In BusMeister players improve public transport service by applying tools such as bus stops, traffic signals, bus lanes, larger buses, etc. to a bus route. BusMeister starts simply by having players place bus stops evenly on a short section of street and gets progressively harder – in the last level players need to design a route for a blank street.
BusMeister is part of GreenCityStreets, a project designed to encourage people to learn about sustainable transportation and encourage them to get involved in improving their local transport systems. BusMeister teaches players about public transport so that they will be more likely to support controversial improvement projects such as bus lanes and transit priority. GreenCityStreets also provides a forum where players can discuss real ideas for improving public transport in their cities and a best practices library where they can learn more about public transport.
BusMeister is the first game by GreenCityStreets. Once the game and forum are established, GreenCityStreets will add applications for other forms of sustainable transportation including biking and walking. Transport agencies and planning consultants can also use customized versions of BusMeister to help facilitate public participation in planning studies. The BusMeister game was developed by Platogo and is based on Adobe Flash technology.
Just tried BusMeister for the first time today. You guys have done a great job on developing a nice-looking, intuitive interface, and simulating the types of challenges that transit planners face. I wish all of our passengers could play the game and gain an appreciation for the competing goals and limitations that transit agencies must balance. I am interested to see where this project leads in terms of translating simulation into real-world improvements. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the comment! Anyone can use the game. Our goal is to help regular passengers understand public transport in order to make them “better” customers, by which I mean ambassadors for public transport: helping support difficult political decisions, encouraging others to use public transport, understanding why public transport doesn’t always work so well and suggesting improvements.
Unfortunately the game is not as user friendly as we had hoped. We are working on ideas for making it more user friendly and as part of that are trying to find public transport agencies willing to put a customized (for their city) and improved (more user friendly) game on their website. If you have any ideas for us we would be happy to hear them. Thanks again for the comment.
I really liked the article, and the very cool blog