TravelBot: Utilising Social Media Dialogue to Provide Journey Disruption Alerts

Paul Gault, Caitlin Doyle Cottrill, David Corsar, Peter Edwards, John D. Nelson, Milan Markovic, Mujtaba Mehdi, Somayajulu Sripada

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Abstract

Use of social media in the public transport sector is rapidly increasing, driven by both passenger demand, and recognition by transport operators of the insights that social media enables. Here, the authors explore the potential for utilising social media (specifically, the Twitter platform) to provide personalised information to public transport passengers. In the Tweeting Travel study, the authors first developed an understanding of the types of dialogues that can unfold on social media between passengers and a simulated travel advice system and then used this to shape development of the TravelBot system. This system provided users with real-time passenger information, including details of relevant travel disruptions that were automatically extracted from social media posts. A user evaluation of a TravelBot trial is presented, findings of which showed that participants highly valued the service and the information it provided, with most indicating a strong desire for the system to continue operation. These findings reveal the potential offered by social media for more personalised communication between public transport operators and their passengers, as well as indicating an efficient method by which this communication may be enabled.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Board 98th Annual Meeting
Volume19-05080
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • Data and Information Technology
  • Passenger Transportation
  • Public Transportation

Cite this

Gault, P., Cottrill, C. D., Corsar, D., Edwards, P., Nelson, J. D., Markovic, M., Mehdi, M., & Sripada, S. (2019). TravelBot: Utilising Social Media Dialogue to Provide Journey Disruption Alerts. In Transportation Research Board 98th Annual Meeting (Vol. 19-05080)