Foursquare Boosts Public Transit Use

foursquareThe location-based mobile network Foursquare has partnered with San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART to locals) to encourage use of their train service across 43 stations in the Bay area.

As regular metarand readers know, I am a big fan of game mechanics. Foursquare combines social networking elements with game mechanics, encouraging users to explore their neighborhoods and make recommendations.

For example, a user can become ‘mayor’ of a specific cafe or pub by checking in there more than anyone else. Updates are shared across services like Twitter which announce when someone takes over as mayor.

I’ve found these tweets somewhat irritating, but I think that is due to the way they are written – it’s usually a few microseconds into my scanning a tweet before I realize its a Foursquare announcement and I move on.

Foursquare

The BART partnership with Foursquare involves awarding $25 promotional tickets to riders chosen at random from those Foursquare users who log in at BART stations. Users can also duke it out to see who becomes ‘mayor’ of various stations on their regular commute routes.

All up, an innovative use of social media, mobiles and geolocation to boost public transport usage.

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8 thoughts on “Foursquare Boosts Public Transit Use

  1. Thoughtful discussion around using an application to enhance a generally underutilized public asset such as mass transit. Any technology like FourSquare that encourages and enables the public to get more directly involved in design, configuration and general awareness, delivers substantial net benefit economically, socially and culturally. Let’s hope other municipalities around the industrialized world take note and join in. This also has a great humanizing effect on the urban commons, which are after all,largely organic.

  2. Well said, Ted!

    I believe the more we ‘humanize’ business and society the more we will bring balance back into our lives and the world. Game mechanics is so FUNdamental and there is no reason why not to make more of our lives…

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  6. I believe the more we ‘humanize’ business and society the more we will bring balance back into our lives and the world. Game mechanics is so FUNdamental and there is no reason why not to make more of our lives…

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