Our design problem is one posed by the CHI 2007 Student Design Competition:
Our challenge is to design a service to promote or encourage the use of public transit that can be implemented particularly in the city of Ann Arbor, but also generalized to satisfy other cities with this problem.
Traffic congestion and under utilized public transport can cost local governments and businesses millions in expenses. Statistics indicate that around 10% of journeys are made by public transport, and almost 7 times as many are made by car. Recently, petrol prices have surged due to supply concerns, and if this trend continues, increases in cost of fuel will start to impinge upon business and retail spending. Research shows that cars contribute 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which may affect climate change, and a study by the European Commission in 2005 calculated that airborne pollution reduced life expectancy in the EU by an average of almost 9 months, and was responsible for 310,000 premature deaths.