As part of of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Mayors Challenge, the City of Durham and the Center for Advanced Hindsight developed a personalized route planning tool that aimed to encourage commuters to travel downtown by a means that was not driving alone. This tool made Durham a 2018 Champion City.

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has been facing parking challenges and high congestion on and around campus and recently lost over 10% of their parking inventory to ongoing construction projects.

To prepare for these changes and respond to such challenges, NCCU is partnering with the City of Durham and the Center for Advanced Hindsight to tailor the personalized route planning tool (SmartTrip) and increase alternative transportation use for commuter students. Students will be sent an email with their recommended route from home to campus and an opportunity to see a series of other personalized routes.

After testing SmartTrip with nearly 20 transportation/behavioral science experts and making changes with the platform, the project ran over a dozen user-testing sessions with students and held a focus group to work through issues within the platform and to identify the common barriers students have in taking an alternative commute.

We expect another round of updates to the SmartTrip platform before it is launched to students before classes start in mid-August.