Thesis statement

A model for information exchange using social capital in online social networks for public transportation can improve travel experiences by promoting trust and cooperation among users. On that account a case of study was used: San José, Costa Rica.


While moving around in a city using public transportation (PT), the information about this service is created through dynamic interaction in subtle and complex ways, but it is usually not available or visible to users. A proposal to share and visualize this information can help them to make better decisions. This thesis argues that integrating networking functionalities to a transit application can make the service more reliable for the users and therefore enhance their trust.

Under this premise, the main intention is to promote co-operation amongst users of PT in San José, Costa Rica, providing a visual interface whose signifiers and visual cues stimulate reciprocity and the exchange of valuable information, known forms of social capital.

Diagram at a glance of the thesis

Thesis Goals

  • Explore the effective application of social networking and social capital in the context of PT.
  • Identify the opportunities of an interactive system associated to behavior patterns and social interactions, such as transmission of ideas and recommendations.
  • Design a prototype, to creatively visualize the relation between the theory, the system and the user.
  • Evaluate the usability and the user experience of the prototype, using design research methods.