People, Plans and Place: understanding and supporting responses to rural public transport disruption.
Public transport information provision in rural areas is often fragmented and of poor quality at best and non-existent at worst. This can have a significant impact on the everyday life of the inhabitants of rural areas, particularly in terms of limiting their travel choices and thereby their opportunities to access goods, service and social networks. Inadequate information provision also poses significant challenges during times of transport disruption. In this paper we examine the responses from a series of interviews (69) and focus groups (9) in which we explored the rural passengers’ experience during disruption, their coping strategies, and their behavioural responses to disruption. We identify that each passenger experiences disruption uniquely, and that the behavioral adaptation of the passenger relates to the severity and impact of the disruption. Furthermore, we identify that the most prevalent ways of mitigating the impacts of disruption is through time buffering and the use of kinship networks. Based on these findings and six co-design sessions with rural passengers we were able co-design and develop a prototype passenger information system to support the passenger during disruption. The results of this work aim to advance understandings of the interplay of technology, information provision, and passenger experience under disruption.