A Thorough Review and Analysis of Journey Planners
Mobility is highly associated to the ability of the travelers to have access to the proper information on the appropriate time, so that to facilitate their choices regarding the destination, time of the day for the trip, mode of travel and itinerary. Based on this information, travelers optimize their travel in order to reduce travel times and costs, considering also minimizing the footprint of such activities. Journey planner platforms are developed to provide customized information to travelers, and advice on optimum options for the specific trip requirements. They vary in context, contents and functionality, which affect the type, quality and reliability of the information and/or advice. The level of service provided by journey planners is the main aim of the present paper. For this very reason a thorough review and analysis of various Journey Planners was performed. The platforms were selected based on whether they provide route optimization and their detailed characteristics were reported in a structured data collection template. Mystery shopping was selected as the applied method, in order to achieve objectivity and equity in the planners’ attributes. Following a statistical analysis, correlational models were developed to associate route planners’ components to their popularity and usage. The relationships were compared to the stated significance of the route planners’ attributes by users, based on previous research. Findings indicate that both functionality and user interface are important attributes that affect travelers in using the platforms, whereas complex and sophisticated information may deter visiting them especially when a quick response is required.
KeywordsTrip choices Mystery shopper User preferences Qualitative analysis Evaluation
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