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TEAM: Hrishikesh Kogje Parashar Agravat Rahul Agarwal Shailendra Jadeja Guide: Mr. Praveen Nahar External Faculty: Mr. Vikas Johiya

Preface & Introduction page artwork by Bendik Kaltenborn

A Systems Design Project. National Institute of Design (2013)


PREFACE This book documents the journey and the final results of a systems design study of ‘Waiting and Queuing : Bus Transport Systems’. It is the result of an effort of four of us guided by out mentors Mr. Praveen Nahar and Mr. Vikas Johiya as well as all our batchmates. The study was done under the course module of Systems Design in the fourth year of our Product design diploma. The ten weeks involved a number of small workshops arranged by our mentors, visits to different places, presentations by mentors, feedbacks by our batch mates. We also had a jury panel consisting of our peers who went through our work and gave us the necessary feedback. It was an amazing journey which introduced us to Systems Design as a new design approach. It helped us understand, appreciate and practice ‘systems thinking’ - an important design tool in the modern world. Being a group project, this book documents the work done by all of us throughout the ten weeks. Hrishikesh Kogje Parashar Agravat Rahul Agarwal Shailendra Jadeja



introduction At the start of the course module, we had a ‘Wicked Problems’ workshop, where we put down different problems that came to our minds on a sheet of paper and tried to understand the wickedness, that is, the complexity involved. This led us to think in different directions for topic selection and so we finally came up with a off beat topic to take up for our Systems Design course - ‘Waiting & Queuing’. Although we initially decided to study the waiting and queuing scenarios across all contexts, we later had to narrow down to one of the 7-8 contexts we had visited so that we can go deeper into the selected system rather than working on the surface level of multiple systems. After a lot of research and debate we fixed on to ‘BRTS and AMTS bus transport system’ as the context for waiting and queuing study. The following weeks were a huge dose of waiting psychology study, field research, online research in order to come up with opportunities for system level intervention. The critical point was to have insights into the system rather than having just observations - which we did successfully by mapping out all the data and then zooming out to observe different interconnections. This perhaps was the biggest learning of all - to be able to see bigger picture while still maintaining the clarity of it. Then we brainstormed and came up with 45 - 50 ideas of which we selected and detailed out some. There are 4 categories of solutions - Product, Space, System and Service. The ones detailed out were printed out as solution cards. All the work and the journey has been documented on our blog:


section 1


I, Me & Myself An exercise to get used to the concept of mapping information is to start with your own life. Thus this small one day assignment of mapping important incidents of your life. So everyone mapped some personal incidents, stories that other people didn’t know or whatever one wanted to share with others. Everyone’s way of mapping was different. One can see the flow of information in certain mappings. Some were radial in manner, some chaotic and others were structured. Very interesting to see how people had put down information. A fun exercise to do because all the information is already in your head. No need to research and source information. Just to get the gist of mapping, self mapping is a fun and quick way to start.


Spotify Second exercise was to understand a system. It can be either an open system, closed system, virtual, physical, public domain, small scale, perishable short period system or some thing that has lasted for centuries. For our exercise we chose Spotify. Spotify is a commercial music streaming service. It provides Digital Rights Management protected content from record labels. It was launched for public access on 7 October 2008. It originated from Sweden. Developed by a team at Spotify AB in Stockholm. Company founded by Daniel EK and Martin Lorentzon. So we basically mapped information taking Spotify as a starting point. Zooming out and looking at music distribution at a macro level. Understanding has it has changed over the period of time. Also mapping anything and everything relevant to the back hand system of Spotify to provide uninterrupted streaming of online music and not let it get labeled as music piracy. It is still in a grey area of whether it is a fair trade for the music artists or not. Thus making this a very interesting topic to map.


Spotify This exercise of mapping covers as much information that could be mapped. From its origin and what led to the concept of Spotify. The actual system of online streaming of music through your account in the countries where Spotify is available. Also the laws that allow online streaming of music in particular countries. And why other countries do not allow. Things like news articles about Spotify. Experiences of users and also point of views of music artists and Music labels. And everything was varied. Everyone had different views. Information from info graphics comparing Spotify to other means of music distribution. Monetary issues, moral and ethical issues, political issues, cultural and social issues related to this whole trend of music streaming. Also mapping all the stakeholders that are affected by this system. The objective of this exercise was to apply information mapping of an existing system and understand the complexities of a system and the layers of information that is related to the system and interlinking of subjects of that system.


Wicked Problems Originated from social planning to describe a problem that didn’t have a particular meaning or it was too difficult or impossible to solve it because of the complexity of its layers of stakeholders, contradictory and everchanging requirements. And a problem whose characteristics are difficult to recognize or identify. The objective of this workshop was to apply mapping to wicked problems that we have experienced or the ones that we have heard about. So first few hours of the workshop was to sit and map different kinds of wicked problems. So looking at some examples from the sheet (facing page). - topics like Education in India, Dam construction, Division of states, Global warming, Green technology, Allocation of resources, Agricultural land taken for urban development, spying on information for national security, economic issues, international loans, free trade and so on. These are the topics that have certain wicked problems.


(Clockwise from top left) Discussion with Vikas Johiya about wicked problems Presenting our wicked problems mapping to all the other groups. Mapping out the different wicked problems



(Facing page) Later half of the day was to go one step deeper into each of the wicked problems and try to reason why such problem exist and what is its current scenario. What are the factors that create such wicked problems. Next phase was to come up with some solutions or ideas that can help improve the wicked problems. The system followed was - one card with a title space, illustration space and a description space. So all the ideas are illustrated and put up as shown. (Center photo) This was followed by all the other group members looking at other ideas or solutions and rating them using coloured post its.


Deciding the Topic Based on our understandings in the ‘wicked problems’ workshop, the next step was to come up with different options for our System Design project. After a lot of discussion, we narrowed down to three topics, two of them taken over from the wicked problems exercise – Salt Pans and System of Education – and one new topic – Waiting and Queuing. The three topics were mapped further based on further online research. The focus was primarily on having a quick look at the scope of the topics to help us decide if they can be taken up as our final System Design topic.


The selection of the final topic followed after a lot of discussions within the group as well as with Mr. Praveen Nahar, our guide. The first option, THE SALT PANS of Gujarat, which produce about 73% India’s salt and are a source of livelihood for more than 43,000 members of the Agariya community are very complex systems which need attention for the very poor living conditions and economic problems of the community.

The third and the selected topic, WAITING & QUEUING looks at all those pauses in our lives where we are just waiting for something – a service, a result, a delivery – which is very often frustrating. Everybody in the group had various frustrating experiences – Parashar at the RTO in Ahmedabad, Hrishikesh at the Pune bus stops and Rahul and Shailandra at the Passport Office. This drove us forward to select the topic.

The second topic, EDUCATION SYSTEM in India, dealt with relooking at the way of teaching which is out of sync with the changes around the world and has remained more or less the same for decades.


section 2


Initial Thoughts This is the initial mapping of different area and different types of waiting that we do in our day to day life. Most of these are our experiences and some are observations. Trying to spread our reach in all directions possible. For example from the mapping, waiting for passports to waiting at the airports to board your flight or security check in. Waiting for trains and buses. So these examples are some of the active waiting, where in one is physically waiting in a line or in the environment on site. Some examples of passive waiting like waiting in a bank for your turn with a token. Or waiting at home for a pizza delivery or a parcel. Waiting for an ambulance to arrive in case of emergency. So this way we tried to map more such information. We also tried to reason why such waits arise. Either its because of the Process that makes us wait for the result or is it the Lack of resources that makes the system inefficient and makes us wait. Other things like either the wait is justified or not justified. Or things like whether there is a certainty of a positive result after the wait or the result is uncertain.


Contexts, Stakeholders & Tools (One day workshop) One by one each group presented their topics to the batch who then asked questions till they understood what each group was trying to do. Then everyone shared their experiences related to the topics and helped to build the map of CONTEXT, STAKEHOLDERS & TOOLS. We got a lot of insights as people shared their frustrating experiences around waiting and queuing. Right from buffering of web pages to standing in line at the Railway Station. This mapping helped us with the different places we could go looking for opportunities as well as with the tools of research to be applied to gather useful data. Thus we started with ourselves, went ahead and understood the experiences of people around us and then went out in the field to know about everyone’s experience.


The Psychology of Waiting Waiting is a phenomenon which happens universally and its important to look at the psychology of waiting to understand how humans are affected by it. Throughout the following week we worked on understanding the Psychology of Waiting and all the principles of waiting., queuing metrics and other case studies of how humans perceive waiting. Taking into consideration everything from physical queuing, virtual queuing, active queuing and passive queuing. From waiting in line at a supermarket to waiting for a delivery from Flipkart. We also identified scenarios where people wait in a public domain. Later we also looked at the Indian context trying to understand how the waiting experience is different than the rest of the world and the reasons why it’s so.


The Psychology of Waiting These are some of the info-graphics obtained online from sources that adds value to understanding the psychology of waiting. When we went out to observe people who are waiting or study the whole queue and how its behaving in a particular scenario, this Queuing Metrics is what we kept in mind and cross checked. So these points helped us connect or find a common pattern or common behavior of people waiting in different domains or scenarios. From the context that was created in the previous workshop, where people came up with scenarios that they have been in and had to wait, we created a list of places and subsystems in those places where people have to wait for their objective to be fulfilled. Before visiting any place we listed down assumptions and then went to see for ourselves whether they hold ground. Hence we listed down all the types of waits and queues we could foresee in each scenario. And we visited all these places to observe waiting and experience waiting.


The Psychology of Waiting Shown alongside are some of the Principles for Waiting in Line. So here we were trying to understand what things we should keep in mind while designing solutions in any domain. Things like, emotions dominate, so the solution should facilitate positive mood and very positive emotions throughout the domain. Because negative vibes are contagious and can spread very easily. Things like Eliminate confusion, End strong-Start strong, Memory is more important than the experience etc. All these factors are important while generating solutions.

A lot of case studies obtained from online research, showed the different clever ways in which waiting and queuing is handled all over the World.

Las Vegas Hotels - A number of hotels with casinos in Las Vegas have a clever way of luring the new guests to gamble. The Reception desk is placed at the end of the huge hall in which gambling takes place. Now the new guest is forced to pass through Tirupati temple (Andhra Pradesh) - All the devotees are given a the hall to reach the reception desk and might then consider computerized and bar coded wrist band with the time they need gambling. Thus a way of handling disguised waiting leads to to arrive at the temple for darshana, instead of standing in the line profits for the hotels. for hours at end. This helps them roam around the city thus boosting the tourism and economy. Thus a clever way handling waiting and queuing led to a economic boost to the whole city.

Whenever you go to hospitals/clinics, they tell you to fill up a form or register your body weight/height, etc. If not then they at least keep a stack of books and magazines next to the waiting area. This is how one of the principles of waiting has been successfully understood - ‘Keep people occupied’. The waiting time is perceived to be smaller if a person is occupied in a activity.


Indian Scenario Some very interesting characteristics of people’s behavior in the Indian scenario of waiting in line. These are some issues that are unique in nature and need to be tackled. The solutions need to be smart and specific to this context. The approach should not be to take an existing successful system from abroad and just apply here. That doesn’t always result into a positive change. VIP Come, VIP Served: This is one important characteristic which surely applies to the Indian context. Whenever a person is waiting in a line and he/she sees somebody else getting unfair advantage due to their economic/social/political status it adversely affects the waiting experience. GIGO (Guys In Guys Out): This is a phenomenon associated with waiting at transport exchanges and elevators. It refers to the tendency of people to enter and exit at the same time into a bus/metro instead of doing it in a organized way. This creates a lot of commotion and inconvenience to everyone - ones entering as well as the ones exiting.


Indian Scenario Images are a good triggers to start a tough process. So we put up images of all the examples or scenarios of waiting that we come across. Here we see examples ranging from a metro queue to a remote part of India where there is queue to fill water in pots and vessels. We also put up images of some small solutions that people have applied have worked successfully to a good extent.


section 3


Visits Beyond just the theory from sources such as internet and books, true examples of the public behavior in the context of waiting is observed by visiting the places in person and being a part of that system. We visited different places in AhmedabadBus stops and terminals, supermarkets, banks, food courts, elevators and escalators within shopping malls, retail stores, railway station – and returned with a lot of observations. Then each place was mapped to record the observations. The principles and metrics identified in the last stage were consciously verified.


Visits : Banks Mapping observations from the field visits helps see the context much more clearly and see if there are any intervention opportunities. The bank visits was the proof of the ‘Explained waiting’ principle. Transparency in the bank: Visibility of all the processing leads to explained waiting. This was due to the transparent glass separators through which the customer can see what is happening at the desk, thus preventing the customer from getting flustered due to lack of information. Also, elderly people were much more patient and used to the system in contrast to younger users. Things like how the person next in line, placing his/her belongings on the counter to reserve the occupancy were interesting insights about how people behave in queues. And many more observations in the bank context were mapped.


Visits : Bus Stops Here is the mapping of the observations from the bus stop visits. Some of the frequent observations were as follows. -People generally look on the right side hoping to see the glimpse of the coming bus number. And when there is no bus visible, they just see in that direction hoping for a bus. People who are less patient keep changing their seats. -Most old people, experienced, are more patient while waiting. Whereas the young people who are also using this service to travel to school and colleges are a bit anxious about the arrival of the bus. -Mobile phones serve as good distractions for the young generation people. -The alertness of people reaches its peak when the bus enters the terminus, everyone has their eyes on to the bus looking for the bus number. Trying to predict and move on to the road hoping to be the first one onto the bus. -People fight for their turn and the queuing is very unstructured while getting onto the bus.


Visits : Bus Stops Some bizarre sights like cops waiting for an AMTS bus with a guy in hand cuffs. One of the cops carrying a semi automatic gun along. One of the ways to understand the system is to use the system more frequently. So there was a lot of travelling involved.


Visits : Food Court Elevator

Food Court

-People piling against the counter. -People were reinforcing their position to have the first turn by calling the service provider and by gestures like showing the money. -Shy people or people who don’t like much hustle are left behind. Because one has to really fight to be the first .

In the Elevator scenario; GIGO- Guys In Guys Out is when people don’t wait for the people to come out of the bus or elevator or a room and try to enter the space through the same door at the same time people are coming out as discussed earlier.


Visits : Railways Station We observed that in all the queues the people standing at the back were spaced out and looked around as the line moved ahead slowly. However near the counter the queue got compressed as people huddled to see what is happening at the counter. Also the linear structure breaks and it looks as if they are standing in a group and not in a line. Railway station was one of the place where we saw a lot of the theory about the psychology of waiting actually in action. So all those observations are mapped as shown in the image on the side.


Visits : Escalators and Elevators It was observed that 95% of total people observed placed their hands on the moving railing of the escalator till just after reaching the floor again. Some people were carrying bags but still had their other hand on the railing. In case of a crowded elevator, people were arranged in a very random way even facing backs of people they know and while being pushed face to face with strangers! Most of them looked down towards their phones or their feet. Interestingly, even though most of them were in groups, nobody was talking. Here is an photo taken by us in the elevator of Hyatt Regency (Pune)


Personas This small exercise was to create personas. From the initial field visits and understanding the scenarios of waiting. We also on a parallel side listed down the different types of people that were the stakeholders in that scenario of waiting. And that became our starting point to create a basic map of these small characteristics, that when used in different combinations can create different personas for waiting in a context and how different persona’s waiting experiences differ and needs to be addressed. Things like gender, age, economic status, education, and other things affect the experience of waiting in any context. For example, the waiting experience of an old man, whose economic status is middle class, and is of a particular caste and has a particular status of literacy. His experience of waiting for a train will be different than a Woman, with a small kid, whose economic status is different and her education and literacy levels are different from the man.


Context Selection Context selection was very critical. All the context had been categorized based on certain criteria. Things like, -Public domain or individual waiting. -Time. -Age groups of people involved. -Waiting caused by process or lack of resources. -Waiting prior or after service. -Active wait or disguised wait. -Certainty of result or service. -Expectations of people. -Factors affecting the waiting period. Such categorization helps in choosing a challenging context that has good amount of interventions possible at different layers.


section 4


The 4 Color Mapping We started by studying wicked problems, to choosing a topic, to now finally choosing a context. The context was Bus services (AMTS & BRTS) and the topic was waiting and queuing. We went back to the studio to research online and study about the existing bus system and the various related systems. Earlier we had gone to the different bus stops and the bus terminal during the initial research. Now we went deeper into the Bus Waiting system. THE COLOR CODED CARDS We had discussed different ways of classifying the data all throughout the duration of the course. This time while recording our observations and research we used color coded cards to classify them. We made 4 categories – Neutral observations (yellow), Existing approaches/solutions (blue), Issues related to the system (red) and Other miscellaneous factors (orange). Over the next few days we carried out simultaneous on and off field research and kept on adding colored cards to the board.


The 4 Color Mapping


The 4 Color Mapping - Issues WAITING AREA We observed that when people are standing at the bus stop they tend to stand in the yellow box on the road where the bus is supposed to park, instead of the bus stop structure itself. This lead to the bus stopping in the middle of the road which caused a traffic obstruction. This behavior was mainly because people need clear information and visibility of the incoming bus for which they move to the road and keep looking to the right. NO CHANGE NO TICKET Another thing we observed during one of our study trips in the AMTS bus, we observed that change is another issue while buying tickets, which leads to increased ticketing time or sometimes even commotion and fights. BUS/AUTO STOP ?! We observed that the autos waiting for passengers stop right in front of the bus stops. The autos become a traffic obstruction and occupy the area where the buses should be able to stop. ROAD WIDENING In the BRT system, the system requires dedicated roads where the buses can ply at top speeds without any obstructions. However many parts of the city, like the old city, have very narrow roads or even many parts of the new city have roads which cannot be further widened. This creates a problem of inaccessibility for the people who actually need this service, as these are the crowded parts of the city where public transport can solve a lot of issues.


The 4 Color Mapping - Existing solutions & Neutral Obs. HEADPHONES/EARPHONES We observed a lot of people plugged into their portable media devices – mostly cellphones. Most of them were listening to music while others were talking via the mic in the earphones. This was observed more in the younger passengers – travelling alone. STREET HAWKERS If waiting is a great source of frustration for the people at the bus stops, it is the only source of livelihood for the street hawkers. We observed street hawkers selling a host of items from snacks, water pouches to cigarettes and pan masalas. THE TALKING WINDOW Many people standing in the bus end up leaning against the window for comfort. This was cleverly used by advertisers in Germany where the windows played low frequency sounds which can only be heard by people leaning against them, via bone conduction. This way a passive time of the passengers became occupied and advertisers gained another medium. METRO NAP Metro Nap app basically makes sure that the commuter wakes up at the right time so as not to miss their stop. Here the commuter can safely doze off after getting into the subway only to be woken up by their vibrating phones just before the train stops at the destination. This intervention helps the commuters perform their preferred activity with minimum tension.


4 Questions We then went ahead with our research and found out how different people spend their waiting times all over the world. There were a lot of sites where people had shared their experiences around waiting. Some of the answers were hilarious while some were serious solutions – but all of them show different ways to look at the issue. Some of the interesting ones are - Jump/ beatbox/ make noises - Play ‘I didn’t tap you shoulder’ - Count all the money that you have spent that day - Pick any object. Think of new ways to use it. - Make perky slogans for dull products - Start a Mexican wave (!) - Play mental Tic-Tac-Toe - Imagine alternate realities. Most of the ideas are off-beat and little playful. However such starting points lead to a lot of practical yet fun solutions.


Case studies Houston Airport: Some years ago, executives at a Houston airport faced a troubling customer-relations issue. Passengers were lodging an inordinate number of complaints about the long waits at baggage claim. In response, the executives increased the number of baggage handlers working that shift. The plan worked: the average wait fell to eight minutes. But the complaints persisted. Puzzled, the airport executives undertook a more careful, on-site analysis. They found that it took passengers a minute to walk from their arrival gates to baggage claim and seven more minutes to get their bags. Roughly 88 percent of their time was spent standing around waiting for their bags. So the airport decided on a new approach: instead of reducing wait times, it moved the arrival gates away from the main terminal and routed bags to the outermost carousel. Passengers now had to walk six times longer to get their bags. Complaints dropped to near zero. Bingo! Elevators: Why does one find mirrors inside elevators? The idea was born during the post-World War II boom, when the spread of high-rises led to complaints about elevator delays. The rationale behind the mirrors was similar to the one used at the Houston airport: give people something to occupy their time, and the wait will feel shorter.


Case studies (Facing Page, bottom, left to right) Disneyland: Disney, the universally acknowledged master of applied queuing psychology, overestimates wait times for rides, so that its guests are pleasantly surprised when they ascend Space Mountain ahead of schedule. Given a choice between a slow-moving short line and a fast-moving long one, we will often opt for the former, even if the waits are identical. This is why Disney hides the lengths of its lines by wrapping them around buildings and using serpentine queues. Impulsive buying: We observed that a lot of supermarkets have a lot of consumables stacked just near the billing counter. As people wait with their carts in the line, they often end up buying some of these items. The items placed here are specifically the ones which are bought impulsively (without pre-planning) like Coke bottles & wafers. Even in the shelves, there is a hierarchy - the chocolates and toffees are kept at a lower height where children can see it easily. They are always tired and bored by the end of shopping and then end up getting the chocolate they want. Similarly, cigarettes are at the top of the shelf. (This page) Tesco Home Plus: According to Tesco, Koreans are the second hardest working people in the world, and time is lite rally money. Taking an hour a week for grocery shopping can be a real drag, so the company devised a way to have the store come to the people. Tesco set up virtual grocery stores in locations like subway/metro stations so that people can literally do their grocery shopping while waiting for the train. Each product has a QR code which the shopper scans with a smartphone camera and adds to a shopping list. After payment via phone, the groceries are then delivered to his home just as he/she reaches home.


Books A transition from research to ideation is best accompanied by reading. So we took a few books related to the field of study. We discovered that bus interchanges are very important public spaces where human interaction happens globally on a huge scale.

Facing page: At the end we summarized the key aspects which we learnt from the books. Some of the books (like The Method Method ) were directly unrelated but still helped look at modern day design approaches.

One of the books – Sustainability & Design of Transport Interchanges – a great book by Brian Edward talks about the future – where the public transport systems will be the points of intersection of thousands of people, increasingly switching to public transport. Consequently the intersections of the public transport systems themselves – the interchanges – will affect the quality of living of more number of people and in more number of ways, than today. All the books and articles enriched the base of our understanding about the importance and the practical considerations around designing a good bus interchange.



section 5


GIGA mapping All the information we had was quite scattered – it was a collection of observations and some insights. We then were explained the concept of Giga mapping GIGA-mapping is super extensive mapping across multiple layers and scales, investigating relations between seemingly separated categories and so implementing boundary critique to the conception and framing of systems. Source: index.php/giga-mapping One interesting example of GIGA mapping is shown alongside. It is from the project ‘Design for Dignity’ by Manuela Aguirre and Jan Kristian Strømsnes. This project looks at solutions that dignify the medico-legal process a victim goes through after a sexual assault. (



GIGA mapping - I So then we decided to sit down and make different connections with all the information we had. For this, we had to pull out all the observations, waiting psychology notes, the Indian scenario notes, online research and then put it all together in one map. When we started the first decision came easy – deciding the format of the map – a linear time based map – as both waiting and bus systems are well represented. However then making the giga map was not at all a simple task. On the facing page is the first rough draft of the same. (Clockwise from top left) Starting point: The different points from which a commuter starts his journey. Bus arrival: Different factors affecting the experience just as the bus arrives. Like - Physical reservation - refers to the fact that a queue forms hastily and in a unorganized manner for which the commuter has to physically push through to get to the bus before it starts moving again. Reaching the stop: Activities centered around the arrival of the commuter at the bus stop. Mode: The different modes of auxiliary transport which act as feeders to the bus service, as the bus stops are not always very close to the starting point of the commuter.



GIGA mapping - II The linear mapping done earlier was extended to the complete timeline with more interconnections and insights. The original mini map became the starting point and the second map was built around it. The entire journey of the commuter gets covered from left to right. Different aspects like belongings, active waiting, card/tickets, signage, BRTS/ AMTS are all factored into the map. Basic differences between AMTS and BRTS due to the on and off bus ticketing led to separate parts on the map for each. (Clockwise from top left) Belongings: Mapping of the difference between the mental occupancy of a person carrying belongings while standing and while sitting. Arrival at the destination: Mapping of how a commuter registers whether it is the desired stop and how his/her behavior changes. Starting point: Factors affecting the experience at the starting point - e.g. the urgency of the commuter affects how he perceives the service - more impatience in case the commuter is in a hurry. Open Bus Stop System: The primary difference between AMTS and BRTS. The open system of AMTS lacks the information display of the BRTS bus stops, which communicate live bus timing, detailed locality map, etc.



GIGA mapping - III Finally after a lot of editing and refinement we were ready with our final Giga map. A 7-foot long map with all the information along with the statistics we had. The map was a linear time based map with the commuter journey mapped from left to right. At every point in the journey, the different insights we gained over the weeks were noted down and put in the final Giga map.

Facing page: Final GIGA map This page: Zoomed sections of the final GIGA map



(Facing page) A part of the GIGA map explaining the waiting scenario at the AMTS bus stop. Some interesting insights have been mapped in the given section. Let’s take one case: It starts with visibility of the bus number. As the size of the number is small, the visibility is low. As a result the commuters waiting at the bus stop end up standing in the bus bay area instead of the bus stop structure itself, as it helps them read the number within the few seconds of visibility. This now makes the approaching bus, stop on the road instead of nearer to the footpath, creating obstruction for other traffic, leading to chaos. Another factor related is the Autos standing near the bus stop. They also end up obstructing the smooth passage of the bus. Now one additional factor - the poorly maintained bus stop structure adds more reasons to standing on the road. Now what has been explained above is a complex interconnection of different factors leading to discomfort and inconvenience. These became our insights. These were the issues which we understood when we GIGA mapped and zoomed out to get the bigger picture. This is where systems thinking was sinking in. (This page. left to right) In the GIGA map, the whole journey of the commuter has been visually depicted. The frames keep zooming in, starting with the places where the commuters leave from. Then slowly the frames zoom into the bus itself and then zooms out again. The insights mapped above and below are similarly at the same scale and timeline as the visuals.


section 6


Thoughts & Ideas Four of us were by now well aware of the experience of typical Ahmedabad AMTS & BRTS commuter. Ideas and different approaches to the issues had slowly started coming to our minds. So we simply put all these down on a sheet. We simply put all the things that came to us, as we can then refine any idea as we go ahead. Different approaches – like Gamification – further led to many ideas and solutions. We also started to diversify a little by also looking to issues related indirectly to the waiting scenario like – Appeal higher classes, Utilization of road exclusivity, Driver training. However it all at the end had to lead to a better commuter waiting experience.


Infographics Active and disguised waiting are two different kinds of waiting types we came across. Active waiting is, simply put, when you ‘experience time’. When you are waiting for the bus at the stop, when you are waiting in a line to get a ticket, you are waiting and feel impatient. This is usually the waiting that we experience and identify the most. However another kind of waiting is ‘Disguised waiting’, where you are usually in transition from one place to another. The difference is clear with an example – say you are in an elevator going to the 12th floor. You are waiting – ‘waiting to get to 12th floor’. However you don’t identify this usually as waiting as you are moving and getting somewhere. Another example is travelling in a bus, when you are moving fro one stop to another. Some general trends were observed around the different active and disguised waiting times all throughout the journey of the commuter and represented as shown.


Criss-Cross We mapped the different actions against the different elements of a bus system. This helped us see the different mash-ups which can give us some interesting ideas. For example – when you take any 2 terms in the map, say ‘Ticket/Token’ + ‘Footpath’ you can come up with interesting options – say if we have the ticketing station on the footpath instead in the BRTS bus stop (which is in the middle of the road), it will help people to enquire/decide without crossing the road, making the experience much better. Another example – ‘headphones’ + ‘seating’ – here we are looking at one common activity in the bus during the commute- people listening to music via headphones and one integral element – the seat. What if the seats had headphone jacks which play different local radio channels with recurring announcements about the coming stops and other info like connecting routes. Such ideas came up after this map helped to see these connections.


Solutions - Initial


Solutions - Initial After the analysis part we then started ideating. We had the ‘Thoughts & Solutions’ sheet to start with and then went on to make multiple solution cards. The solutions range from mobile apps to RFID tags to kiosks. We let our ourselves think of as many solutions as we could as we could refine and improve each of them at later stage. Small world: Interactive live feed display of the status of the buses (all BRTS buses have GPS locators) in relation to the stops to inform as well as indulge the user. Custom made Tickets: Different internet generated content is printed on each ticket, like pictures, crosswords, sudoku, fun facts, news, etc to keep the commuter entertained and occupied till the arrival of the bus or during the journey. Self grooming: Self grooming facilities for a large number of office going daily commuters. Ek Se Bhale Do: A 2 door bus for BRTS facilitating a separate entry and exit leading to convenience as well as faster commuter movement. Thus, there were solutions related directly/ indirectly to waiting and even some solutions which simply help to make the experience of a Bus commute a better experience.


Solutions - Initial


Solutions - Initial Killing Time: A multiplayer game in which you play with the dial of the watch face, as it counts down the waiting time to your bus and then alerts you at the end of it. Weekend Woes: A special scheme to attract more commuters to use the public transport on the weekends, when the daily commuters, which form a huge part of the total bus users, dont use the service. Some of the features ca be - special discounts for a family ticket, special bus routes to the popular weekend destinations, etc. Interactive promotions: A tool which will work in 2 ways. For the commuters who are waiting, these interactive promotions - like the cutout posters, tear-away pamphlets, digital screens - will occupy their time well. For the Bus services it leads to a additional revenue. The main difference will be to only allow interactive advertisements. Emergency Services: To allow the emergency services access to the BRTS only routes in case of an emergency, leading to faster response times. AMTS+BRTS Hub: A bus stop on the footpath which acts as a common ticket counter for both the AMTS buses as well as the BRTS buses. This will help the commuter to make the best decision according to the availability and reach of both the bus services. More convenient for the commuters as they will not have to cross the busy roads for enquiry.


Solutions - Initial Free service: The BRTS bus stops can provide a limited time, free wifi internet service. This service will provide the internet time proportional to the waiting time, so that the commuters waiting for longer time, get a better deal. The single time code for the access can be printed on the tickets, if the waiting time is more than a few minutes. Productive Relationships: Although not a solution, this is an important insight. What if there was a way to announce the occupation of a particular person commuting with you on the bus. Say, via the bus speakers - “We have a doctor in the house!” or “We have a Interior Decorator in the house!”. This might make people build productive relationships by matching similar interests. PedalPay: An ambitious idea where each commuter can pedal and gain points which can then be redeemed for tickets.


Solutions - Initial

Smarter Card: A common card system for all the 3 modes of transport - AMTS, BRTS and Autorickshaws. It can be swiped to make the payment and the money gets deposited to the right account. It can be refilled online and used again and again. Audio jacks: Audio jacks near all the seats of a bus. This will enable the people to access radio channels just by using their headphones. The added value of this service would be the reminder which will be played as a particular stop approaches or to inform the commuters about the heritage and other facts about the areas from which the bus is passing. The Grid Game: A simple 3x3 or 4x4 grid game behind all the seats which can be played by the commuters sitting to occupy themselves. The grid can be easily used for advertisement purposes to gather revenue for the bus services.


Solutions - Final cards We had a huge set of ideas ranging from futuristic vehicles to improved ticket formats. We then sorted all of them and selected the ones we would like to take forward and detail out. We clearly had 4 different categories of ideas - System, Service, Product and Space. We the decided to make solution cards to explain each idea once it was detailed out. Four different categories like the four suits of cards. (This and facing page) The final solutions cards after printing. Each card had 4 elements the Idea, the Category, the Timeline of solution and the Impact of the idea.



Solutions - Final cards


Solutions - Final cards


Solutions - Final cards


Solutions - Final cards


Solutions - Final cards


Solutions - Final cards


Solutions - Final cards


bibliography Books: Sustainability & Design of Transport Interchanges by Brian Edward The Design of Future Things by Donald A. Norman Process by Jennifer Hudson Innovation by Curtis Carlson & William Wilmot Touchstones of Design by Curtis Fendress The Method Method by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry Infographics from has made a lot of design documents made publicly available. We are grateful to them A lot of resourceful pdfs were made available to us by our mentors Mr. Praveen Nahar and Mr. Vikas Johiya. We are grateful to them. We also thank BRTS office at Sardar Patel Bhavan, Danapith, Ahmedabad for their cooperation and showing us the control facility. Hrishikesh K.

Parashar A. Rahul A. Shailendra J {“The Psychology of Waiting Lines” by David H. Maister} {apps for BRTS} {“Public Transport users & usage trends” - Tuuli Järvi}


2014 national institute of design a systems design project

Systems Design - 'Waiting & Queuing - Bus transport Systems in Ahmedabad'  

A documentation of a systems design study undertaken as a academic course at NID, Ahmedabad.