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Transport information systems are gaining increased popularity among public bus transport users in developed countries as it provides basic first hand and genuine real time travel information to road users. While these technologies are perceived beneficial to travellers in developed countries, these technologies have rarely been explored in developing countries. Also this research area are still very new and there are very limited studies on this topic. In developing counties such as Nigeria, travellers suffer daily from poor travel information such as unreliable route guidance information, unpredictable bus arrival times, unreliable traffic information, to name a few. The aim of this dissertation is to further explore the various information challenges Nigerian commuters face while using public bus transport as well as design a real time transport information system to improve the commuting experience of people who travel by public buses in Nigeria.
In order to fulfil the objectives of this study, this study adopted a combination of Mixed-methods Sequential Exploratory Design and Structured System Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM) – for the development of a real time transport information system. Structured online questionnaires and interview sections captured evaluation of real-life experience of road users with the developed system.
The results of this evaluation shows that the proposed system reveals genuine live travel information, such as bus arrival and departure times, schedule trips, estimate journey times, bus route information, vehicle information.
In conclusion, this dissertation has made a significant contribution to the field of information systems as it is a study that explored extensively the key information challenges road users encounter while travelling via public buses in Nigeria.
Keywords: Transport information systems, Public bus transport, Drivers, Commuters, Admin
Word Count: 278
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
List of Figures ix
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.2 Statement of the Problem 2
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.4 Studies about Transport Information Systems 8
2.4.1 Seattle Department of Transportation 8
2.4.2 Intelligent Transport Systems in the United Kingdom 9
2.4.3 Japan VICS (Vehicle Information Communications Systems)11
2.4.4 India ITS (Intelligent Transport System) 12
2.4.5 ITS Implementation in the Czech Republic14
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.0 Introduction 15
3.1 Why Mixed-Methods Design 15
3.2 Research Method 16
3.3 System Analysis and Design Methodology (SSAADM) 17
3.4 Research Tools 17
3.5 Justification of Research Tools 18
3.6 System Architecture 19
3.7 System Flowchart 20
CHAPTER FOUR: SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION AND
ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
4.0 Introduction 23
4.1 Real-Time Transport Information System-Implementation 23
4.2 Implementation Plan 26
4.3 Mobile Application Interface Design 27
4.4 Testing the New System 28
4.5 Installing the New System 28
4.5.1 Hardware Requirement 28
4.5.2 Software Requirement 29
4.6 Software Description 29
4.6.1 Administrator Mobile Client 29
4.6.2 Driver Mobile Client 31
4.6.3 Commuter Mobile Client 32
4.7 System Testing 34
4.8 Testing Result 34
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION
50 Introduction 41
5.1 Summary 41
5.2 Conclusion 41
5.3 Recommendations 42
5.4 Contribution to Knowledge 42
LIST OF FIGURES
3.1-Data Collection Approaches 16
3.2- System Architecture 19
3.3-Administrator Flowchart 20
3.4-Driver Flowchart 21
3.5-Commuter Flowchart 22
4.1–Bus Module 23
4.2-Bus Stop Module 24
4.3-Server Architecture 26
4.4-Trip Schedule Module 27
4.5-View Trip Request Module 28
4.6- Administrator Client Home Screen 29
4.7-Administrator Client Login 30
4.8-Administrator Main Menu Screen 31
4.9-Driver Client Home Screen 31
4.10-Driver Client Login 32
4.11-Commuters Mobile Client Home Screen 32
4.12-Commuters Mobile Client Login 33
4.13-Customer Main Menu Screen 34
4.14-Adminstrator Test Procedure and Results 36
4.15-Commuter test Procedure and Results 38
4.16-Driver Test Procedure and Results 40
Transport is the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important because it enables trade between persons, which is essential for the development of civilizations (Ruth et al., 2010). Transport plays an important part in economic growth and globalization, but most types cause air pollution and use large amounts of land. While it is heavily subsidized by governments, good planning of transport is essential to make traffic flow and restrain urban sprawl (Padmanaban et al., 2010; Stopford, 1997). Transport planning allows for high utilization and less impact regarding new infrastructure. Using models of transport forecasting, planners are able to predict future transport patterns. Passenger transport may be public, where operators provide scheduled services, or private (Anna, 2014).
Public transport is a shared passenger transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement. Public transport modes include city buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains, rapid transit metro/subways/undergrounds etc) and ferries (Anna, 2014). Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world. Most public transport runs to a scheduled timetable with the most frequent services running to a headway. Shared taxis offer on-demand services in many parts of the world and some services will wait until the vehicle is full before it starts. Paratransit is sometimes used in areas of low-demand and for people who need a door-to-door service (Sheng-hai et al., 2011).
A real-time system is one that must process information and produce a response within a specified time, else risk severe consequences, including failure (Wei, et al., 2010; Sheng-hai et al., 2011). Promoting the use of public transportation and intelligent transport systems, as well as improving transit accessibility for all citizens, may help in decreasing traffic congestion and air pollution in urban areas (Lino, 2001; Giannopoulos, 2004; Francesco et al., 2011; Sheng-hai et al., 2011). In general, poor information to customers is one of the main issues in public transportation services, which is an important reason for allocating substantial efforts to implement a powerful, easy to use and accessible information system.
An information system isan integrated set of components for collecting, storing, and processing data as well as deliver information, knowledge, and digital products (Vladimir, 2016). Business firms and other organizations rely on information systems to carry out and manage their operations, interact with their customers and suppliers, as well as compete in the marketplace. For instance, corporations use information systems to reach their potential customers with targeted messages over the Web, to process financial accounts, and to manage their human resources. Governments deploy information systems to provide services cost-effectively to citizens (Irv, 2009; Sheng-hai et al., 2011).Digital goods, such as electronic books and software, and online services, such as auctions and social networking, are delivered with information systems. Individuals rely on information systems such as the internet for socializing, studying, shopping, banking, and entertainment (Kenneth and Jane, 2011).
The global penetration of the Internet and the Web has enabled access to information and other resources and facilitated the forming of relationships among people and organizations on an unprecedented scale. The progress of electronic commerce over the internet has resulted in a dramatic growth in digital interpersonal communications (via e-mail and social networks), distribution of products (software, music, e-books, and movies), and business transactions (buying, selling, and advertising on the Web). With the emergence of smart phones, tablets, and other computer-based mobile devices, all of which are connected by wireless communication networks, information systems have been extended to support mobility as the natural human condition (Anna, 2014; Gytis and Francesco, 2009; Irma and Dorothy, 2008).
One of the problems road user’s encounter is finding the right transportation at the right time which is a universal problem. Transportation of goods and people is central to economic and human development and lack of safe and reliable transport information can have significant implications. Some of the problems that have arose from unreliable transport information while using public buses in Nigeria include journey delays due to insufficient road information, misguided commuters, and safety issues. For example: unfortunately, in the past, hoodlums have taken advantage of foreigners who do not have adequate information of their destination, using that as an opportunity to dupe or harm them in process of asking for direction.
The main objective of this study is to design a Real-Time Transport Information System to improve the information challenges associated with public bus transport service in Nigeria so as to meet the transport information needs of public bus users in Nigeria.The specific objectives are:
This research is intended to implement a Real-Time Transport Information System for public bus transport which would reduce unnecessary waste of time, money and insecurity for public bus users as it would provide genuine information. Some of the advantages of this initiative provides access to transport information which improves mobility, maintain or improve road user and workers safety and it also provide live access to transport information which increases security of travellers.
This research aim to make the use of public bus transport more relaxing for passengers and drivers in Nigeria.
In order to accomplish this thesis objectives, this study focuses on people who travel by public buses in Nigeria so as to identify the information challenges they encounter daily while travelling by public buses.
This study adopted a combination of Structured System Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM) and Mixed-method Sequential Exploratory Design as the main research methodology.
Study One: Mixed- Method Research
Mixed-methods research is a creative form of research that integrates both qualitative and quantitative method so as to provide rich insight into a research problem (Creswell, 2003). It has been identified in the social science literature as suitable for information systems research (Creswell, 2003; Venkatesh, et al., 2013). In this study, mixed-methods approach is employed so as to gain deeper insight into the key information problems commuters’ face while using public bus transport services in Nigeria.
The data collection consists of two phases as follows:
Phase One: This phase involves designing and distributing online questionnaires to commuters. The surveys consist of exploratory questions about how long commuters have been travelling by public buses, how they currently get access to transport information, what they like and dislike about public bus, and suggestions for improvement. The questionnaires are distributed via various social platforms like Facebook, online forums and blogs. The quantitative data collected from the questionnaires was analysed using Microsoft excel analysis toolpak and the qualitative data collected was analysed using inductive thematic analysis technique. Findings from Phase One served as a basis for developing Phase Two.
Phase Two: This phase involves interviewing two groups of users (i.e. commuters and drivers) in order to gain an in-depth understanding of their commuting habits, understand the types of information challenges they face daily while using public bus transport, enquire into how they get access daily to bus transport information. The data collected was transcribed and analysed using inductive thematic analysis technique.These two phases allowed us identify the key information challenges commuters face daily in using public bus transport service in Nigeria. After collecting, transcribing and analysing the data from these two phases, a real-time travel information system was then proposed.
Study Two: Structured System Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM)
The proposed system will exploit the step of Structured System Analysis and
Design Methodology (SSADM). SSADM is a methodology used in the analysis of design stages of system development. These stages are:
Problem identification stage in which the problem of the domain
where the system is to be deployed is identified.
System design stage in which the development layout of the proposed system software is defined using Unified Language Parameters.
System implementation and maintenance stage in which the system is implemented with room left for updates that will improve the performance of the system.
The system will consist of three application modules:-
Both the Commuter and Driver module was developed using the MIT App Inventor Mobile Application Development Tool. The online database that was used to store information was developed using the MySQL relational database management system.
The following are the tools needed for the successful design of the systems
Programming and Scripting Language
Overviews of the other chapters of this thesis are described below:
Chapter 2: This chapter examines existing literatures in the field of information systems that provide an insight into the technological solutions attempting to manage information challenges associated with public bus transport. This chapter is organized as follows: the benefits of a real-time transport information system was discussed, various challenges in implementing transport information system were discussed, and lastly, various examples of different projects of transport information systems introduced in other parts of the world were examined. Projects such as the Traffic Scotland Service- an intelligent transport systems in the United Kingdom, Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC), Japan VICS (Vehicle Information Communication Systems), India ITS, ITS Implementation in the Czech Republic.
Chapter 3: This chapter presents and justifies the research methodologies used to fulfil the objective of this study. This study adopted a combination of Structured System Analysis & Design Methodology (SSADM) and Mixed-method Sequential Exploratory Design for the development of a real time transport information system.
The Mixed-method research aims to explore in-depth the information challenges associated with the use of public bus transport services in Nigeria. The studies conducted are: online questionnaires and interviews. The results gathered were analysed using Microsoft Excel 2013 Analysis ToolPak and Inductive Thematic Analysis.
The proposed system employed the step of Structured System Analysis and
Design Methodology (SSADM).
Chapter 4: This chapter describes the analysis and the detailed results of the data collected from online questionnaire and interviews. It also describes the steps that were taken to get the program running, implementation of the software, testing and results.
Chapter 5: This chapter discusses the results from the data analysis. In addition to that, a real-time transport information software was designed and proposed to improve the information challenges identified by road users in Nigeria. The limitations of this dissertation were described and lastly, the dissertation was summarised and directions for future research were discussed.