Development of real-time transport applications in Sydney - a hybrid model
Abstract: Real-time (RT) transport information conveys actual locations of transport services in realtime, as opposed to only timetabled departure times. The development of RT transport information mobile applications has become a focus of many public transport organisations due to their relatively low cost and high customer value. This paper explores a combinatorial approach taken by Transport for New South Wales, for the public transport network in Sydney, Australia. This approach cost effectively delivered six applications to market within months through the alignment of stakeholder interests. The paper traces the multi-stakeholder network of development from initial concept, into implementation, and continual expansion across the network. This study uses Actor-network Theory (Callon 1986; Latour 2005) as a research strategy to discuss the successful alignment of the interests of the range of stakeholders across the aspects of development. The case is presented in a multi-voiced account through the four moments of Translation (Callon 1986); Problematisation, Interessement, Enrolment and Mobilisation. Actor-network Theory is an ontologically relativist and post-structuralist research strategy that respects potential symmetries of agency of both human and non-human entities. This study uses (12) interviews with stakeholders involved in the activity of the project to understand the Actor-network of the development of the RT applications and also refers to literature such as related media releases and news articles. This case deconstructs Sydney’s case to a point where it is clearer as to what some of these formative influences were from the perspective of those participants in the development of the RT applications.