SEPTA Uses Novel Digital Tools to Understand Customer Needs

  • Date: 08/23/2022

SEPTA used a range of methods to engage residents and collect their input on how to make the transit system easier to use. These efforts included traditional pop-up events and virtual meetings, as well as the use of emerging digital technologies. For example, SEPTA worked with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Safe Mobility to use eye-tracking technology to study how people with a diverse range of mobility, sensory, cognitive and language experiences navigate the transit system. SEPTA also created an interactive mobile-first website that let residents make a series of “what do you think works best” decisions through a gamified interface.

This multi-faceted approach greatly increased engagement with residents. SEPTA had more than 200,000 views on project websites, collected nearly 30,000 survey responses, conducted in-person conversations with more 10,000 people, and held 56 in-person and 36 virtual meetings. Insights collected through these activities informed a plan to transform SEPTA's wayfinding system and create new branding that is easier for residents to understand. Before fully committing to the changes, SEPTA also sought feedback on the proposal. More than 1,000 people “rated” the proposal using an online web tool and interactive map, with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.

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