UMO Global Student Challenge 2013
Bridging The Cultural Gap Using Bus Tickets/public Transportation For Cultural Education
What is the identified problem?
There are several reasons why public transport buses (in metropolitan cities) may not be the most ideal mode of transportation for people. While much of this might have to do with convenience, there is one major problem which is very often overlooked – The one of language barrier and culture clash, which makes it extremely uncomfortable for a traveler, and force him to look for 'friendlier' alternatives of travel. Our aim was to come up with a simple but innovative solution that can simultaneously address this problem both on a cultural level, as well as aid in improving the public transportation experience for the public.
Brief about Solution
Our design brief consisted of the following:
1. Bridge the ‘cultural barrier’ that prevents people from using public transport buses through the use of local language learning and cultural education in an interesting and entertaining manner.
2. Use this ‘edutainment’ offered to improve the user experience of travelling in a public transport bus, promoting more frequent, and subsequently, regular usage.
3. Consider using the bus ticket as a possible avenue to explore solutions to the points mentioned above.
Post ideation, we came up with the following possible solutions:
1. Redesign the ticket to be more useful and visually appealing:
•Have better and cleaner use of typography and color schemes.
•Have better classification of information for easy comprehension.
•Consider value addition by adding a schematic route map. This will keep the passenger more informed and will add value to the ticket.
2. Have more than just travel related information on the ticket. The ticket can be used as a tool for incremental cultural education, local language learning and awareness building. While one side of the ticket will have travel related info, the other side can be utilized for the purpose mentioned above.
•Have a series of tickets to promote various aspects of culture – like language, heritage, sports, etc. which will vary from ticket to ticket day to day – making the ticket a collectible.
•Language education for non-native residents – give commonly used local language phrases (in the local language), along with it's translation in English and Hindi, which might be useful to the passenger while travelling in a bus. Smartphone users can scan a QR code to listen to pronunciations of phrases.
• Cultural sensitization – Have pieces of trivia about various subjects – like local customs, traditions, art forms, music, etc printed on one side of the ticket
3. If all tickets in a particular series (eg. Language/culture/art, etc). are collected, they can be kept as a handy guide, or can be redeemed for various offers/discounts.
•Offers/discounts could be through a tie-up with government culture and tourism services like tourist location tickets, museums, theatres, handicraft purchases, etc.
•Tickets in a particular series (eg. language) can be distributed appropriately across regions/denominations to ensure that the traveler has used public transport buses for traveling long as well as short distances, and at different places.
How well does the proposed solution enable great commuter experience?
By bridging the language/cultural barrier through an entertaining and innovative way, public interest in the use of public bus transportation will rise, and the so called 'cultural barrier' will gradually disappear by making passengers more comfortable to travel in this scenario despite their language handicap. The ticket could also serve as a minor means of entertainment or amusement during the course of the journey.
How attractive is this idea for partners from transportation, business, government, non profit or other sectors to get involved?
Tie-ups with government tourism bodies as well as other organizations that promote traditional art, culture, etc. is encouraged. As the tickets become collectible items, a set of these can be redeemed for discounts/offers which can be arranged by tying up the public transportation industry with government organizations that promote heritage/tourism/culture. For example, there could be tie-ups with tourism promotion agencies, museums, local theatres, local handicrafts businesses, etc. which could offer the passengers discounts on their products and services in exchange for the tickets. Thus, the benefit is dual - the public transport industry gains more customers, and in turn, so do the other government agencies.
Environmental impact, whether the proposed idea in predominantly service based without adding more physical structures
The solution is predominantly service based. The only change would be to change (redesign) the look and feel of current bus tickets, along with working out the tie-ups with tourism/culture related government agencies.
Dates & Deadlines
25-Sep-2013 :Deadline for Registration
30-Sep-2013 :Deadline for submitting your projects
01-Oct-2013 :Announcement of top 50 entries
03-Oct-2013 :Deadline to entroll Techease 2013
16-Oct-2013 :Deadline for voting by friends
17-Oct-2013 :Presentation of the 50 shortlisted projects at the TechEase at IIITHyderabad
19-Oct-2013 :Announcement of the final iINNOVATE prizes and award winners
26-Oct-2013 :Winners may present at IIMBangalore at UXINDIA’13 conference