environment conditions) and the “Individual Capability Provided” (the individual ability in physical, sensorial and cognitive terms) to plan and execute a journey by bus in an unfamiliar environment. Because of the multidisciplinary aspect of the theme this study uses approaches from different fields of research to construct a methodology to understand individual information use. Based on the principles of Single Case Analysis adapted by adding the concept of the Capabilities Model (CM) (which explores interactions between individual and environment), the combined SCA/CM approach was employed to construct the INFOChain experiment. A set of information pieces were developed for the experiment, delivering Accessibility- Issues (AI-type) information in order to help older people to plan and execute different bus journeys in two different cities: London/UK and Brasilia/BR. General results have shown that although the AI-Type of information is considered important by older people, it needs more than simple expositions to actually take advantages of the information and be able to help disabled users.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Information needs along the journey chain: users’ perspective about bus system
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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