Can social media help you catch the bus?

Sharing transit data could allow riders — even those who don’t often use public transportation — to research transit options using Snapchat, Facebook or other social media platforms they already use frequently.

Mitch Skyer speaks to the Buckhead Business Association. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

ATLANTA, June 28, 2017 — Integrating transit data with non-traditional transit social media platforms is one of the keys to expanding public transit ridership in Atlanta and cities nationwide, the president of an industry-leading transit technology firm said.

There are more than 4.9 billion unique mobile users and more than 2.7 billion social media users. To increase public transit use and improve the journey experience, transit systems should standardize and share their data with platforms people already frequent.

“We’re all using smartphones,” Mitch Skyer, president of Atlanta-based Passio Technologies told the Buckhead Business Association (BBA) on June 22. “There are better things we can do with our social media.”

For example, the sharing of transit data could allow riders — even those who don’t often use public transportation — to research transit options using Snapchat, Facebook or nother social media platforms they already use frequently. It’s “all very possible” and could soon lead to a fundamental shift in how consumers interact with systems.

“This trend is starting,” Skyer said. “There are pieces there, but I’m talking about that global vision where everybody, it doesn’t matter what app you use, it’s all connected because we’re standardizing everything. Completing your ‘journey experience’ should become something you expect to happen using common social media tools, not something you have to search for to learn.”

Bike-sharing, car-sharing and ride-hailing apps should be integrated into the mix to expand travel options, Skyer said.

“There’s a lot of data, a lot of information, a lot of unbelievable and amazing programs and resources,” Skyer said. People, Skyer added, are less concerned about the modes of transportation. They “just want that experience to be the best for you on that day.”

Skyer co-founded Passio in 2010 with Chief Technology Officer Scott Reiser. Reiser is a long-time member and former board member of the BBA.

Passio Technologies is a client of The DeFeo Groupe.

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