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Reef

Reef is a sustainable mobility service which aims to provide precise public transport information for both bus companies and passengers in tier 2 cities. By using crowdsourcing data from bus drivers and passengers, it allows bus companies to reduce a huge amount of the cost of purchasing GIS systems every year and focus on providing an excellent experience for passengers.

Scope

Problem framing

Concept validation

Funding received

Client

Imperial College- Business School

(Urban mobility)

Duration

6 months

My Role

User research

UI UX design

Design strategy

Branding Design

Award

Best pitch 2019

Grand challenge prize

 

WHAT IS THE CONTEXT?

Public bus transit plays an important role in city transportation infrastructure. However, public bus transit is often difficult to use because of the lack of real-time information about bus locations and delays, which in the presence of operational delays and service alerts makes it difficult for passengers to predict when buses will arrive and to plan trips. 

Put yourself in the shoes of those living in the suburban areas of great metropolises in developing countries, or those living in tier 2 cities in western countries often doing the same routes. For them, public transportation services matter more than in downtown areas, and help to catch the bus and be safe would be hugely advantageous  not only for them to be on time but also for the traffic and pollution levels in the city, helping the planet to reduce CO2 emissions.

CHALLENGE

Providing a good quality public transport in tier 2 cities is a big challenge for both bus companies and passengers. Many companies can’t afford the high cost of GIS maintenance fees. As it turns out, poor bus schedules mean that  people don't trust the bus time-table so it leads them to choose  options that are more convenient to them, e.g. private cars or Uber. This then contributes to carbon emissions.

IMPACT

Reef provides a community-based approach for sustainable mobility and the reduction of CO2 emissions strategies. Our service provides low cost and accurate information by crowdsourcing data from both passengers and bus companies. This concept won the best pitch from 17  teams and received £8000 in funding from venture capital. It also got bus companies’ buy-in.

For regular commuters, they can benefit from this precise bus schedule and get rewards by accumulating their carbon credits. These reward incentives are one of the strategies used to keep people engaged and encourage positive behaviour by providing access to audio books, free tickets for events, or discounts from local businesses. 

 

Designed to partner with other stakeholders, this service aims to thrive online and support local business by encouraging and rewarding people who take public transports for a long run.

DESIGN APPROACH

Design Approach

WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?

The accuracy of public transport systems

Public bus transit plays an important role in city transportation infrastructure. However, public bus transit is often difficult to use because of a lack of real-time information about bus locations and delays, which in the presence of operational delays and service alerts makes it difficult for passengers to predict when buses will arrive and to plan trips.

People prioritise their time and their commute to be more convenient

People are keen to prevent their journeys from being affected by delayed buses, and the unpredictable situation causes people to prioritize the most efficient way of getting from A to B. The quality of the public transport system affects how people choose to commute. 

Maintaining GIS system cost 1 million to bus companies

Many bus companies in Tier 2 cities don't have enough resources to maintain GIS and it leads them to offer the poor quality of real-time information.

*GIS- A geographic information system is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.

USER INTERVIEW FINDINGS X 5 PEOPLE

The factors causing passengers to choose public transport

01/

Reliable Real-Time Information

Unreliable schedule information affects people's daily life because they might miss out on significant events and opportunities.

02/

Time-consuming

Experiencing the delays with public transport can be frustrating, and people would rather spend time on something more meaningful.

03/

Convenient transit

People want  convenient ways of reaching their destination, and think that complicated transit will be exhausting.

04/

Incentives 

Transportation fees can be a huge monthly cost in people's lives and they would appreciate it if they could be rewarded by taking public transport regularly.

TARGET AUDIENCES

Reef-persona
Opportunity

How might we provide people with a reliable plan and route, then impact the way people are commuting?

THE SOLUTION

All passengers will benefit from 3 feature below

Report issues

Crowdsourcing data

Every passenger can contribute during commuting. This is a cost-effective way of understanding real-time traffic information through crowdsourcing data.

Incentivized data contribution by partnering with cloud services.

Based on data contribution, we offered rewards to users based on what they might like to do while commuting. Through our interview, we found that people are more likely to listen to audiobooks or browse some events or local business nearby.

cloud services
book e-tickets

Transformed paper tickets to digital tickets and reduced the process of purchasing tickets at kiosks.

Most tier 2 cities only have a traditional way of booking bus tickets. This is a hurdle that prevents people from planning their trip ahead. 

FLOW CHART - PASSENGER SIDE

MONITOR SYSTEM FOR BUS COMPANIES

Bus scheduling managers can monitor all traffic accordingly. 

Dashboard-for bus company
Reef-UX flow

DATA FLOW

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BUSINESS MODEL - FREEMIUM 

B2B model with 3 layers of price plans.

Business model

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

Reef-Market opportunity

AWARD

Best Pitch winner

Best pitch winner

Grand challenge winner

Grand challenge prize

TEAM

X1 Product owner

X1 Project manager

X1 Engineer

X1 Marketing

X1 Business analyst

X2 Service / Product designer

Irene Liao

Fabio Di Memmo

George Clarkson 

Umair Patel

Flavio Menichino

Carrie Song

Simone Di Cicc