Transit by definition is "location". Bay Area Rapid Transit setup a partnership with Foursquare last year
, creating a badge for user when they checkin to multiple BART stations.
Months later, they realized that it actually worked: more people used BART
. At Web 2.0 Expo today, Melissa Jordan explained how BART took advantage of this new vein of customer interaction, and how its riders reacted to the partnership.
38% of people said using Foursquare made BART more fun to ride. That extra little sense of community was achieved by playing the game of Foursquare.
19% rode BART because of a Foursquare recommendation. 14% rode BART more often because of their interaction with Foursquare.
BART learned a lot more about their riders because of Foursquare as well. The mayor of the Civic Center BART checks in to pizza places and art museums. The mayor of Berkeley's station is a big jet setter. This could be very valuable data for the businesses that are advertising in mass transit stations.
Businesses that are adjacent to BART stations also benefit from a Foursquare partnership: people add tips about places nearby when they checkin to the station, and other users benefit. Advertisers win in this situation too.
People have a personal connection to their station; they want to know what's going on there.
Jordan admitted that they aren't fully at their goal yet. This is a big location-based service, and there are millions of opportunities for everyone to take advantage of.
Tristan Walker, head of biz dev for Foursquare, also took the stage today.
He said they are working with more and more businesses everyday and looking for every partnership possible.
The next frontier is QR codes and augmented reality. How else can businesses and government organizations benefit from embracing social location technologies like this?