The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) installed new, real-time modems on all of their 3000+ vehicles, buses, trains to provide location information every 30 seconds. But their existing mobile apps were not equipped to handle or deliver the new data generated by these devices.
SEPTA wanted to enhance their mobile experience by leveraging this new real-time data, increasing their resiliency, and upgrading their user experience (UX) to compete with other transportation options.
The new data and customer-friendly interface of the app allows SEPTA to better compete with modern ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber. In early 2018, blizzard conditions cause a 50% increase in usage and the system performed flawlessly. Since its’ launch, over 60,000 Android users and 100,000+ iOS users have downloaded the app. During that time, it has operated 99.2% crash free.
We partnered with SEPTA to define high-level requirements and conduct research.
The research included analysis of existing transportation apps and store reviews, as well as crowdsourced feedback through social media channels. We also spoke directly with SEPTA riders to gauge what information they would want to see in the app.
During the development process, we created iterative wire frames of visual design concepts and reviewed updates regularly with stakeholders to ensure we were on meeting expectations.
In addition to integrating new real-time location data, it was essential that the back-end of the app be prepared for increased demand during any large-scale usage event such as a snowstorm.
To allow the APIs to function more efficiently and scale, the app taps into AWS auto scaling features that allow SEPTA to add capacity quickly when there are sudden spikes in volume. The app is also built utilizing modern design principles that make adding additional features, such as online payments, simple.