After several years of writing about Transit Usability Testing I have yet to see any practitioners of the hobby of usability analysis of public transit. Occasionally someone will write and wonder if there are any jobs or money in the field. I can only chuckle to myself and wonder why the turnip truck dropped these guys off in the big city.
Mostly large institutions run real public transit systems so inflexible laws of bureaucratic inertia, politics and funding govern how the transit systems are managed, designed and implemented and usability testing is not in the domain of these institutions or even in the universe. Maybe in the case of many repeated deaths from collisions, crashes, fires, tunnel cave-ins and bridge collapses public outcry may call for a disconnected and isolated engineering analysis for safety but this occurs only after the most repeated egregious occurrences of horribleness I won't even describe and never for other areas of transit usability like fares, signage or intermode transfer.
Before any transit usability testing is common there will have to be civil engineers trained in a different way, there will have to be a whole generation of transit management educated in a different way, there must be a political education of the public and its politicians. I see none of that even started. So, sorry Charlie, we get transit that pretends good but does not work so good. And that's the way its gonna be for a long, long time.
Transit Usability Articles