Our case studies now take into account many different projects: Haifa (Israel), London, Italy, Hong Kong, Seoul, Chicago, Washington D.C, and New York. We are looking for different things in those studies: what ticketing system is employed? What type of fares (zone or distance)? How integrated are the fares? What organization is dealing with the different agencies? Where does funding come from? How large is the system’s ridership? We discussed how to adapt what we learned about each case so as to make it relatable to our project, how these different systems deal with revenue, how they came into being, and more. Did they employ a pilot project to begin with, for instance? — a question highly relevant to the Bay Area, since some sort of trial will almost certainly be necessary here, in order to prove to the different agencies that integrated fares can increase ridership and bolster a variety of outcomes. Ultimately, we hope to compile leading recommendations for the Bay Area. Looking forward, our next step is to generate a matrix which synthesizes and summarizes the salient features of each case in a comparable way, and then to begin to conceptualize a pilot integrated fare project for the South Bay based on those findings.
As for the survey, we discussed at length exactly who we are targeting. We have set a goal of 200 people surveyed; Charisse will provide a variety of contacts. We will talk to different kinds of people: students, unions,… We then discussed our first survey draft. Adina and Charisse provided us with excellent practical advice. We discussed the necessity of including a small paragraph at the beginning of our survey to explain to participants what the goals of the survey are. On the one hand, we were concerned that any introduction or context could bias the answers of participants towards what we seemed to be looking for, but on the other, Charisse explained that many of our interviewees may be marginalized populations unwilling to volunteer personal information without ample reason and motivation. We also discussed the importance of leading with the most crucial and basic questions and leaving the most awkward, personal, sensitive questions until the end, by when we have hopefully gained an interviewee’s trust. Lastly, we discussed opportunities to make the survey as concise and brief as possible.
We then set to work on a second draft, which we are still struggling with, though it seems at this point many of our issues will have to be resolved by actual field testing. We wrestled with how our questions could possibly pinpoint the demographic we sought — those who would benefit from an integrated fare, including those not currently commuting by transit. We’re still unsure exactly how it’ll play out, but having put a lot of though into the planning stage, we feel confident we’ll be able to act on whatever results our work generates.
Next week, we will have a conference call with Adina and Charisse on Monday and the goal is to finish the survey by the end of Monday. We will then begin to actually survey people. Simultaneously, we will begin to create the matrix for our different cases studies and gather resources for a local pilot project.