Courses / Nitbus Student Guide

Table of Contents


1. What is the action

The action is a sustainable schedule and public transportation map for students who go out during nighttime hours, outside of walking distance from their homes. Students often find themselves out at night when the metro is closed, and there are no other transportation options except for taxis, walking, or the nitbuses. Many students are unaware of or do not know how to use the nitbus or fact that it provides fast transportation for no cost, with the metro pass. As a result, they spend a lot of money on taxis when there are more economical and environmentally-friendly options. This plan will help cut down on the emissions emitted into the air by taxis, while saving students money.

The project was designed in order to provide a simple model for students to find out what nitbus would easiestly take them to their home destination. For one, the nitbus maps online are not very helpful. When I first tried to look up my route online, the nitbus site was not overly helpful. It was hard to determine exactly which route each nitbus took. Furthermore, a vast majority of students do not have the initiative to look up their bus schedules intently. Additionally, our team talked to a handful of students and determined that many did not know of the nitbus, its effectiveness in terms of cost and sustainability, or expressed desire about using it; however, they did not know how. Nonetheless, prior to the final date of our project, we have released our guide to students who did indeed want to know more about the Nitbus line closest to their home.

In order to complete our project, we spoke with Naomi,the IES housing coordinator. She assigns students to live in homestays, apartments, and residence halls and has a variety of information regarding where students live. After speaking with her, she provided us a list with all of the students’ addresses and the corresponding metro stop that was closest to each students house. Furthermore, the information provided to us listed the type of housing, whether it be homestay, apartment, or residence hall. After carefully considering this information, we thought it was most prudent to list the nitbus each student should take in regards to which metro they are closest to. This is because nearly every student uses the metro and is quite familiar with it. We felt like matching each students’ metro stop with the corresponding nitbus would be the most user friendly way to design the project.

In terms of our action, we are the first project to directly deal with providing students user friendly transportation to help them save valuable monetary resources and also be environmentally sustainable. It is exciting to be the first project of this type, yet also a bit worrisome because it is tough to gauge if our project will be successful, as there were no similar projects before ours. We feel as if our revolutionary project will certainly be beneficial to students. Furthermore, it can be used by students year to year because most of the living locations stay the same. If any other additions to the guide need to be made year to year, an open source spreadsheet has been attached to update. Any person can add their additions to this.

1.1. Similar actions from previous semesters

Although there are no projects directly in our transportation category, there are some projects that are relatively similar. These projects deal with providing students “welcome kits,” which was implemented in 2013. They sought to give incoming students a water bottle, a bag, and a map to help incoming students. Our project particularly goes hand in hand with this one because it is something that should be given to students upon their entrance into IES and Barcelona, because it is a very helpful tool that they would greatly use. If I would have had this info coming into the trip, I could have saved upwards of $300 that I spent in taxis.

1.2. Why this or a similar action didn't succeed in previous semesters?

Unfortunately, it does not seem like the Welcome Kit was effective, seeing as how it is not in action upon our entrance into IES. As the e-mail from John McCoy noted, it was a very well thought out project that would certainly improve sustainability; however, it simply did not have the funding to do so. However, our project is no cost at all, except for the ink and paper our guide costs to print. Although it is not necessarily a “kit,” a nitbus student guide would certainly ease students’ welcome into Barcelona.

We will make a deal with IES in order to have this action be sustained within the IES community for future semesters. We will have IES give a small gift as an incentive to sustain our Nitbus map

1.3. SWOT Analysis

Decrease net emissions from transportation thus acid rain, smog, and climate change
Reduce economic waste from the amount of cab drivers on the road
Increase in nightlife productivity and thus economic life
Decrease traffic congestion
Teaches student a new form of transportation
User Friendly
Saves students a great deal of money, as it is free with a metro card
The Spreadsheet containing the bus route is made in Apache Office, which is open source software
Better air quality
Reduce resource usage

Not eco-effective: the methods of transportation provided still emit toxins-
Does not explain how students can specifically get to each nitbus stop (only through proximity to metro)
Does not specifically list where each bus stop is in Plaza Catalunya
Could harm the prosperity of the taxi industry
Our model lists the lines to take from Plaza Catalunya but not to Catalunya (however, the same lines are clearly used)

Expand bus range
Increase the distribution of schedules
to other abroad programs in Barcelona
to all incoming foreigners of Barcelona
Saving students a great deal of money
Continuing to create a more sustainable Barcelona
Increasing students knowledge of the great range of Barcelona’s public transportation system
Allows students to stay out longer without worry

Changing bus routes
Changing bus times
Students not paying attention or caring to utilize the guide
Using Taxis and other forms of transportation to get home
Location of student residence could change
Students not updating the action
IES Abroad Headquarters not printing our guide in the student handbook because of their advisal of students to not take the metro late at night

1.4. Feedback loops

Reinforcing Loops
-> Students read map (+) students gain knowledge about the bus system at night (+) they go out at night (+) Take the nitbus instead of a cab (+) Save more money (+) Reduce harmful emissions caused by cars on the road as opposed to a bus that would be running anyway (+)<-

1.5. Advertising

Our schedule should be easy to advertise and implement because it should have the backing from IES, due to its sustainability in the sense that it saves students money and also helps the environment. After talking to the General Manager of IES, we have determined that we may in fact get our Nitbus guide printed in the article. She supports the idea and feels like it would be very beneficial to students, as well as sustainanble. After all, this should not be too hard to do, as it will only take up a page or two in the student handbook. the only issue that she has to resolve with the IES Chicago Office is their stance to not recommend public transportation late at night, as they view it to be somewhat dangerous. Nonetheless, the ratio of cost to utility for the guide is quite high, as it gives new students valuable information that would take them weeks if not months to figure out. The handbook seems to be the best way to advertise our plan to students early on in the process.

There can be other ways to advertise our plan, starting with the Nitbus Guide being posted on bulletin boards throughout IES. This can be completed by way of flyers. By putting flyers througbout the IES building, students will be able to see the Nitbus schedule and at least be aware of its presence. A closer look will also yield them a free and sustainable way to get home. Seeing these flyers will further benefit our project, as students will tell their friends about the form of transportation . Furthermore, we have posted on student facebook pages, so students can see electronically. In our effort to continue the project, we will have upcoming students post on their facebook pages. Once gaining the approval of IES Headquarters, they will post on their Facebook page.

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

The bus schedule will decrease the dependence on night time taxi services by providing IES students with user-friendly information on local public transportation services. Transportation is a prominent energy user that creates air pollution such as nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide, and particulates that significantly contribute to global warming; “By subsector, road transport is the largest contributor to global warming” (Fuglestvev et al.). Transport systems also create traffic congestion and automobile-oriented urban sprawl; resulting in consumption of natural habitats. Choosing public transportation rather than private reduces the net carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions as well as fuel usage per passenger/mile. According to NHSTA, the average fuel economy cars sold in the US was about 25.2 MPG giving around .35 kg of CO2 per mile. According to the EPA, on average, inner city busses emit .3 kg of C02 per passenger per mile and long distance bus trips (>20mi) emit .08 kg of CO2 per passenger mile. This being said, utilization of our Nitbus guide will reduce CO2 emissions by .05-.27 kg/mile per person. The reduction of transportation emissions will have a significant positive effect on Earth’s air quality, acid rain, smog, and climate change (Environment Canada). The decrease in taxi demand will decrease the number of automobiles in transit, thus decreasing congestion and automobile-oriented urban sprawl.

The Nitbus guide will also be economically sustainable. Depending on distance and equipped with extra tariffs for "late night rides," students will most likely spend about 10 or 12 euros on a ride. If they go out 2-3 times a week that is 30-36 euros spent just on nightly transportation when there is a free and more environentallly sustainable option. The longer the students take to find out this information, the more that 30-36 figure will be multiplied by. Thus it is our responsibility and the staff of IES to make sure students know about the guide so they can save as much money as possible.

2.1. Potential costs

Additional costs of paper and ink necessary for the inclusion of the map in the student handbook. Since IES is a student funded facility, the costs of extra paper and ink would be trumped by the money saved from unnecessary taxi rides.

3. How will you implement it?

The map will be offered to IES to be included in the upcoming student handbooks. Additionally a pfd will be emailed to all IES students for an electronic copy. We spoke with the General Manager of IES who has our support with the project. She will speak with the headquarters of IES in Barcelona in order to propose that one page in the student planner be allotted for the student Nitbus Guide. The only possible hold up with this approval from IES Chicago is due to the fact that they discourage students from utilizing public transportation at night time due to safety considers. However, we definitely feel as if this roadblock will be lifted with the support of General Manager Betsy Tufano.

Furthermore, we posted on the IES Barcelona 2016 facebook page in order to let students from this current semester know of the Nitbus guide. We hope to continue to post this guide for the upcoming students for the following years. Furthermore, once we gain IES approval for their publishing of the Nitbus Guide, they will post it on their own official facebook page.

3.1. Prototype

Each Nitbus leaves from Plaza Catalunya every 20 minutes either at 00/20/00 or 10/30/50
The N17 Nitbus takes residents to the airport

Image Nitbus Continuance

3.2. “Cradle to Cradle” design

The student handbooks will be collected at the end of the semester for recycling and by-products will be used in the new edition. It is merely a guide, so it can be reprinted when needed. As long as the flyers posted are in good condition, they can remain on the IES Bulletin Boards until they would need update. If a flyer is damaged or needs updated, it would not be overly harmful to the environment to print a few more. The e-mailed guides and facebook postings obviously will not cause any negative emissions into the environment. The Nitbus Guide will also be able to be updated frequently by upcoming students, as we have implemented an open source document in Apache Open Office, which can be updated by anyone.

3.3. Flyers

Flyers will be posted in IES in addition to the printings in the handbook, e-mails, and posts on Facebook. They will be posted on all three floors at IES so all students are able to see the guide throughout the course of the day. Passing students will be able to see their nitbus route in coorespendence with their Nitbus route, or at the very least recognize its effectiveness and look up their specific routes later. This will help to spread the sustainable nature, both economically and

3.4. Incentives

Our product provides an economic incentive… public transportation is much cheaper than private services. The economic benefits outweigh the cost of production. Eco-conscious students are incentivized to use our product/public transportation to reduce toxin emissions and decrease the rate at which we are harming the environment. Furthermore, we are planning on offering incentives for students who continue to update the guide yearly. A few residency locations will change each year, so a small prize can be offered for students who make the change. According to housing Director Noemi Polo, housing each year changes very little. So in some cases, a student may not even be needed to update the webpage. Nonetheless, the students, or anyone who wishes to contribute, can expand upon the open source spread sheet listed in the protoype. However, we may need a student from next semester's IES class to post the guide for the semester on this medium.

3.5. Relationship with the other incentives being initiated

Our action could be included in our classmate’s culture guide project. Their guide is planned to be distributed to the future IES upon arrival. It would be very useful to these incoming students to have the nitebus guide to increase navigation and reduce taxi usage as soon as possible.

3.6. How will this action be sustained when we are not here?

There will be an annual contest to update the map, the winner will be rewarded by IES. Furthermore, the guide can be printed every year in the handbook for new students to use. It can be easily utilized and kept in place without our presence, as it only needs to be reprinted. This guide should be able to help students for years to come. Furthermore, students or any faculty, or even anyone at all can edit this information when there is new information. Whether this be with changed bus routes or student housing changes, the map can be constantly updated. Small incentives for a little improvement of the map can also boost interest with students.

3.7. Comparison to similar actions from previous semesters

There are not any similar actions performed by previous semesters, besides the welcome start-up kit listed above. It is possible that further development of this project could be kept going by collaborating with the welcome startup-kits. An idea would be to put this copy in the start up kits, as a way to initially advertise the project.

4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

Every year meet with IES administration to update student living locations and bus times/route changes. Furthermore, it would be prudent to discuss the upcoming incentives for the students who decide to update the project.

Month Year Action Who will do it? Action 2 Who will do it?
January 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
February 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
March 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
April 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
May 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
June 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
July 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
August 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
September 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
October 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
November 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
December 1 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
January 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
February 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
March 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
April 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
May 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
June 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
July 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
August 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
September 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
October 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
November 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee
December 2 Update any potential changes to the schedule A Student from IES Redistribute the new schedule IES employee

4.1. Who will do what?

We designed the bus schedule and are working with IES administration to include it in the upcoming student handbook.

4.2. What has been done this semester?

We have worked with IES administration to compile a nitebus guide containing the spots nearby to all IES student homes. In order to do this, we spoke extensivdly to Noemi Polo, the head of housing at IES. Her tremendous help regarding student information was critical, as she gave us insight about the housing of students at IES. Furthermore, she answered any questions we had regarding housing information. Furthermore, she provided a vital excel document. It grouped student addresses by housing type. Then listed the address, and the cooresponding metro or bus stop it was closest too.

We also talked to Besty Tufano, with the help of Noemi, and determined that we would propose the idea to the IES headquarters. The only restriction we might face is due to the fact that IES does not advise students to travel on the metro at night. Hopefully, we can work around it, especially because students travel at night. After all, the Nitbus is avery safe form of transportation with a bus driver watching and a well lit area. Either way we are confident. We have provided current students access to our nitbus guide by posting it on the IES Facebook page and posting flyers on the bulletin boards of IES.
Photo (2)

4.3. What needs to be done to repeat the action in the future?

Obtain data on student living locations and then pair with the nearest bus routes. Additionally, we must fund an upcming student to post about the Nitbus schedule on their page. If the document is approved to be in the student planner, it must be repeatedly updated in it. Additionally, IES staff should notify students of this guide early in the semester so they can be as sustainable as possible. Almost every student I have talked to wishes they have discovered the Nitbus earlier, so I think this should be stresses. Students pockets and th environment would definitely benefit from this project, so it must continue to be advertised.

5. Document format

2015 Spring Student Housing Document
Image 2015 Student Housing Document
(This document is also open source so it can continue to be updated.

6. Bibliography

Environment Canada. (2010). Transportation. http://www.ec.gc.ca/?lang=En

EPA. (2010). Transportation and Air Quality.

Fuglestvet et al. (2007) Center for International Climate and Environmental Research. "Climate forcing from the transport sectors".

NHSTA. (2010). Fuel Economy Performance. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Vehicle%20Safety/Articles/Associated%20Files/SummaryFuelEconomyPerformance-2005.pdf

Polo, Noemi. Interview by Simos Mandros. 18 Mar. 2015. Discussion with Noemi
regarding IES Housing. A question and answer session.

Polo, Noemi, Simos Project Transportation Housing. Chart. 16 Mar. 2015. Excell file.
The document from Noemi, containing student housing information. The
document is displayed in an open source software file.

7. Annexes

The copyright license we decided on is the CC BY-SA the reason for this is that when we leave someone has to update the list as things change. They also must be able to redistribute it after its been updated while crediting the original authors. So this is an sustainable open source option.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

7.2. What we learned and what we incorporated from the feedback we received

The feedback from the students gave us the idea to email a pdf of the map to all students in IES. Additionally to give the students the economic incentive to use public transportation rather than private. Furthermore, it made more sense to detail why students should take the bus instead of taxis.

7.3. Acknowledgements

A very special thanks goes to Noemi Polo for helping us immesnly with a project. We could have not done it without her.

Further thanks to Betsy Tufano.

7.4. Students involved in this action

Alexis Cooperstein, Nicholas Hahm, Kieran Hanlon, Simos Mandros

Feedback from your class mates through the Peer-Review Assignment
Items found: 10
ReviewerThings to keepThings to improve
ajblumenthalEasy and simple proposal that can benefit every student. It lowers dependence on taxi drivers because there have been times in which they take advantage of students and drive the wrong way in order to increase the price of the ride.What is the actual proposal for the bus schedule? Is it a piece of paper with all the buses routes or something like a PDF file that is emailed out to the students at the beginning of the semester?
ashleyzippermanI feel this is a great idea and could greatly benefit IES students as well as a more sustainable environment. I like that the thought process is clearly drawn out in the action plan which gives the reader a clearer idea as to how you came to your conclusions. The SWOT analysis is also carefully thought out, strong, and stays relevant to the point. Including the nitbus map in the student handbook is a great option that I also feel will be most effective. Great work.I would try to improve the incentives. I think the focus should be to provide incentive to use the nitbus, not to update the schedule. The schedule should already provide information from all main metro stops and provide enough information for everyone's use. I understand you are trying to accommodate everyone's living location, but I don't feel there will be enough change or need to actively update the list. I do like the aerobus ticket incentives, but maybe this could be an incentive for students that promote the use of the nitbus or actively use it. For instance, the student can form some sort of way to record the amount of times they have used the nitbus and once they've reached a certain number they will win the prize. This record can be taken by picture or if possible some sort of collection of tickets from the bus driver. This idea of recording when and how many times one takes the nitbus can be discussed further with an IES staff member for more information.
davidcostlowI definitely think this would be a useful tool for students as I find the nitbuses somewhat difficult to use.How will the guide be kept up to date and remain relevant?
elsagomez08I believe this is a great idea that could see much success in the future. I personally still am not familiar with the bus routes which often leads to myself and my roommates taking cabs home when we are out. I think that if such concept was introduced in our student handbook upon arrival, I would have paid more attention to it and tried to have figured it out. One of the strengths in this initiative is that it would significantly impact the public transportation methods for students and decreasing the amount of taxis used. Like you mentioned in your proposed plan, not only is this more cost effective, but it is also a lot more sustainable and eco-friendly. Overall, I believe this project has great potential and would be a great addition to the IES welcome handbook and IES in general. In terms of things to improve, I think that having an app or a mobile map rather than a printed schedule would be a lot more sustainable. I can guiltily admit to only having skimmed the hand book and tossing it out the day after. Having an Internet based map would be must more efficient and accessible to students and would obtain more success. Also, another way in which this initiative could be improved is by having other departure locations other than plaza Catalunya. Most nights, students who are out at night are around the beach area and not really near Catalunya.
hbesler2I really like the idea of corresponding the metro stops to the nitbuses. I feel like that makes it much easier to understand and because of that I think it will be a greater incentive for students to use the nitbus!Instead of printing pamphlets of the Nitbus guide, you should send a mass email out to the students in an effort to save paper. Pamphlets can be easily thrown out/disregarded, where as an email is a little more permanent.
jhazelwoodThis is a great idea considering a very small amount of people know which nitbuses are running and even so they might only know how to get to a limited number of places. It is also good that you are informing all students about ALL routes that go to their house-- for example, I only knew of one of the buses that you guys have listed for my homestay address so this is really helpful! Also, I feel like while you could make an incentive using free aerobus passes, the fact that you are giving people this information and saving money is kind of an incentive in itself!You discussed hanging up flyers or putting this information in the handbook but you could also possibly just save it as a pdf and email it off to all the students. This way students could save it to their phones which they will probably have when they are out just in case they forget what is written in their handbooks.
poznerjThis is honestly a great idea. I, myself, know of the night buses but didn't spend the time to figure them out. I don't know if it would be possible but you might consider making an online resource for finding the bus routes rather than printing the entire schedules in the handbook. It would save paper. You could post a few flyers with the link or put just the link in the handbook.I would just think more about how you will distribute the map. That is the only thing I can really think of.
Robert.BotwinickFirst, let me just say that I think this topic about the nitbusses is a great idea. I definetly would keep the idea of avoiding taxi's like this project aims to do and (since they are neither sustainable or cost-effective). I would also certainly keep the idea of collecting the pamphelts at the end of the semester for either re-use or recycling to print a new/current edition.It might be worth it to maybe simplify/explain how to manage the metro system as well. If this project is about providing students at the beginning of the semester with information, I think it would make sense to also inform them about how to use the metro system since many students have had no past experience with taking a metro.
sblatchfordI think that this action plan is really well thought out. I personally didn't even know there was a night bus for a long time and even when I tried to look it up it was very confusing. I think that a map that helped define the stops and routes a little better would be very beneficial to students. I like that this action was very specific in that it referred to exact locations where IES students lived in order to be extremely specific.I think that the flaw in this action is whether or not the night bus is safe and the time it takes to get home. Typically a cab can be safer if you use it properly and they are very quick. With a bus, I would be worried about the potential dangers of using public transportation at night since it is even dangerous during the day. I also wonder how long the buses would take since they make various stops. Personally I would rather pay a little more money if I were to feel safer and if the journey was shorter. I think that this should be addressed more in this action plan.
tcremin617I think the idea is great. I am one of those students who finds themselves spending a lot of money on taxi rides home at night. I am just nervous about using them because I am unaware and it is always late at night when I need it. I think its a really good idea for IES to incorporate it into a welcome kit because then from the start the students will know there is a cheaper alternative to the somewhat expensive cab rides. It also has a good environmental benefit as well because public transportation like buses are better for the environment then the cab rides.I think there could be a little more to this project. Though the night bus packet is a great idea I think the entire Welcome kit can be updated with other information as well. Maybe adding a more detailed description of the differences between the metro and trains and the benefits of getting a t-10 vs. t-joven or something similar to that

Page last modified on Monday 13 of April, 2015 23:57:20