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Paul Schimek

617 days ago
Marc E Session Leaders
Mark (
  • Dominick Tribone | MBTA
Patrick G New Mockup based on the newly released performance APIs will be demoed.
Marc E MBTA-Realtime (API and GTFS-r) 
MBTA-Performance API
Patrick G
  • Realtime performance metrics (currently only for subway)
  • Access to Historical data
  • How trains are performing
Marc E
  • open source platform built off GTFS and  GTFS-realtime
  • provides access to data about how trains are performing in addition to when
Carol S
  • 3  calls give you data
  • travel times (how long does it take to get from A  to B?)
  • Dwell times (how long are trains spending in stations?)
  • Headways (how long between trains at a station?)
  • Benchmarks derived from the GTFS schedule
Marc E
  • Ultimate goal is to provide dispatchers at the OCC with actionable information, schedule planners useful data for rebuilding better schedules
  • Happens to also provide riders with helpful measurements
  • Provides transparency about performance
Patrick G System is based on publicly available Schedule data
Marc E All realtime data is public - public feed is what's used to synthesize performance metrics
Arrival and departure events are logged, processing happens twice:
  • at start of day
  • realtime (from data being polled every 15 seconds)
Patrick G
  • Current Processing takes about a minute would like to get it down to 30 second latency
Passenger data input is half hourly from every station. Jay Gordon and Emily??
  • just an estimate currently not actual counts that add up to released numbers.
  • Used for weighting metrics relative to each other not for actual counts.
Marc E API Calls
  • Travel Times
  • How long does it take to go from A to B
Patrick G
  • needs origin and destination 
Marc E
  • Data about what vehicle did - updated every 15 seconds
  • Dwell Times
Patrick G
  • needs a stop and date & time range
  • optionally provide a specific route built this way so you can handle bus in the future.
  • {
  •     "dwell_times": [
  •         {
  •             "route_id": "Red",
  •             "direction": "1",
  •             "arr_dt": "1459292528",
  •             "dep_dt": "1459292603",
  •             "dwell_time_sec": "75"
  •         }
  •     ]
  • }
Marc E
  • How long are trains spending in stations?
  • Headways
  • How long between trains at a given station?
  • Daily Performance
  • What % of customers experienced good wait times?
  • What % of customers experienced good travel times?
  • Currently only available for lines as a whole - by date, by time
Paul S metric_result_trip - % of trains less than their scheduled headway - unweighted by passenger volume
Marc E
  • Current Performance
  • What % of customers are experiencing good wait times?
  • What % of customers are experiencing good travel times?
  • Useful for measuring/improving dispatcher performance
Patrick G Threshold Explanations
Threshold_id_06 may change from 10 minutes to something else.
Marc E Sample Performance Details
  • Synthesis of historical data NOT realtime
Performance Heat Map/Dashboard
Patrick G Showing headways that don't meet benchmarks.
Using stations API and headways API
Carol S Daily  Performance answers 2 questions: what % of customers are experiencing  good wait times? and What % of customers are experiencing good travel  times?
Can create a metric and then specify parameters.
617 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Anna Stokes , Raphael Dumas , Frank Hebbert , Paul Schimek 617 days ago
Anna S Better data -> better planning
Better data -> more appropriate project prioritization 
Better data -> better streets
What kind of data is lacking?
Raphael D
  • Using existing counts to predict future need
  • Safety data
  • Real bicyclist injury data
  • not just police reports
  • Near misses
  • Recreational rides
  • not many commuters?
Raphael D
  • Explain yourself!
  • Seasonal bike usage
  • Logic of mode choice => how/why/when people change mode
  • Actual/Planned Infrastructure
  • cyclists frequently cross political boundaries
  • pedestrians too I guess
  • Bicyclist speed
  • instantaneous
  • avg vs. car
Paul S
  • What share of bicycling miles occurs:
Raphael D
  • Explain yourself
  • at night
  • against traffic
  • on sidewalk
  • Latent demand
  • Connections to transit
  • Demographics
  • gender
  • age
  • ability
  • confidence
  • stamina/max distance
  • Level of stress 
  • Street lighting 
Anna S What tools exist to collect this data?
Raphael D Crowdsourcing data
  • Bikeways for everybody,  crowdsourcing better biking infrastructure online. Backend could easily be modified for better ped/accessibility/anything infrastructure
  • used in NYC
  • Real people taking street level photos with their smartphones
Frank H
  • Bikeshare data 
  • usage data dumps
Raphael D
Frank H
  • Opt-in reporting (Nuride)
  • automated trip ending, asks if trip was successful
  • $50 sensor that you stick on a telephone pole (?)
  • PlaceMeter
  • started with old cellphones and now have their own dedicated sensor, processes a video feed in device, preserving privacy & anonymity https://www.placemeter.com/
  • Cambridge has bike counters - EcoCounter. 
  • Counts bikes if you go over the sensor in the bike lane. 
  • Has an open API (?)
  • other cell phone based options (511?)
Activity trackers
Raphael D
  • Human, like Strava but for humans
  • decent coverage for ~2000 ppl in NYC
Apps that require an account are a way to get to demographic info.
Low traffic stress street network analysis (GIS analysis).
Raphael D Modelling Software
Paul S Existing injury-related data: police reports, EMS reports, hospital data
Anna S How do you incentivize public participation/involvement in collecting/crowdsourcing this data?
Raphael D
  • Incentive programs - voluntary contributing coupons, etc. (nuride)
  • easy to use apps (always on)
  • Advertise on buses
  • Gamification/competition
  • Crowdsource input
  • e.g.: bike share stations
  • Neighbourhood cellphone pictures
  • Way to record existing conditions data 
Raphael D
  • On the ground surveying
Frank H Involving people is powerful!
617 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Patrick Greenwell , Paul Schimek 617 days ago
Patrick G Off-Board Fare Collection
Matt with Select Bus Service outreach 
  • Uses machine outside the bus, The riders just want to go faster.  
  • Riders care about benefits even if they're small.
  • Implement ideal aspects ASAP
Maybe you don't need it everywhere because it has high value in certain trunk systems.
San Francisco report on tap in rear door boarding, has fare evasion rate data of before and after.
  • You'll need validators of the payments made with the tickets or paper receipts for. 
Is the New Standard an Open Payment System where you can tap a phone, card, etc.
Dedicated lanes (Totally segregated?)
  • Does the US see value in Dedicated lanes?
   - In boston people love the street parking
   - Also not a lot of space for dedicated lanes without removing parking.
  • How do you build advocacy into BRT deployment?
  • When is it politically viable to dedicate a lane?
  • It won't happen unless you do it.
  • Advocate for & market the time savings.   How much money will be saved in work hours. Sleep.
  • Refocusing the view from the Single occupancy vehicle, to saying how many cars will come off the road by dedicating the lane.
  • You can test it by slimming the lane using cones and others to pilot it.
  • You should have before and after metrics to validate that this works.
  • Talking about the corridor itself vs the actual street.  
  • You could just take one lane and make it bidirectional
  • WMATA & DDOT corridor discussion it didn't seem to benefit the people in the affluent area.
  • Framing & Marketing on "This is an improvement for the lower class, you can't help improve their lives?"
  • Suburban vs Urban Bus
  • Does it all come down to political will?
  • In Europe there is the you can't do it, but you do it and show the benefits.
  • Shopping Survey, Merchant Survey
  • How Shoppers arrive, asking them?
  • Merchants how they get there?
  • It's about communicating the actual value, the merchant may live there, but those merchants depend on the people coming through who may not vote in the local elections.
  • Capacity by removing parking.
  • Designing roads for bus lanes.
  • Queue Jump lanes
  • What are the specific barriers to this?
  • You don't know when it's coming.
  • It's outside and it's cold
  • Can improve on them by incrementally changing things.
  • How much is transit implementation falling victim to distrust in gov't?
  • Do people even trust that gov't can do something radical and succeed?
  • Highways weren't really democratic
  • How can you solve this?
LA lines on the map, show the frequent BRT routes 
  • Newton has lots of Express Bus Ridership, the express buses are packed.
  • Commuter Bus vs Commuter Rail  
Paul S
  • Commuter bus is not on the map - not known outside small neighborhoods
Patrick G
  • Make Express buses all day service.
  • Infrastructure isn't there in town, shelters and hubs.
  • Need to treat bus seriously
  • "Think rail but use Bus." ( think like you'll be implementing a rail project but use buses instead)
Silver Line
BRT is mixed message because of how it was rolled out in Boston.
The Underwater tunnel is great, except when it gets to D street light and it messes everything.
If it's outside of the dedicated tunnels and lanes can you still consider it "Rapid Transit"?
Inefficiencies in the routes on waterfront - airport routes.
Fairmont Line feeder system from fairmont line via haul road.
617 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Paul Schimek 617 days ago
Example of Singapore
Map display of routes
Data available after 24 hrs
do reporting on 2 week periods
AVL vehicle location and occupancy data -- using smartcard on and off taps
  • Display showing bus size by circle size and crowding by color
  • Can show joint headways of multiple routes
Time-space diagram of bus trips
  • Color coded based on crowding too
  • Can see bus bunching as it happens, dispatchers can intervene
  • can also show stop locations on map
Average occupancy along the route by stop
  • passenger load on x axis
  • can compare load profiles day to day
  • can isolate unusual event from normal pattern
Data has door open, door close -- so you can look at dwell time
  • but no dashboard for this yet
BusViz subcontracts to consulting companies that already have contracts with transit agencies
APCs - automatic passenger counters
  • Clever Devices is one of the bigger vendors
  • don't have systems that make use of the data
  • many systems have APCs, but sometimes only on 25% of the bus fleet
Similar companies: TransitMix, now Remix:
Singapore has a 30-person group looking at BUS service reliability and performance (and a separate group for Rail service). Some U.S. transit agencies have similar things --
Transport for London - measures Excess Wait Time
Ridecell and other companies - AVL data using smartphones
Cheap passenger counter systems coming -- startups

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