A Pitt research project is attempting to “democratize” and incentivize public transportation in Pittsburgh using public information screens and a mobile app.
The Pitt Smart Living project is currently in the pilot phase, according to Alexandros Labrinidis, the Pitt computer science professor leading the project. This phase involves installing screens, powered by startup company TransitScreen, displaying data from multiple feeds — including Port Authority buses, Pitt and UPMC shuttles and Healthy Ride bikes.
TransitScreen, the service to inform commuters about the availability of all kinds of transportation options that began in Oakland in April, is now available at the City-County Building, Downtown.
The free service is essentially a display monitor that tracks Port Authority buses, ride-share services like Lyft and Uber, car-sharing service Zipcar and Pittsburgh’s bike-sharing program. The service usually is provided by a large employer, but the local system is paid for as a demonstration project by the University of Pittsburgh as part of its Smart Living project to see if the monitors can be used to encourage commuters to spend their time waiting for transportation at shops and restaurants.
We are excited to have a new PittSmartLiving display go live today, in the lobby of the historic City-County Building, which is celebrating its Centennial this year. The display provides location-specific real-time information about:
Port Authority bus arrivals
HealthyRide bicycle availability
This makes the Pittsburgh CityHall the 10th CityHall in the USA that has a TransitScreen installation. The transportation data can be accessed at http://tsgo.io/pghcityhall (even from your mobile phone).
This is the sixth display of the PittSmartLiving pilot project which aims to evaluate the benefits of making multimodal transportation information available in real-time to city-dwellers. One big benefit of public displays is that they “democratize” information (according to Ms. Karina Ricks, Director of Mobility and Infrastructure for the City of Pittsburgh), since they make high-quality information available to everybody, regardless of whether they have a smartphone or not. Another benefit is that the displays put all information about multiple modes of transportation in one place (no need to go through
In addition to transportation-related data, the display also shows live the latest tweets from the feeds of:
If you find yourself in a transportation jam, screens scattered through Oakland could help you find a way out soon. The Oakland Business Improvement District is teaming up with a few other non-profits to provide large screens showing real-time transportation options.
They’ve been installed at the University of Pittsburgh’s Sennott Square, the SkyVue Apartments, UPMC’s Falk Medical Clinic and Presbyterian and Montefiore Hospitals.
TransitScreens providing real-time information on multimodal public transportation to Oakland commuters have been set up in the lobbies of five area buildings. The pilot project, funded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, was announced by Pitt and the Oakland Business Improvement District.
Pittsburgh’s first publicly accessible multimodal transit screens aim to provide the public with current transportation data while attracting people to Oakland’s food and retail establishments. The screens have been installed at SkyVue Apartments, Sennott Square, Falk Clinic, UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian hospitals.
For Ryan Bourque, development manager at the SkyVue Apartments on Forbes Avenue in Oakland, this is a regular scene as he works in the lobby: Residents who have called Uber for a ride gather in the lobby, track their ride on a screen behind a welcoming desk in the lobby and head outside when their ride is nearby.
They are using TransitScreen, a service that provides real-time information on a variety of transit services in Oakland, including buses operated by the Port Authority, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft, car-sharing service Zipcar and Pittsburgh’s bike-sharing program.
PITTSBURGH – The Oakland Business Improvement District—in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh—is announcing the installation of TransitScreens in major Oakland property lobbies providing real-time information on multimodal public transportation to the thousands of daily Oakland commuters. This pilot project was funded by the University of Pittsburgh Office of the Vice-Provost for Research.
The displays show real-time information provided by our partner TransitScreen. The displayed information includes Port Authority bus arrival times, HealthyRide bike availability, UPMC Shuttle arrivals, Pitt Shuttle arrivals, and Zipcar/Uber availability.
Thank you very much to our UPMC partners for being early adopters!
Seed funding for the PittSmartLiving project was provided by the University of Pittsburgh (Office of the Vice Provost for Research) in the Fall of 2016. The goal of the pilot study was to evaluate the benefits of making realtime transportation information available to city dwellers and also the potential impact of incentives as a way to encourage prosocial behavior.