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Patrick Greenwell

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 Marc Ebuña , Patrick Greenwell 617 days ago
Patrick G Nicole Badstuber | Twitter - UCL - London Reconnections - Researching Governance 
Marc E What are the current Challenges and Issues?
  • US Metropolitan Planning Orgs tend to skew focus toward affluent suburban interests and away from low-income urban interests
Patrick G
  • Funding and Governance
  • Regional Tax (OR) vs Statewide Tax for a region (MA)
  • Regional Equity Narrative (East-West MA divide)
  • "Why should we pay for Boston area, it's more expensive there, not my area" when 75% of sales tax lines up with MBTA service area.
Marc E
  • False dichotomy
Patrick G
  • Transit in the Boston Region is managed by the State
Marc E
  • New York City has a similar issue, where MTA is beholden to NYS Gov't by way of capital budget
Patrick G
  • Another example is liquor licenses, state controls how many boston region has.  Rooted in race issues.
  • Lack of ability to cooperate between cities with funding.  
  • Gap in city government and state government
  • Lack of regional governance/ or county.
  • Example: Signals for buses are at local level, but MBTA routes are state.  Nothing the local municipality can do on it's own.
  • Politics hamper the Agency
  • Last Gov. to get hands dirty with T, Dukakis or Weld. All of them were told not to touch it because it'll kill your career.
  • 5 year plan isn't funded
  • Have to ask the state for money.
  • If was regional tax based wouldn't have to ask the state for money.
  • Does Mass. lack the political will for better transit or is it incidental? 
Marc E Best Practices
  • LA
  • Strong local politicians who can campaign for progressive issues
  • ex: Mayor Curtatone of Somerville
Patrick G
  • Can someone put a link to the ENO case study mentioned? Getting to the route of it.
Marc E
  • Shielding the customer from multiple fare systems
  • Operating under one brand - multiple operators continue to run the services on the back end
Patrick G
  • e.g. - Bus, Rail, Bike, Ferry, Subway
  • Salt Lake City is great for Tappable Fare Card systems overall run by Gift Card company
Marc E
  • Addressing basic service issues - reliability, frequency, etc
Patrick G
  • Rebuilding trust through incremental projects that actually succeed. 
Marc E Steps Forward
  • New tools in the funding tool box
  • Regional Payroll Tax
  • Start building trust in the system
  • Improving timetables
  • Branding and marketing
  • Developing coalitions
  • Business community with different groups
Patrick G
  • City Councilors, Mayors, Reps, Community Organizations, etc
  • Some examples that are involved:
  • 128 Buisness Council (on the FCMB)
  • A Better City
  • Greater Boston Business Council
  • Legislation organized through Area Planning Councils/MPO
  • Have power on road projects but not transit projects
  • MPO has the ultimate accountability to the Federal Government
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 Guido Stein , Patrick Greenwell , Matt Maranda , KAdam White 617 days ago
Patrick G
  • People 
Adam Sherson- IT Manager
Dave  Faulkenberry- Lead Developer
Aaron - Developer
Brian - Developer
KAdam W Suggested:
Guido S UMASS Amherst Transit IT 12 employees and 200+ students
76 Vehicles , Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) busses 18k pass/day @ peak
Patrick G 3.4 M pass a year
Students drive the buses, handle dispatch 
Students handle Data analysis and planning.
Using Rails and JS
Very hard to find stuff for small & med. sized transit companies.
Driver work swap to handle the class schedule of student drivers.
Made their own Realtime app & display.
Hastus - Route Modelling.
Guido S Attempting to use open source tools.  Using Test Driven Development.
Patrick G
  • Aaron 
Guido S Using a proprietary real time format (avail), wants to transition to GTFS
Patrick G Using Angular and Ionic 
Easily forkable, by just pointing to new Avail Rest API endpoints.
Using Google Trip Planning w/ PVTA GTFS
for TVs/DIsplays near stops.
Using realtime data like the Realtime App
  • Discussion
Check out tools like onebusaway, or transit time prediction engine(can someone post a link?)
The size of UMass Transit is perfect size for Dispatching.
Current Dispatching
Matt M Validation of GTFSRT and Analysis of accuracy can be difficult. Some companies and agencies are working on this problem but nobody indicated it was Open.
Patrick G Agile Development helps for helping turn Ideas into realities based on user's perspectives.
MTA found it best to ease people into Agile by asking for user stories in a specific format vs the Here is "Agile and you have to do it."
KAdam W Concern expressed that development from drivers-turned-developers, and reliance on CS and computing staff across campus puts "blinders" on potential UX/UI alternatives; potential strength of adopting a standardized backend infrastructure, stack etc is that it could provide a firm foundation for experimentation and discovery around interfaces, UI and app capabilities, leveraging more of UMass's other departments' expertise (design, art, etc)
FOSS4G - free and open-source software 4 geospatial. 2017's going to be in Boston, UMass team encouraged to participate/present

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