The Transit Data Revolution is Here

We feel the transit data revolution is here, and we are embracing the “Art of the Possible…’

Dr. Roger Teal and his DEMANDTRANS team have been selected to lead the first-ever national effort to create a new and more efficient data standard-one that can dramatically increase the attractiveness and use of varied public transport services.

It is no secret that pervasive data networks and connected devices are enabling rapid communication and processing of information, ushering in unprecedented shifts—in everything from biology, energy, media, politics, and most certainly, in transportation. This triad of data connectivity, handheld computers (aka, smartphones), and powerful software and algorithms is enabling innovation to occur at unprecedented levels. Everything that can be digitized is changing the way we create tailored customer-centric solutions. Being able to move, share, and interpret data is the key to unlocking incredible new possibilities.

Especially for users of public transportation.

During the past decade, there has been an enormous increase in the availability and quality of data describing public transit services. What has primarily made this data “explosion” of value to consumers (i.e., urban travelers) is the fact that this data has been generated in conformance with data standards established by a trusted entity (the General Transit Feed Specification—GTFS—initially established by Google.) Today, such data, when generated by a public transport organization and made available for dissemination, can be analyzed and used by organizations with appropriate technical resources and secure capabilities to inform public transit service offerings.

Until now, services for public transportation have not yet been able to take full advantage of these significant developments in data availability and access. As a result, GTFS data specifications have only been developed for traditional fixed route and fixed time public transport services; comparable data specifications do not currently exist for DRT and other flexible transit services.

That is about to change.

In an Uber and Lyft-centric society, where the convenience of on-demand, customizable solutions is the new expectation of transit customers, DRT, or “flexible transit” is rapidly becoming the true prize. The ability to quickly access, interpret, and share data among varied sources via a new shared dynamic transit data standard is the key to unlocking new possibilities for consumer choice, system efficiency and reliability for people from every walk of life.

Dr. Teal describes it as such, “If a transit customer is in a wheelchair and needs extra care in transport, assisting them onto the vehicle may take some time, and the presence of…

Read the full article from the Source…

Back to Top