Jerome Horne, a Ridership Experience Specialist, will be speaking at the Clean Tech Summit on February 20th on the Future of Bus Rapid Transit is Electric Panel. Mr. Horne has been working at IndyGo, a corporation that manages Indianapolis’s public bus transit system, for four years.
Mr. Horne gained an interest in transportation when he was a child, and he had been riding public transportation for as long as he can remember. In addition, he learned about professions in the transportation industry. Although he majored in Music, he read a lot about transportation, so it was not a question that he aspired to work in the industry.
Every day, Mr. Horne, discovers and researches ways to enhance the user experience of riding transit. For example, he thinks about new ways to display signage, ways people can better plan their trips, and ensuring that visually impaired people or those with mobility issues can still use the transit. Mr. Horne emphasized that using transit should be a seamless experience.
One of Mr. Horne’s favorite and most innovative projects that he has worked on was a red line bus rapid transit project in Indianapolis. On September 1, 2019, Mr. Horne and his team were able to create the first fully electric bus rapid transit line in the nation. The effort included focusing on community engagement, research, operations, and implementation. Another aspect of the project included enhancing the passenger information system. This included a platform for users to plan and pay for trips regardless of the mode of transportation (bus, scooters, bikes, etc.), eliminating the need for multiple apps.
When asked about his opinion of the biggest innovation facing the transportation industry, Mr. Horne explained that technology and open data is crucial. He noted that many agencies have information about riders such as where they are going, where they are coming from, and how often they travel. It is ideal for other public and private sectors or third party apps to use the data to improve user experiences. The data could help customers obtain better location information and assist people with deciding when and how to travel. In addition to technology, Mr. Horne sees potential for innovations to come from policy. He stated that people often turn to technology to solve a lot of problems, but creating policies is equally important. Mr. Horne believes that creating more policies will encourage cities to be innovative on how we share street space. For example, do we take space away from cars and allocate the space for cars and pedestrians?
Mr. Horne expressed ways that young people can be involved in the transportation industry. First, they can join groups such as Young Professionals in Transportation, urban planning policy, and Facebook groups. Keeping up with publications that discuss transportation is beneficial for those who are interested in the industry.
If you would like to gain more insight on the transportation industry and hear Mr. Horne speak, please register to attend the Clean Tech Summit.
Written by: Marisa Bishop
Public Policy and Philosophy double major