Help Latitude and NAC Create a Better Future for Transportation

Everyone who has driven in a city can appreciate the hassle: the near constant congestion, the long commutes, and the lack of parking spaces. And that doesn’t even touch upon the environmental repercussions of daily driving. Nevertheless, most urban dwellers are still attached to their cars. But why? With the train down the street, the bus stop around the corner, a bike on the rack outside, it’s just as convenient—not to mention more sustainable and cost-effective—to utilize other modes of transportation. “Living in an urban area close to work with good public transport was the main reason to sell my car,” offered up one of the participants in Latitude’s recent study The New Sharing Economy (with Shareable Magazine).

Image credit: Martha Kang McGill.

In collaboration with Next American City, Latitude has launched a new study, Tech for Transit: Designing a Future System, to investigate the following:

  • What are the various options for more sustainable transportation these days, and how can cities encourage people to use them?


  • What role can open data and Web, mobile, real-time, and location-aware technologies play in improving transit experiences?


  • How we can better design various transportion modes to function together, creating a fully integrated and more intelligent system of transportation?


“Transformations to the organization of our cities will undoubtedly come from how advances in communications technologies are reshaping our personal interactions,” explained Mathias Crawford, Research Manager at the Institute for the Future in a recent article. “So, one way to apply futures thinking to city planning is to think about how information technologies are changing the way that people conceive of themselves within cities, and the reasons they move around them.”

The study will ask participants in Boston and San Francisco to put their cars in park for one full week (Mon., 11/1 – Sun., 11/7). During this week, participants will use alternate forms of transportation, from public transit to walking to bike-sharing and beyond—anything but driving!—to get around their cities. They’ll share their choices and motivations, experiences, and suggestions for improvement with the research team at Latitude, with the ultimate goal of providing urban designers, transit agencies, and technology companies valuable insights about users experiences to create a better future for transportation.

To participate, visit http://transit42.com for details and to sign up.* (Selected participants will have a chance to win an iPad, among other perks.) Deadline to sign-up is October 21st.

Lead analyst on this study: Marina Miloslavsky

*Privacy Policy: Latitude reserves the right to use submitted content for research purposes and to publish openly on aggregate results in the spirit of knowledge-sharing. By request, Latitude will refrain from citing your name when publishing specific qualitative data, but reserves the right to publish any photographic and audio/video content submitted for the study, which may, in certain cases, contain identifying information. During the course of this study your information may also be visible to other participants for purposes of allowing interaction with contributed content. Content that may be shared includes photographic and audio/video content, online message boards and chats, and submitted written content. Latitude values your privacy and will never sell—or otherwise distribute—your personal information to third parties.



Latitude is an international research consultancy exploring how new information and communications technologies can enhance human experiences. Latitude's user-centered research approach unites generative, media-based methods with robust quantitative analysis to identify concrete opportunities for Web-based innovation. "Tech for Transit: Designing a Future System" is one installment of Latitude 42s, an ongoing series of open innovation research studies which Latitude publishes in the spirit of knowledge-sharing and opportunity discovery. For more information on this study and its applications to your business, email Brian Conry. To subscribe to Latitude's open innovation news, click here.

Tags: san francisco, boston, next american city, latitude, transit study, massdot, new sharing economy, sharable magazine, institute for the future, tech for transit