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Rail News: Passenger Rail

BART survey shows positive rider response to mobile device application


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has begun employing an interactive application, “Foursquare,” to make riding the system “more fun” and to boost ridership, BART officials said in a prepared statement.

Foursquare incorporates video game mechanics and allows users to share their locations on the BART system via mobile devices, as well as offer tips, such as places to go near BART stops. Users also can compete for bragging rights as “mayor” of their most frequented locations or earn a frequent rider badge, according to BART.

In a recent survey, 14 percent of respondents said they’ve been riding BART more often because of the interaction with Foursquare. In addition, 19 percent said they had used BART because of a Foursquare recommendation.

However, some riders said they felt “Foursquare is a dumb waste of time,” according to the survey.

Foursquare can be accessed through an iPhone, Android or Blackberry application, as well as mobile web browsers or text messaging.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/6/2010