The project provides an interesting new lens to imagine public transit routes. Riding the bus no longer assumes the task of transporting from point A to point B, but becomes a social event that correlates with the urban landscape as the bus moves through it. The bus is now a guide through excavated communities now brought to the forefront and united through transit and social networking.
The Love Route project utilizes public transit within Syracuse, with the aid of social networking, as a tool to bring together the city’s divorced population, bringing excitement and anticipation to daily commutes and transportation.
How to Find Love
Through the use of GIS software the potential lovers identified along existing Centro Bus routes. Routes which intersected the most highly-concentrated areas of the divorced population are re-imagined as an aid, or next step in, on-line dating. Further examining census data with GIS for identified focal points along these routes (points of highest divorcee concentration) helps to more specifically identify the user-groups, characteristics and qualities that the love-seekers might find helpful in identifying potential dates. Tins were generated from these nodes along the routes with a 500 ft radius according to characteristics such as race, education level, income and employment. Through sectioning these tins and comparing them the character of each node is observed and used for promoting the profile of that location accordingly. As a representation/potential manifestation of data at a point in time, the nodes inherently are subject to change -shifting with the highest points of divorcee population.
The Love Route App enhances the experience as riders can log on and make their whereabouts along the route known and personally control the degree of their involvement within the program. Furthermore, the app provides an additional means of navigating through the latent community/bus route. The Love Route makes the ease of on-line dating and networking come to life as an urban experience.
Cohesively, the Love Route re-presents the city and the divorced community through the vessel of the Centro Bus. In identifying this community within the city through social networking and existing transit, the Love Route merges the studio’s themes of latent communities and mobile social media devices. The love route is identifying a latent community in a dissentual manner because it is specifically catering to a fragment of the population- Syracuse's divorcees. Otherwise, the population is generalized and its demands are not specifically appropriated, but are organized according to the needs of the majority. Moreover, the design proposals may be irrelevant because they begin to generalize a whole city, neighborhood, etc. In order to obtain the greatest design potential, we utilized GIS technology to identify areas where the interventions would be the most effective. If part of the population is represented according to marital status, an indicator of potential interests or demands (i.e. on-line dating), the design proposals may begin to suggest a specific and customized approach to an identified community. The love route isolates moments in the city where social networking and spatial interactions can be completely interconnected, yielding the most compelling spatial results.
Commuters now experience the route differently as it is activated and responsive to this latent community. The bus riders understand the community as the bus slows down, or speeds up, according to “hot” or “cold” zones. The route itself becomes the main artery of the newly identified community thus performing in a gerrymandering fashion.