On the bus in the network city: the politics of real-time public transport information

  • In a growing number of cities, smart phone users can access real-time information about the location of public transport services. While these real-time transport apps make use of a combination of locative technologies, they are also the product of combinations of actors making political choices. This presentation will unpack the politics of these real-time transport apps. Using Sydney as a case study, it will chart the range of choices that have shaped the development of real-time transport apps over the last decade, focusing especially on the way that locational data is collected, accessed, licensed, distributed and displayed. The presentation will then discuss the impact of these choices on the public transport experience for users and staff, drawing attention to the ways in which the interests of some actors have been prioritized while others have been marginalized. It will conclude by offering some thoughts on the implications of the analysis for future developments in real-time transport information.


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