Västtrafik Calculator

A calculator that displays how much cheaper it is to commute by bus instead of car.

2016 · Service

An effort to make commuters more aware of how much it actually costs to take the car to work instead of going by bus, both in terms of the cost of fuel but also for the environment.

The most exciting projects to work with are those that can help save the world. In this mission we wanted to affect Gothenburg’s travel behavior by showing how much they could save by travelling to and from work by bus instead of taking the car.

Changing deeply set routines

The challenge of changing travel behavior is that the audience appreciates the convenience of their car and can afford to pay what commuting by car costs.

Independet calculations from Motormännen

One crucial part of the mission was to locate a trusted source that could provide us with values which we could use to create the calculator. Motormännen, and their excel-based spreadsheet for automobile day to day costs, is one of the most renowned player on the market. It is used by various banks as a basis for finacial advice today.

To be able to create a good user experience we had to dig deep into the excel-spreadsheet and translate each part to a web-based user inteface following the current design profile of Västtrafik. The solution evolved into a neat interface where the user easilly can drag the knobs to set different values. To make this technically possible, we had to make sure that the back end where all the math is taken care of is fault free.

By giving all sliders a default value based on the size of the car, the user also gets an estimated number that should give a trustworthy value out of the box, but at the same time would be able to set values on their own in case they know where they are more exact on the scale.

The target group are those that likes to commute by car

Before we initiated the actual concept and design phase we had to, together with Västtrafik, create a trigger map to identify and show the different user stories and triggers behind those. The calculator is today intended to be used by a target group that are very fond of their car. This target group would choose their car before taking the bus, especially during rainy periods. To short curcuit this habit we had to make sure they understood how much it actually set them back when they are commuting by car, and how much they can save each month by switching out a few of those days and go by bus instead.

Future development

The end result was so liked within the organisation that the need and requests for another more advanced version was desired. The most important request was to add all kinds of tickets, so that it would be possible to see the difference between the users' choice of tickets instead of defaulting to the most used one - and thus taking a step on to the consumer side.

Our vision is to integrate this calculator with Västrafik's ticket and travel app, to make it even more easier to use and by doing that targeting a wider audience.