Appendix A

Appendix A: Traveler Personas and their needs

Here are the 10 personas with their specific identified needs and protections. In addition to the specific protections listed for each persona, there are protections that all travelers need, which are listed in the next section, Common Needs and Protections.

Mitul – the schoolchild during a snow emergency

Mitul is 12 years old. His family is from India, but Mitul grew up in Seattle. Mitul takes public transit or rides his bike, but today is a snow-emergency day. Mitul just walked, with his bike, to the bus stop. He is deciding if he can take his regular bus, which may be on a different route. It’s a weekend morning, around 10 a.m.

Mitul MUST get information about:

  • The revised bus routes, stops and schedules
  • Alternate routes in case his usual route is not running
  • How much time before the next bus (including delays)
  • Where and how to catch another mode if the bus is not a good option
  • Where to park his bike
  • Short-term weather forecast (will it be snowing when he takes the return trip?)
  • How to report a problem or get help
  • How to contact his parents or inform them of his location

Protections Mitul requires include:

  • He needs to have his privacy protected and have his personally identifiable route informatio inaccessible to third parties but available to his parents.
  • He needs protection from price-gouging for available modes, especially if alternate modes become unavailable due to snow.
  • He needs protection from inappropriate advertising content on the modes or the apps he uses.

Nida – the pedestrian

Nida is in her mid-60s. Nida has Native American and Pacific Islander roots. Nida is visiting the city for the first time and plans to explore the city on foot. It’s a weekend morning, around 10 a.m.

Nida MUST get information about:

  • Recommended walking routes, including the least hilly streets
  • Turn-by-turn directions
  • Her current location along with markers to orient
  • Landmarks and clear wayfinding signs
  • Current barriers or obstacles along the route
  • Closed streets or sidewalks
  • Areas of interest
  • Public spaces, including places to rest
  • Location of public restrooms
  • How to report a problem or get help
  • How to communicate if her cell phone/smartphone fails
  • How and where to get on another mode of travel (e.g. bike, bus, ride-hail, etc.)

Protections Nida requires include:

  • She needs to be able to select a route is safe
  • She needs to be able to report a problem with her journey and/or call for help quickly and easily.
  • She needs protection from malfunctioning equipment or automated vehicles (AVs) during her journey.
  • She needs protection from monetization of the public right of way, including, but not limited to, uses for private advertising purposes.

Juanita – the freelancer

Juanita is in her late 20s. Her family is originally from Chile (though we don’t know if she herself or her parents were born or grew up in Chile).  Juanita has lived in Seattle for a long time and considers herself a local.  Juanita has started doing deliveries as a side gig. This is her first day and she has just arrived at the destination of one of her deliveries. It’s a weekend evening, around 6 p.m.

Juanita MUST have information about:

  • Best route to take
  • Road closures and alternate routes
  • Roads to avoid (crowded routes)
  • Tolls or any road charges
  • Where she can park temporarily (delivery curbs)
  • Maximum allowed wait time (and if she’s exceeded it)
  • Location of load and unload zones
  • Vehicle restrictions at the load and unload zones
  • Parking or unloading fees
  • How to pay for parking or unloading fees
  • How to report a problem or get help
  • Location of drop boxes, delivery entrances, ramps and/or freight elevators

Protections Juanita requires include:

  • If sidewalks are not available or passable safely, she needs alternate route(s) indicated clearly.
  • She needs parking restrictions to be well marked and enforced (only commercial vehicles in commercial load zone; time limits enforced at meters and load zones).

Warren – the first-time vanpooler

Warren is in his mid-40s. He’s a long-time Seattleite, and his family has lived in the area for at least four generations. Warren usually drives to work, but he is taking a vanpool service for the first time today. Warren is just about to start his journey. It’s a weekday morning, around 8 a.m.

Warren MUST have information about:

  • Vanpool pickup locations
  • Payment and payment options
  • How to call for help/get help
  • Estimated arrival time
  • Estimated trip time
  • Who’s driving the vanpool
  • How many other passengers
  • What to do if he misses the pickup
  • How to report a problem or get help

Protections Warren requires include:

  • He needs to be informed about the condition of the vehicle and be assured that it is in safe working condition.

Ali – the motorist searching for parking

Ali is in their early 50s and identifies as non-binary. Their family is originally from Azerbaijan (though we don’t know if they themselves or their parents were born or grew up in Azerbaijan). Ali knows Seattle well. (They might be a resident or might have lived here before.) They are planning a trip in a personal car, but this is the first time Ali is driving to this particular destination. Ali is planning or just starting their trip. It’s a weekday morning, around 10 a.m.

Ali MUST have information about:

  • Best route, alternative routes
  • Traffic conditions
  • Tolls or road charges
  • Road closures
  • Parking locations
  • Parking costs and ways to pay
  • Number of available parking spaces
  • Pedestrian route from parking to final destination
  • Sidewalk closures
  • How to report a problem or get help

Protections Ali requires include:

  • They need to be ensured of the safest passage through the city if there are any substantial impacts present or troublesome corridors/spots.

Tony – the ride-hailer in the middle of the trip

Tony is in his mid-70s. Tony’s family is originally from Italy. He has lived in Seattle for a long time and considers himself a local. Tony used a ride-hail service (like Lyft or Uber) for the first time today and he is in the middle of his journey. It’s a weekday evening, around 5 p.m.

Tony MUST have information about:

  • Where to get off (allowed unloading zones)
  • Who is driving and their safety record
  • Cost of the ride and how to pay
  • How to report a problem or get help
  • Road closures and alternative routes

Protections Tony requires include:

  • He needs to be ensured that there is no discrimination made by drivers who may not want to assist an elderly person.

Omondi – the child in a wheelchair and his caregiver

Omondi is 5 years old and uses a wheelchair. His family is originally from Uganda (though we don’t know if Omondi himself or his parents were born or grew up in Uganda). Omondi and his caregiver know where they want to go today and are planning to take either the bus or light rail (or both). This is their first time trying to go to this destination by bus or rail. It’s a weekday afternoon, after school, around 3 p.m.

  • Omondi and his caregiver MUST have information about:
  • Location of nearest bus or rail stop
  • Best route – bus or train – to take, along with transfers
  • Cost of fares (including children’s fare) and how to pay
  • Schedule and wait time for next bus/train
  • Estimated trip times
  • Wheelchair-accessible routes and stops
  • Slopes of streets (including easiest route)
  • Information in the language they need
  • How to board the bus or train with a wheelchair
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms
  • Places for charging electric wheelchairs
  • How to report a problem or get help

Protections Omondi requires include:

  • He needs the service he receives to be equal to or more involved than that for an adult or able-bodied person.
  • He and his caregiver need to have information on accessible routes to all the train and bus stations.

Hyun – the bike-share rider

Hyun is in high school. One side of her family is from Nigeria and the other side is from North Korea. Hyun is a regular commuter, follows a regular travel pattern, and uses the same travel modes every day—a combination of bus and shared bike. Hyun arrived at her destination and is about to close out her trip on the shared bike and board her bus. It’s a weekend evening, around 6 p.m.

Hyun MUST have information about:

  • Road closure and other disruptions
  • Alternative routes
  • Where to park the bike
  • How to report a problem or get help
  • Bus schedules and wait times
  • Fares and ways to pay
  • Changes in bus routes, if any
  • Where to get information if her phone fails

Protections Hyun requires include:

  • She needs to be able to find the safest route given current traffic conditions.
  • She needs to be informed of potential traffic re-routes or construction that affects her safety while returning home.
  • She needs to know that she will not be overcharged as a result of unclear instruction on how cost is calculated on bike- or scooter-sharing.

Sarah – the blind student

Sarah is in her mid-20s. She just moved to Seattle for grad school. She’s been blind since birth and she’s an experienced traveler. It’s Sarah’s first day and she’s taking the bus. Her route requires a transfer. She’s riding on the first bus and her transfer stop is coming up sometime soon. It’s mid-morning on a weekday, around 10 a.m.

Sarah MUST have information about:

  • Ways to access information for visually impaired travelers
  • Location of transfer
  • Where to cross the street, if needed
  • Location of bus stop and direction of buses
  • Bus schedules and wait times
  • Location and arrival time of next bus
  • Delays, if any
  • Changes in bus schedules or routes
  • Alternative routes
  • Current time
  • Options and locations of other modes
  • How to report a problem or get help

Protections Sarah requires include:

  • She needs directions to and from her initial, transfer, and ending stops that provide her with safe routes accessible for those with visual impairment.
  • She needs to know that all formats of the bus schedule are correct and in agreement with one another.
  • If she misses a transfer, she needs a way to find a revised route that will get her back on track to her destination efficiently.

Terézia – the young parent

Terézia is a parent in her mid-20s. She has two children, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. Her family is originally from Romania (though we don’t know if she herself or her parents were born or grew up in Romania).  Terézia and her family are new to the city and to the transportation system. She might have just moved here or she might be just visiting. She has picked out where she wants to go today and is planning how to get there either by bus or light rail (or both). She has one child in a stroller, and another walking alongside. It’s a weekday morning, around 8 a.m.

Terézia MUST have information about:

  • Location of bus station
  • Directions and where and when to get on/off
  • Schedule and time to next bus/train
  • Routes (and reverse/return route)
  • Price of fare (including children’s fare) and how to pay
  • Current location
  • Time to destination or transfer
  • Station map/station orientation
  • Stroller-friendly route
  • Clear instructions on how to ride with a stroller
  • How to report a problem or get help

Protections Terézia requires include:

  • She needs to know she is not being overcharged.
  • She needs to be able to report a crime or lodge a complaint.
  • She needs a channel for information if she gets lost.

Important protections for all travelers include:


  • The need to receive only authoritative information that serves their best interests
  • Information on how travel behavior is being monitored, either by SDOT or by any apps that use their locations, and how the information is being used
  • The assurance that travel/route and/or parking location data collected by SDOT will be anonymized before it is stored. “To protect against deanonymization, SDOT must employ the most current best practices for anonymizing data.”
  • The assurance that travel and/or parking payment information, both financial and personal, will be highly secured and purged from all locations/repositories when no longer needed
  • The assurance that their data will not be sold to vendors or suppliers
  • Protection from unreasonable surveillance, and from unauthorized access to, or undesired dissemination of, surveillance-related information
  • Information on when facial recognition technology is being deployed and if/how that data is being used and/or stored
  • Notification of risk of, and protection from, information theft on public networks
  • The requirement that financial transactions must be protected by appropriate levels of encryptions and transmission protocols
  • That, when a user is required by the service provider to create and use an account, the user’s personal and financial information is protected at the highest levels against hacking, spoofing, or otherwise inappropriately exposing or sharing the information without express consent of the user
  • That if breach of this information is made, whether discovered by the user, the provider, or an external entity, clear and accessible methods of communicating with the provider for resolving the breach must be available. The service provider must provide a communication avenue for discussion and resolution.

Need More Information?

This is a draft plan. It was developed by Benjamin de la Pena, Mary Alyce Eugene, Alex Hagenah, and Sam Marshall along with their colleagues from across the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

If you have questions about this plan, please send us email via

If you have questions about SDOT, please visit our website at

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