PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE A SHUTTLE SERVICE IN RISD
Project Description RISD runs evening shuttle service, called RISD rides, from 7pm to 4am every day. Considering the situation that students stay late at night in the studio, this system is a good example to show that the school cares of student’s wellbeing and safety. But, unfortunately, the service has few problems such as long waiting time or missing shuttles. for this project, I want to suggest possible scenarios and solutions to improve the current system and provide better experience to users, RISD community members.
Current System of RISD Rides The service is divided into two based on the running time. from 7pm to midnight, the shuttle go through two routes and pick up students from each stop in front of academic buildings. After midnight, students need to call the operator of RISD rides and request the shuttle.
1. Students wait more than 40 minutes for the ride. Especially when they are waiting for ride from cit building. Shuttles always drop by the library and seats are full. So they just skip cit.
2. Shuttles don’t follow the route. They can’t follow the route because some students don’t live near the route and still we need to consider their safety as well.
3. West side vs. East side When students heading to west side and students heading to east side take ride together, one side has to travel all around Providence, which is exhausting especially when students take the shuttle late at night.
4. Sometimes Shuttles pass by the building. Sometimes students miss the ride because it just pass by the building while they are waiting inside. And on the other day, the driver told me "You should've waved your hand."
User Journey Map Based on conversation with students and personal experiences, I made an user journey map to analyze the service thoroughly.
Solution #1 - Centralized System
The first solution for the system was the centralized system. Like when students request the ride after midnight, they can request the ride before the midnight. And the system assigns the optimized route of each shuttle based on students’ request and needs.
Below is a prototype of the mobile application that students can request the shuttle. Therefore, students don’t need to call the operator and the request will be processed by the system automatically
Here is a new user journey map when the new system is applied.
Solution #2 - New RISD Rides Map
Although the previous solution is the ultimate one to improve the system, the idea is somewhat hard to realize. So I was looking for alternative ways to solve the problem or resolve the situation. Based on conversations with students, each has own solutions and knack to adapt the system. And I gathered this information and made a new map for RISD Rides to replace the old one on RISD website which only makes students confused.
The size of the map is same with business card. Because students always need this information so it would be better when it can be carried easily. On the front side of the card, there are tips for students when they are waiting for the shuttle.
Three tips are;
1. Wait in front of the building.
2. Wave your hands at the driver.
3. Be prepared to dash to the van.
And on the other side, there is the map presenting only 4 stops with the best time to wait at the spot. Shuttles don’t check every stop so it’s better to wait at the key spot than at random spots. Lastly, there is information of the shuttle tracking website that students can track the location of the shuttle and be ready when the shuttle is coming.