2nd National GIS in Transit Conference

May 16 - 18, 1999

Embassy Suites

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Sponsored by:

Federal Transit Administration

National Center for Transit Research at the

Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)

Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), USDOT

In Association with:

Federal Highway Administration

Florida Department of Transportation/Public Transit Office

American Public Transit Association

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, USDOT

Association of American Geographers

Association for Commuter Transportation

Conference Description

The 2nd National GIS in Transit Conference will be held in May 1999 to focus on the growing role of GIS in supporting transit planning, service delivery, and decision making. This conference will use presentations, discussion panels and demonstrations to explore the most current research and application experience in using GIS to address public transportation issues.

Conference Planning Committee

Ronald F. Abler

Executive Director

Association of American Geographers

Doug Allen

Planning and Development

Dallas Area Rapid Transit

John Attanucci


Multisystems, Inc.

Ed Coven


Office of Public Transportation

Florida Department of Transportation

Linda Culp

San Diego Association of Governments

Kenneth J. Dueker

Center for Urban Studies

Portland State University

David Gionet

General Manager

Fort Wayne PTC

Larry Harman

L. J. Harman Contracting

Manny Herrera III

Regional Transportation District

John E. Hirten

Paul L. Marx

Federal Transit Administration

Louis Millan

New Jersey Transit Corporation

Wende O'Neill

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

U.S. Department of Transportation

Ernest K. Ott

Transportation Programs

Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI)

Robert G. Owens

Federal Transit Administration

Larry Pham

Chief Economist and Director of Information Services

American Public Transit Association

Matthew Rabkin

Volpe Center

Steven Reader

Geography Department

University of South Florida

Jack M. Reilly

Capital District Transportation Authority

Jamie Robe

Management Services

Hillsborough County Planning Commission

Wayne A. Sarasua

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology

Shih-Lung Shaw

Department of Geography

University of Tennessee

Ronald C. Sheck

Transit Solutions

Stuart Sirota

GIS Section

Baltimore Metropolitan Council

Conference Planning Committee (Con't)

Howard Slavin

Caliper Corporation

Bruce Spear

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

U.S. Department of Transportation

Richard Stasiak

GIS/Data Program Director

Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)

University of South Florida

John C. Sutton

Transportation Planning

GIS/Trans, Ltd.

James Townsend

Highways and Transportation Department

Jefferson County

Lyna Wiggins

Center for Urban Policy Research

Rutgers University

William Wiggins

Office of Mobility Innovation

Federal Transit Administration

Phil Winters

TDM Program Director

Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)

University of South Florida

Fang Zhao

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Florida International University


Developing and Applying GIS Capabilities to Public Transportation I

Monday, May 17, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

The Transit GIS Tool Box: A Visual Basic/Map Objects Application for Transit Operations and Planning

Michael J. Berman

The King County Department of Transportation Transit Division GIS Group has developed an application that integrates GIS data with traditional Transit planning, scheduling, and operations information. This application serves as a container for all Transit GIS tools providing a consistent modular interface to the end user for visualizing a variety of Transit objects. These tools include data editing and lookup functions that access agency spatial and non-spatial corporate data warehouses. Although not fully deployed, the Transit GIS ToolBox is targeted at analysts in most workgroups throughout the agency with modules for security and safety incident analysis, radio frequency placement analysis for vehicle location and passenger counter systems, ridership calculation tools, transit object editing, planning for route modifications, and others. Given the complexity of GIS and Transit specific data within King County Metro, this application provides access to a broad range of agency data and functions as well as a common desktop interface to Transit staff in disparate workgroups.

Contact Information:

Michael J. Berman, GIS Program Manager, King County Metro Transit, 821 Second Ave. MS 150, Seattle, WA 98104, Tel: (206) 689-3732, Fax: (206) 684-2059, E-mail: michael.berman@metrokc.gov

Miami-Dade County GIS-based Integrated Transportation Management System

Girish Kumar, PE; Ramon Alvarez, PE; Jesus Guerra, PE

The Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has developed an Integrated Transportation Management System (ITMS) that views the transportation system as a single, seamless unit. The major features of the system are a centralized database, ease of use, flexibility of display, and the ability to combine different data. These features greatly simplify the analysis of each transportation system component as well as interaction between the components.

The ITMS is a transportation information/analysis system that functionally integrates the implementation of the Mobility Management Process/Congestion Management System (MMP/CMS), Intermodal Management System (IMS), Pavement Management System (PMS), Public Transportation Management System (PTMS), Safety Management System (SMS) and Traffic Monitoring System for Highways (TMS/H). The flexible design of the ITMS allows for the addition of new management systems such as the Bridge Management System (BMS) or others in the future.

The ITMS program package is based on the geographic information system (GIS) software ArcView and the database software Visual dBASE. Graphical user interfaces (GUI) and data conversion/update routines have been developed using Visual Basic. The computational analysis and reports use the Lotus 1-2-3 software. The basic elements of the ITMS are a relational database element, a data input/update element, an analysis and calculation element, and a map and report generation element. ArcView GIS, however, is the centralization/integration element of the system. The GIS provides the visual analysis and standard (pre-configured), as well as custom maps. The primary design principle of the system is that it uses available data in its original format, thereby taking advantage of information already being gathered and updated on a regular basis by a multitude of transportation agencies.

The information and analysis pertaining to public transit in Miami-Dade County is primarily included in the PTMS module of the ITMS. It includes route information, alignment, station/stop locations, maintenance facility locations, and ridership information for Miami-Dade County's Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover services.

The GIS based ITMS program functions as a decision support tool and enables a comprehensive approach towards transportation planning. The system will continue to be enhanced and expanded over time.

Contact Information:

Girish Kumar, PE and Ramon Alvarez, PE, David Plummer & Associates, Inc., 1750 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, Florida 33134, Tel: (305) 447-0900, Fax: (305) 444-4986, Email: dpa@dplummer.com

Jesus Guerra, PE, Miami-Dade County MPO, 111 N.W. First Street, Suite 910, Miami, Florida 33128, Tel: (305) 375-4507, Fax: (305) 375-4950, Email: guerraj@co.miami-dade.fl.us

Building Applications to Support the Effective Use of GIS by NYS Transit Operators

Jim Davis, William Telovsky, Thomas Vaughan

This paper discusses transit GIS application development and technical assistance initiatives developed by the NYSDOT Passenger Transportation Division. It discusses the establishment of the NYS Transit GIS Users Group and the NYS Rural Technical Assistance Program GIS Data development and training initiatives.

Applications developed and distributed via these forums, to be discussed include:

The paper will discuss planned NYSDOT Transit GIS technical assistance initiatives:

The paper will conclude with a discussion of the institutional role that can be played by a State Department of Transportation in developing common practices in the use of GIS. The benefits to be discussed will include economies of scale in training, data development and procurement, methodology development and the benefits of system inter-operability among multiple transit operators.

Contact Information:

Jdavis@gw,dot.state.ny.us, Tel: 518-457-2100, NYSDOT, Passenger Transportation Division

Wtelovsky@gw.dot.state.ny.us, Tel: 518-457-8335, NYSDOT, Passenger Transportation Division

Tvaughan@gw.dot.state.ny.us, Tel: 518-457-8335, NYSDOT, Passenger Transportation Division

GIS Transit Network Coding System (TRANCOS)

Gustavo A. Baez, Jingke Chen, and Chunxi Chi

A Major Investment Study (MIS) is a subset of the more comprehensive transportation system planning process for the metropolitan area. Under the metropolitan planning regulations, an MIS is required to support decisions on significant transportation investments.

To support the implementation of transit alternatives in MIS projects, the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has developed a state-of-the-practice GIS application to code transit networks.

Transit network preparation is a critical function within the travel demand forecasting process. Network data sets for the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Travel Demand Model (DFWRTM) contains approximately 25,000 roadway link segments, 451 bus lines, and 22 rail lines. The DFWRTM contains transit information related to the transit service provided by Dallas Area Rapid Transportation (DART) and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The 'T').

NCTCOG-Transportation department had traditionally coded transit network using a pencil and paper process that was time consuming, without geographic tools, and frustrating. TRANCOS, an ARCVIEW (AVENUE) GIS application was developed to maximize resources and take advantage of GIS technology. It runs on PC environment and contains over 100 AVENUE scripts, 10 dialog forms and 5 C++ programs. TRANCOS provides a user-friendly interface to code new transit alternatives in order to evaluate them in Major Investment Studies.

Contact Information:

Gustavo A. Baez, Principal Transportation Planner, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington, Texas, Tel: (817) 695-9282, E-mail: gbaez@nctcog.dst.tx.us

Jingke Chen, GIS Analyst II, Now with the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, Texas, E-mail: chen@hgac.cog.tx.us

Chunxi Chi, GIS Analyst II, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington, Texas, Tel: (817) 695-9264, E-mail: Cchi@nctcog.dst.tx.us


GIS Applications to Support Paratransit Service Delivery

Monday, May 17, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

ADART - Autonomous Dial-a-Ride Transit: A Practical GIS/ITS Application

Robert B. Dial

ADART is a modernized version of demand-responsive transit, which employs fully automated order-entry and routing-and-scheduling systems that reside exclusively on board the vehicle.

Here, "fully automated" means that under normal operation, the customer is the only human involved in the entire process of requesting a ride, assigning trips, scheduling arrivals, and routing the vehicle. There are no telephone operators to receive calls, nor any central dispatchers to assign trips to vehicles, nor any human planning routes.

Furthermore, there is no central base station or dispatch center. Computers on-board the vehicles assign trip demands and plan routes optimally among themselves via wireless communication. And the drivers' only job is to obey instructions from their vehicle's computer.

Consequently, an ADART vehicle fleet covers a large service area efficiently without any centralized supervision, resulting in higher service levels and lower operating cost than conventional dial-a-ride. In effect, the vehicles behave like a swarm of ants accomplishing their chore without anyone in charge.

Contact Information:

Robert Dial, 11500 Summit West Blvd., #36B, Temple Terrace, FL 33617,

E-mail: RobertDial@email.msn.com

GIS-Based Support System for On-Demand Flexroute Transit Service

Brian L. Smith, Priya K. Durvasula, Stephen C. Brich

GIS is a proven resource for public transportation service planning and evaluation. In particular, GIS's capabilities in spatial analysis and database management make it well suited for such applications. The primary cost incurred in a GIS application is the development and maintenance of high-quality spatial databases. Because of this cost, public transportation agencies wish to utilize these databases to support a wider array of applications.

In the past, GIS has primarily been used for planning purposes due to the long processing times required by these applications. However, with desktop-GIS software and computer hardware becoming more powerful, GIS can now be used to develop applications for "real-time" operations. In this research effort, a GIS-based system was developed and tested to support scheduling and dispatch functions of on-demand flexroute transit service. Flexroute transit, a hybrid of fixed-route transit and paratransit, is a relatively new concept. In a flexroute system, fixed route service is provided at a limited number of fixed stops, while slack time is built into the schedule between these stops to allow buses to pick-up and drop-off passengers on an on-demand basis.

This paper describes how GIS was used to develop a flexroute support system for the Peninsula Transportation District Commission in Hampton, Virginia. The GIS software, ArcView, was chosen as the foundation for the system and then customized for the application. The spatial analysis capabilities of GIS were used to support functions such as geocoding addresses, routing vehicles, and checking for schedule constraint violations. The database management capabilities of GIS were used to store and manage the user request logs, and committed trip schedules. Finally, the dynamically configurable map creation capabilities were used extensively to provide a useful interface for the dispatchers/schedulers.

The paper concludes by discussing how the prototype flexroute support system was used to investigate service design options. Early applicants of flexroute transit service have had little to no guidance on such important design decisions as how to allocate slack time and the size of the deviation zones between fixed stops. The GIS-based support system was used to conduct experiments with actual paratransit ridership data, and the performance of the service was evaluated under different design considerations. The results of these experiments can be used by any public transportation agency considering the implementation of a flexroute service.

Contact Information:

Brian L. Smith, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia, Department of Civil Engineering, Charlottesville, VA 22903, Tel: 804.243.8406, Fax: 804.982.2951, E-mail: briansmith@virginia.edu

Priya K. Durvasula, ALK Associates

Stephen C. Brich, Virginia Transportation Research Council

GIS-based Paratransit Routing and Scheduling to Improve Fleet Efficiency

Marc Kratzschmar

This paper describes the implementation of an application to manage reservations and generate vehicle schedules and routes for a paratransit service provider. It emphasizes four aspects of the project: the use of GIS data model and COTS GIS technology, the heuristic algorithm that provides the routing and scheduling solution, the other components necessary to support a real-world operation, and the savings that result from optimized fleet routing technology. The application was developed as part of a Transit-On-Demand research project administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.

The objective of the project was to reduce fossil fuel consumption by improving the efficiency of paratransit fleets. A number of GIS-based routing and scheduling applications have been developed to increase the efficiency of vehicle fleets used for home delivery and inspection throughout the country. These applications combine commercial data, GIS network data models and common algorithms available in commercial-off-the-shelf software, and custom user interfaces and complex algorithms to meet specific business rules.

Fleet operators have a variety of efficiency criteria, but in every case, one measure of the increased efficiency has been a significant reduction in vehicle miles traveled by the fleet. For example Sears Home Deliveries decreased the average distance traveled per stop made for its fleet by 0.6 miles. Multiplied by an annual average of 5 million stops, this represents a reduction of 30 million miles a year. Southern California Gas uses GIS-based routing and scheduling technology daily to build 400 vehicle routes serving 5,500 to 7,800 customers. Southern California Gas estimates that it has reduced the distance traveled on each of these routes by about 14 miles. This adds up to about two million vehicle miles saved per year. Thus the technology has been proven to significantly reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled by fleets that use it, and thereby their fuel consumption. The actual reduction varies from one fleet to another, but it is typically about 15%.

NREL commissioned a project to apply its GIS-based routing and scheduling technology to a paratransit fleet. A paratransit service provider based in Denver, CO, was recruited to develop an routing and scheduling application that addresses the business rules and circumstances of small paratransit operators. To meet the operator's needs the deal with client record keeping, order entry and reporting as well as generating vehicle schedules. The application was developed and installed. The paper outlines lessons learned from this project

Contact Information:

Marc Kratzschmar, Project Manager, Transportation/Logistics Services, ESRI, 380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373, Tel: (909) 793 2853 x 2183, Fax: (909) 307 3014, E-mail: mkratzschmar@esri.com


Making GIS Work: Planning and Implementation (Workshop Session)

Monday, May 17, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Terry Bills, Shirley Hsiao, John Sutton

Making GIS work in the complex transit operating environment requires accurate, credible and proven products. Additionally, given the fast-changing technological capabilities and institutional requirements, implementing GIS within a public transit agency is challenging. This participatory session will cover issues that GIS technical staff, project managers need to address at different stages of project development. The panel speakers will share their experience and perspectives, then invite participants' input in an open-forum discussion.

The workshop will focus on three subjects:

Each topic will be introduced briefly by one or two panel members followed by 15-20 minutes discussion. If time allows and depending upon participants' interest, other subjects such as staffing vs. outsourcing, integration with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and data standardization may be addressed.


The proposed two sessions are supported by the National Transit Institute Fellows Program. This program is designed to encourage transit practitioners to share their experience in innovative technology application in the industry. National Transit Institute is located at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Contact Information:

Terry Bills, Southern California Association of Governments, 818 W. 7th Street, 12 th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017; Tel: (213) 236-1807, Fax: (213) 236-1962, Email: bills@scag.ca.gov

Shirley Hsiao, Orange County Transportation Authority, 550 South Main Street, Orange, CA 92868, Tel: (714) 560-5711, Fax: (714) 560-5794, Email: shsiao@octa.net

John Sutton, GIS/Trans, Ltd., 2081 Business Center Drive, Suite 145, Irvine, CA 92612, Tel: (949) 222-0701, Fax: (949) 222-1081, email: jsutton@ca.gistrans.com


Developing and Applying GIS Capabilities to Public Transportion II

Monday, May 17, 3:30 - 5:00 PM

GIS Transit Applications in Fairfax County, VA

Brendan Ford, Wenyu Jia

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation manages a fixed route BUS system (Fairfax Connector) which encompasses 54 routes on a daily basis. To better support the planning, operation, and marketing of this bus system, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and the Fairfax County Department of Geographic Information Services formed a team to develop a series of GIS-T applications. This presentation will demonstrate some of the transit applications as well as discuss possible bus route modeling techniques.

Paramount to the success of this project is an understanding of the system's unique features and end-users' technical needs for GIS applications. Based on the identification of the system, the team built bus routes using Dynamic Segmentation in Arc/Info 7.1. Stop information was created using ArcView 3.0a and GPS receivers. Applications were thus developed with respect to three areas of transit management: planning, operation, and marketing. Planning applications provide user-friendly tools for planners to develop route profile and also allow a quick review of scenario analysis as planners restructure and design the routes. Operation applications are designed for daily service monitoring by analyzing boarding and alighting activities and running time. Marketing applications focus on customized mapping and Internet trip planning. Map Objects and Visual Basic were applied to design trip planning tools for providing bus route information over the Internet. The presentation will provide a quick view of the above applications.

This presentation will also cover different methods for modeling bus routes in a GIS. The team researched implementation choices from Transportation agencies around the country. The implementation strategy chosen to support our applications uses ArcView 3.1 and ArcView Network Analyst Extension. Lessons learned and other potential applications will be discussed as well.

Contact Information:

Brendan J. Ford, Senior GIS Analyst/Programmer, Fairfax County Geographic Information Services, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 117 Fairfax, VA 22035-0010, Tel: 703-324-3792, Fax: 703-324-3937, Email: brendan.ford@co.fairfax.va.us

Wenyu Jia, Transportation Planner, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 1034 Fairfax, VA 22035-5511, Tel: 703-324-1158, Fax: 703-324-1450, Email: wjia01@co.fairfax.va.us

Evaluating Accessibility and Optimizing Locations of Transit Service Facilities Using GIS

Srinivas S. Pulugurtha, Shashi S. Nambisan, Nanda Srinivasan

Accessibility to transit service facility (TSF) locations plays a significant role in the success of public transportation systems. The ease with which the end-user can reach a transit service facility such as bus stops or rail transit facilities play prominently in the decision making process of the individual. This paper attempts a working definition for accessibility in terms of walking distance and walking time. The objective of the attempt is to define and construct a measure to evaluate accessibility to TSF locations in the base-case (present) scenario for a transit system. The measure of accessibility is represented by an accessibility index value which is based on potential captive users belonging to various categories. Once the index is defined, it can then be used in planning better location of TSFs such that the potential for attracting riders is maximized.

A methodology is proposed to estimate the accessibility index value for TSFs. The methodology involves:

(1) Creation of an accessible network of streets around the Transit System Facility that are within an acceptable walking distance for the rider.

(2) Creation of accessible zones around the TSFs.

(3) Estimating the potential captive users belonging to different categories based on demographic criteria such as employment, household size, vehicle ownership, etc.

(4) Using these data in order to construct an index of accessibility by transit system facility, both individually and in terms of system wide accessibility.

Geographic Information Systems have traditionally been used in analysis, post-processing of results, and visual representation of data so as to facilitate easier recognition of spatial correlation between data and allow for easier decision making. In this research, the analytical capabilities of a GIS have been employed in order to assess and analyze layers of data such as the Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ data) including population by income and age groups, physically handicapped group, etc. Steps 1 and 2 require a network analysis which is available in most GIS software. Step 3 needs overlay of data layers: a primary function of any GIS. Once an index is defined in step 4, a GIS can be further used in determining the best locations and routes.

A case study is used in order to demonstrate the efficacy of the methods developed. The Las Vegas Citizens' Area Transit System facility is analyzed for one route and the accessibility index calculated. The index values are then used to optimally locate these TSFs.

Key Words: Accessibility, Transit service facilities, Geographic Information Systems, GIS

Contact Information:

Corresponding Author: Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, UNLV Transportation Research Center, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 454015, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4015, Tel.: (702) 895-1325, Fax: (702) 895-4401 E-mail : shashi@ce.unlv.edu

GIS Regional Transit Database Architecture

Emilio Escudero, John Sutton, Ph.D.

This paper describes the Regional Transit Database project being implemented in the San Francisco Bay Area by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland. The goal of the project is to centralize a number of disparate databases in one central regional database to support transit itinerary trip planning, web site information, rideshare program and other applications. A core component of the RTD architecture is the digital base map and GIS, which are used for geocoding origins and destinations, display of route maps, bus stops and other transportation information. The GIS also provides capabilities to manage and query the information stored in the RTD, with access over the internet via the Internet Map Server. The paper will describe the design and implementation of the RTD, the integration of the applications with GIS and the benefits and costs of the project. The RTD covers six counties in the Bay Area and includes information on 22 operators. The transit routes, schedules and fares are coordinated in the RTD and this information is then fed to the applications such as the trip planning program and the web site. This ensures that all applications have consistent set of information, they all use the same base map and have standard GIS tools. The implementation of these standards means that region-wide trip planning and transit information can be integrated in one system that can guide transit users across several transit service areas, and allows data transfer and data sharing between operators. The RTD also provides capabilities to support other transit projects including the TravInfo traveler information project and AC Transit's AVL project. The paper will describe both technical and organizational aspects of the project.

Contact Information:

Emilio Escudero Transit Coordinator, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland CA 94607-4700, Tel: (510) 464 7836, Eescudero@mtc.ca.gov

John Sutton, Ph.D, Vice President, GIS/Trans, Ltd., 2081 Business Center Drive, Suite 145, Irvine, CA 92612, Tel: (949) 222 0701, jsutton@ca.gistrans.com

Measuring Transit Availability with GIS

Jon M. Ausman

The office of Public Transit, working with Kittelson and Associates, has developed a software package which measures transit availability. This software uses both temporal and geographic factors to measure whether population and jobs are served by public transportation. The software, transferable to any community, requires the following: bus stop locations; bus routes; bus schedule book; TAZ population data; TAZ job data; and, walkable and air one-quarter mile segments from each bus stop.

The software will produce by temporal, geographic and bus route factors the following: people and jobs served; minutes of service for people and job locations; percent population served; and, percent job locations served. The software will give an accurate read on whether bus service is even available to residents or employment opportunities (this software doesn't address the question of connectivity).

The report tables are designed to be easily understood by three target audiences: policy-makers (elected and administrative); transit agency route and service designers; and MPO/FDOT model planners.

It is highly probable that current numbers used to show transit availability based on either population are geographical coverage will plummet in value after this software is used.

Contact Information:

Jon M. Ausman, Transit Program Manager, Florida Department of Transportation, 605 Suwannee Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450, Tel: 850-414-4519, Fax: 850-922-4942, E-mail: Jon.Ausman@dot.state.fl.us


Rural Transit GIS Applications

Monday, May 17, 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Small Rural Operations Integrating ITS

Steven E. Jones

"Changing efficiency and effectiveness using off the shelf applications and a minimalist philosophy to build an intelligent transportation system"

This presentation reviews the changes made during a four year period to a "successful" rural transportation system. Starting with a brief overview of where the system was four years ago you will examine the actions taken to modernize the operational aspects of Flagler Senior Services (FSS) and its transportation division Flagler County Transport (FCT). Emphasis is placed on the development of a vision for the future and how with reduced funding, FSS maintained its level of service through the introduction of ITS technology. Development of a local area network to integrate administrative, fiscal and operational venues using off-the-shelf technology became the basis for a strong minimalist philosophy that encourages innovation based on answers to the questions: what do I actually need and can I find it on the shelf in the marketplace? The presentation talks about the level of training needed to be successful and how FSS found a cutting edge paratransit product meeting its need for a state of the art product that was"high-end" and affordable. Innovations start with moving from a paper operation to an almost paperless operation and moving from planning without being able to visualize the geographic impact or issues to be solved to highly visual planning. These issues are resolved with the introduction of a fully functional GIS system with state wide mapping and the associated data collection, client address location, route and data analysis and data consistency offered by RouteLogic using MapInfo as a program shell. Off-the-shelf Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) units using cell phones were acquired as an integral component of the implementation project. The impact for a multitude of additional positive outcomes was seen during the "1998 Florida Fires in Flagler County". Geocoding of client addresses and establishing routes to assist persons with special needs as well as the AVL component of locating a vehicle to assist with evacuation provides a major improvement in service availability for rural areas. Flagler County provides a unique view into the implementation of ITS in a rural setting, finding success with a minimal expenditure of funds and still finding itself a leader in the transition to high tech.

Contact Information:

Steven E. Jones, Executive Director, Flagler Senior Services, 1000 Belle Terre Blvd, Palm Coast, FL 32164, Tel: 904.437.7300, Fax: 904.437.7300, E-mail: services@FlaglerSeniors.org, Web: www.FlaglerSeniors.org

The Evolution of Rural Transit Using GIS

Mary Constiner

The mission of the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) is to "Ensure the availability of efficient, cost-effective, and quality transportation for transportation disadvantaged persons." To that end, Community Transportation Coordinators, (CTCs), are in place in every county to coordinate transportation for social service and other purchasing agencies. Coordination of services allows agencies the opportunity to serve as many transportation disadvantaged Floridians as possible. In addition to offering efficient and cost-effective service, CTCs operate under several standards regarding vehicles, driver qualifications, and service delivery performance measures that seek to promote the highest quality of service delivery possible. The problem many CTCs face is that funds are allocated on a county by county basis, systems develop unique rate structures and service delivery models, and most systems deliver few services "beyond the county line". In the process of implementing a Federally sponsored rural Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) pilot project, the CTD had to find solutions to these barriers to successfully implement inter-county coordination of services through the use of transfer stations, integrated regional mapping applications, and coordination with fixed-route systems in urban centers. This presentation will highlight some of the lessons learned by project managers as they implemented this ITS project featuring GIS applications.

Contact Information:

Mary Constiner, ITS Project Manager, Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, Postal Address: 605 Suwannee St., MS-49, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450, Tel: (850) 488-6036, Fax (850) 922-7278, Email: mary.constiner@dot.state.fl.us, Web site: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/ctd

Development of a GIS Model to Improve Access to Jobs

Anna Nalevanko, Russell DeJarnette

The North Carolina Department of Transportation, Public Transportation Division, and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education are aggressively seeking ways that emerging technology can be employed to assist transit operators and others in improving quality and efficiency of service to their customers.

This paper describes a study that was completed in February, 1999. The study was undertaken to demonstrate the benefits of applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to enhance job access, specifically for Welfare-to-Work participants, in two North Carolina rural counties. The study team involved the department of social services, transit personnel, and other key stakeholders in the planning of a GIS model that was tested in the two counties. The demonstration has resulted in a very successful software application that can be used to assist:

Contact Information:

Anna Nalevanko, Deputy Director, Transit Operations Group, Institute for Transportation Research and Education, Tel: (919) 515-8624, E-mail: amn@unity.ncsu.edu

GIS as a Flexroute Planning Tool

Will Davis

Over the past decade, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have gone through a dramatic transformation from a complex tool which could only be utilized by highly trained professionals, to a tool with almost unlimited functionality designed for many different skill levels. In this presentation, I will outline how I use GIS to plan effective flexroute services in rural South Carolina. My back to the basics methodology is sure to bore the GIS goo-roo in search of the next "Killer ap", but should appeal to transit managers and planners in search of ways to achieve operational goals with limited GIS skills on staff. Specific topics discussed include the use of "Scatter plots", identification of stops, allowing for flex time, and other topics specific to the synthesis of a flexroutes and associated schedules.

Contact Information:

Will Davis, Planning Director, Santee Wateree RTA, 21 Holmes Gardner Rd, PO Box 2462, Sumter, SC 29151, Tel: (803) 775 9347, Fax: (803) 775 4048, E-mail: swrtagis@sumter.net


GIS Applications in Customer Information

Monday, May 17, 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Using GIS and the Internet to Provide Interactive Transit Customer Information

Brian L. Smith

Providing high quality transit service information is important in attracting and retaining passengers. Currently, brochures are most commonly used to provide a printed system map and a listing of schedules. While this format contains all necessary information for using a transit service, it requires passengers to perform fairly sophisticated spatial and data analyses. For example, to identify suitable bus stops, a person must manually analyze the spatial relationships between potential stops and his/her point of interest. This analysis also requires that the passenger understand and use map scale factors. In addition, a person must perform a manual table query to search for a schedule time that best suits his/her needs. Finally, large urban transit systems include so many stops and "special" schedules/routes (such as express service), that spatial and data analyses become even more complex.

The core strength of geographic information systems (GIS) lie in integrated spatial and attribute data analysis. Therefore, GIS is well suited to serve as the foundation for an interactive transit information system. Currently, the University of Virginia's Center for Transportation Studies is developing a GIS-based internet transit trip planner for the Peninsula Transportation Commission in Hampton, Virginia. The use of GIS in the trip planner allows the system to automate spatial and data analysis. For example, potential origin and destination stops are identified using the GIS buffer tool. In addition, the map interface provided by the GIS is used to provide customized walking directions from a location to any particular bus stop. The relational database "engine" of a GIS is also used extensively. Sophisticated queries are performed to find complete transit trips that "fit" into the time constraints of a passenger. In addition, a GIS database is used to log trip planner requests, allowing transit planners to identify service desired by the public that is not be currently offered. Finally, the application of GIS in the trip planner allows public transportation agencies to more fully utilize existing GIS databases, such as stop and route "inventories." These databases are costly to collect and maintain, and their use beyond more traditional transit service planning and evaluation applications will better justify the expense.

Using newly available GIS components (or objects) that function on the internet, the research team is developing a tool that will be available to passengers 24-hours per day. In addition, the system can easily be used in a kiosk application at major activity centers. Finally, as technology continues to develop, and widespread use of portable computing devices and the availability of wireless internet service becomes a reality, this form of transit trip planning will be conveniently accessed from any location.

Contact Information:

Brian L. Smith, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia, Department of Civil Engineering, Charlottesville, VA 22903; Tel: 804.243.8406, Fax: 804.982.2951, Email: briansmith@virginia.edu

Detroit Department of Transportation Automated Travel Information Management System

Glenn C. Robinson

Contributors: Donald Ray-Smith, Claryce Gibbons-Allen, Cornelius Henry, Chuck Wilson, Diane Kmiotek

Detroit Department of Transportation's (D-DOT) Automated Travel Information Management System (ATIMS) was conceived as a technical support tool for D-DOT's transit planning and marketing operations. The purpose of this document is to show how D-DOT has used ATIMS as an analytical tool in the decision making process. D-DOT's ATIMS uses GIS-T/Internet technology to support critical path projects such as: service reliability analysis, service change evaluation, route rationalization and D-DOT's Kiosk Information Service Program (KISP) which features a unique Travel Information Systems.

ATIMS is designed as a customer oriented travel information access system and transit application database infrastructure. The D-DOT's Travel Information Center (TIC) is a technical component of ATIMS and is used to support D-DOT's Kiosk Information Service Program (KISP). The initial deployment of this application includes: a fully featured GIS-T engine, electronic touch screen kiosk, local mode, Internet mode and a comprehensive package of traveler information.

TIC uses the ATIMS data store of transit service, bus route, street closing and travel behavior information that can be accessed in real time from external or local sites. TIC is available to the public user from the Internet; and to public transit users from touch screen Kiosks. D-DOT's TIC is seamlessly integrated with the cities web site. Hot-link controls are used to connect to Internet based services such as: the City of Detroit's Web page, Michigan's Intelligent Transportation Center and other regional transit providers.

Key Features

This paper surveys D-DOT's Planning and Marketing Division's utilization of the GIS-T capability to develop a Travel Information System, Transit Routing System and Transit operations database. The presentation will provide examples that show how ATIMS is used to facilitate decision making and include a demonstration of the travel information center. TIC is the latest example of

D-DOT's commitment to expanding transit rider-ship and providing better customer service.

Contact Information:

Glenn C. Robinson, GIS Coordinator, Detroit Department of Transportation, 936 Cresenwood Road, East Lansing, MI 48823, E-mail: robinson@tcimet.net

A Web-based Bus Information System

Jong Sung Lee, Jenny Baumgatner, Tschangho John Kim

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) operates a small but very efficient bus system, serving the University of Illinois and the surrounding communities. CUMTD received the award for America's Best Little Transit System in 1986 and 1994 by the American Transit Associations.

Currently, in addition to schedule booklets, CUMTD provides bus schedules through the World Wide Web (WWW). While users find schedules conveniently there, the task of selecting the best route is not an easy or convenient one, particularly when transfers are involved. Once riders have selected the destination, they must search the schedule to find which routes are the best for their trips. It becomes not a difficult, but a cumbersome task to coordinate their time with that of the bus schedules, particularly when transfers become necessary.

The purpose of this paper is to present a Bus Information System (BIS) for CUMTD, which is an interactive and easy-to-use WWW-based application. BIS will provide users with the shortest travel path and transfer information once the users enter an origin and a destination. Information pertaining to the most efficient routes, the given origin and destination, the nearest bus stop, transfer location and schedule, the arrival time of a bus at the given origin, and the estimated total travel time, will be displayed both graphically and in text format within a second upon request.

To provide this service, we used the Dynamap 2000 by the ESRI (data as of November of 1997) as the base map, which has been updated with current street and address data as of October 1998. BIS has been developed using MapObject, NetEngine and MapObject Internet Map Server, provided by ESRI. Street networks and bus routes were constructed using ArcView and Arc/Info.

Contact Information:

Any correspondence regarding this paper should be addressed to Prof. Tschangho John Kim, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 111 TB Hall, 611 E.L. Taft Dr., Champaign, 61820, Tel: (217) 244-5369, Fax: (217) 244-1717, E-mail: t-kim7@uiuc.edu


Developing and Applying GIS Capabilities To Public Transportation III

Tuesday, May 18, 8:30 - 10:00 AM

Considerations in the Design of a GIS-Based Tool for Visualizing Land Use-Transportation Interactions

Fang Zhao, Scott Burton, Marie York, John O'Brien, Jo Penrose

Planning professionals have long recognized the connection between land uses and transportation. However, in planning practices, the land uses and transportation facilities are often considered separately, usually by different departments in a local or regional government. While GIS has been used to support many transportation or land use planning efforts, efforts in using GIS to bring the two together have been limited.

This paper describes the design and implementation of a prototype GIS-based tool for visualizing the interaction between land use and transportation. The tool will provide functions to facilitate the understanding of important land use and transportation issues, as well as disseminate information through the Internet. The purpose of the software is to provide the planning professionals, the elected officials, and the general public with information regarding land uses and potential transportation improvements, and assist them in making the best land use-transportation decisions. The objectives to be achieved through the research include identification of relevant variables to allow such visualization, evaluation of applicable technologies, and study of issues such as data availability, data collection, data conversion, and integration of travel demand models and land use models.

The tool is implemented using GIS and multimedia technologies. The program is designed for people with limited GIS knowledge and skills. Currently, four menus that support the visualization of information related to land use, socioeconomic, transportation facilities, and accessibility have been implemented. More functions that will allow the GIS tool to be linked to a travel demand model for analyzing the impact of land use changes or improvements of transportation facilities are being implemented.

Some of the problems emerged from the project include a lack of metadata, incomplete or inaccurate databases, and a lack of a central data warehouse from which data from various agencies may be easily obtained. Historical data on both transportation projects and land use are also lacking, making evaluation of long term impacts of transportation projects difficult.

Contact Information:

Fang Zhao, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, Tel: (305) 348-3821, Fax: (305) 348-2802, Email: fang@eng.fiu.edu

Scott Burton, Marie York, John O'Brien, Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Jo Penrose, Florida Department of Transportation, District 6, Miami, FL 33130

Measuring Transportation Accessibility

Richard T. Stasiak, Xuehao Chu, Steven Polzin,

The purpose of this research was to construct an operational software suite capable of measuring accessibility in an urban area across modes operated in the study area. Ultimately, the software would be transferable and could be applied to any urban area to produce a variety of measures of transportation accessibility. Accessibility, in the context of this study, referred to various impedance factors measuring the ease with which trips can be made between traffic analysis zones. The research team used urban system planning model (TRANPLAN / FSUTMS) output for a case study of accessibility. This pilot project measured only automobile and bus transit accessibility in Gainesville, Florida, but the principles discussed here can be extended to almost any set of circumstances.

The key feature of this research was the integration of system planning models, proprietary GIS products, and customized mapping and tabulation programs, all woven together within the framework of a very short time frame and restricted budget. At an operational level, the analysis made use of an inexpensive GIS product (Maptitude) to carry out the principal mapping functions. Public domain data (system planning output, CTPP-Urban) provided the basic input to the process. A chain of console-based applications and two graphical programs, all developed from the Center for Urban Transportation Research's public domain software repository round out the analysis software suite. The software is capable of extracting four basic, time-of-day networks, performing direct analysis on each single-period network (including the manipulation of transit headways), and the combination of single-period networks into a one-week service collage.

In additional to operationalizing a number of textbook accessibility measures, this research has important policy implications. This research convincingly demonstrated a relatively low level of accessibility present in the transit mode, regardless of the mechanics of the measurement process. There is a significant disadvantage to the use of transit in both the expanse of the transit service area and the low quality of service where transit service is offered. This build-in disadvantage helps to explain the extremely low modal splits that are observed in Florida's (and other) urban areas. The analysis has important implications for "welfare-to-work" programs, presuming that many welfare recipients entering the workforce would have to make use of public transit. The research shows that significant portions of the study area had no transit service at all, suggesting that these areas would be inaccessible for transit patrons. Areas that did have transit service very often had low service frequency and poor travel times relative to the automobile. This suggests that transportation may prove to be a significant impediment to the successful integration of former welfare recipients into an otherwise highly mobile labor force.

Contact Information:

Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100, Tampa, FL 33620-5375, Fax: (813) 974-5168, Tel: (813) 974-9831; xchu@cutr.usf.edu; Tel: (813) 974-9849, polzin@cutr.usf.edu; Tel: (813) 974-9765, stasiak@cutr.usf.edu,

Building an ITS Using GIS

Alan Bridwell, Glenn Berry

The Johnson City, Tennessee MPO is undertaking an ITS project that uses GIS as the integrating element for building regional ITS capabilities. Advancements in GIS software and hardware components as well as affordability make using GIS a reasonable alternative for systems planning and management even for smaller agencies. Johnson City is a small urban area and the MPO is housed in joint facilities with the Transit System and GIS operations.

A PowerPoint presentation is under development that will identify the range of data resources, software packages, and newer mapping components including Internet tools, which enable agencies to develop GIS/desktop mapping capabilities. Transit applications are being developed which address access to employment issues as well as tracking/deployment of demand response vehicles. The MPO and Johnson City Transit System currently provide public information at the web site http://www.jcmpo.org which will be significantly expanded during the next phase of the ITS project.

TEA-21 directs MPOs to include integration of ITS services and definition of a regional ITS architecture into the planning process. Many MPOs and transit agencies have foundations for excellent ITS programs in place by using existing GIS or other information systems as the core platform. The 2000 Census will provide a fresh data source from which to build capabilities particularly when combined with FTA Section 15 and other data elements. Johnson City has coined the concept of "ITS Lite" which features a toolkit of lower cost techniques that grow system features over time depending upon available resources and existing staff capabilities. This will be extremely important for small urban and rural transit agencies to achieve benefits from emerging transportation technologies.

Contact Information:

Alan Bridwell, Transportation Coordinator, Johnson City MPO, Email: atb@tricon.net

Glenn Berry, GIS Analyst, Geo Decisions, Inc., Email: gberry@gfnet.com, http://www.geodecisions.com

An Assessment of Desktop GIS Tools for Transit: Successes and Lessons Learned in San Diego

Linda Culp, Jeff Martin

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the regional planning agency and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the San Diego region. A major emphasis at SANDAG is to assist the region's transit operators in their planning and marketing activities by providing technical assistance and data including geographic analysis, survey research, and transportation modeling. For example, SANDAG uses geographic information systems (GIS) to assist operators in survey research analysis, socio-economic and buffer analysis, and light rail extension studies. In 1995, SANDAG designed a desktop GIS tool for direct use by each individual operator in the San Diego Region. With this tool, operators were given access to a variety of data including demographic and ridership information that could be integrated for route planning, segment analysis, target marketing, and other applications. Following the project's initial success, many of the local operators participating in the project have experienced a loss of key GIS personnel and resources that have diminished the effectiveness of the tool to the operator but led to SANDAG staff continuing to utilize it on behalf of the operators. SANDAG has also experienced challenges in maintaining the most current information in the system. This paper will detail the project in San Diego as well as the successes and lessons learned that may be applicable to other transit operations.

Contact Information:

Linda Culp, Jeff Martin, San Diego Association of Governments, 401 B Street, Suite 800, San Diego CA 92101, Tel: (619) 595-5300


GIS Applications in Rail Transit Station Area Development

Tuesday, May 18, 8:30 - 10:00 AM

Transit Station Area Land Use/Site Assessment With Multiple Criteria: An Integrated GIS-Expert Systems Prototype

Reza Banai, Ph.D.

To aid decision makers confronted with a problem of determining the suitability of a site with a proposed LRT stop as a transit supportive (re)development, a prototype, integrated GIS and decision support systems is illustrated. An inclusive concept of a hierarchy is used in which the multiple, diverse dimensions of the land use/site assessment problem-from the goal, criteria, to the alternatives --can be embedded in deciding suitability of a site as a transit supportive development. Framed as a multicriteria procedure, and integrated with a GIS, the decision support system provides the flexibility to account not only for the configurational or physical features of the built environment, the patterns of growth (or decline) of the population and employment in the region, but also the socio-economic, demographic, and tripmaking characteristics of the targeted population. Thereby, the joint effects of the population (demand) characteristics and of the features of the built environment of land use/transportation (supply) are reflected in the scores of the site assessment. Furthermore, the prototype facilitates decision making by deriving the relative importance of the multiple, 'supply' and 'demand' factors strategically and adaptively vis-a-vis the site-specific constraints and opportunities. Finally, the criteria-weighted land use suitability scores are computed and displayed which indicate the suitability of the site as a transit supportive development. The multicriteria part of this prototype is implemented with a C program as an interactive, expert decision support system integrated with a geographic information system.

Contact Information:

Reza Banai, Ph.D., Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning, University of Memphis, 226 Johnson Hall, Memphis TN 38152, Tel: (901) 678-2161, Fax: (901) 678-4162, Email:


Using GIS for Rail Transit Station Area Planning and Development in Florida

Ronald C. Sheck, Ph.D.

In just over 10 years Florida has become a player in the rail transit arena. Miami and south Florida have taken the lead with heavy rail, automated guideway and commuter rail transit. Nearly sixty stations exist on rail lines operated by Metro Dade Transit Agency (MDTA) and the Tri County Commuter Rail Authority. Jacksonville has opened an automated guideway system that is undergoing expansion. Orlando is moving ahead to implement the first segment of a light rail system. Tampa is in final design and engineering on a replica historic streetcar line and considering light rail transit as part of its transportation improvements. Existing, under construction and planned rail lines offer considerable opportunity for station area development.

GIS applications for station area planning have been undertaken by Metro Dade Transit Agency (MDTA) in Miami, and are part of the system planning process in for rail transit development being planned in Orlando and Tampa. Orlando (Lynx) is moving into the final design work for a first phase, 14.7 mile light rail line that will include 17 stations. In the Tampa area, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) is moving ahead on two projects. The 2.5 mile Tampa-Ybor City streetcar project will include 12 stops, several with considerable new development or redevelopment potential. HART is also carrying out preliminary engineering and environmental assessments for a three route, 26 mile rail transit system serving 25 stations. GIS has been a helpful tool for station area planning for each of these transit agencies.

GIS applications in station area planning in these three systems incorporate a variety of data bases to produce information on existing conditions at station sites. Baseline conditions are mapped for key social, economic, demographic, land use and transportation variables. The task has often been complicated by having to use different sources for the many variables useful for planning and impact measurement. A further complicating factor is that local government and private sector data sources frequently use different soft ware platforms. However, overcoming these problems has been achieved and GIS is proving to be an invaluable tool for more cost-effective planning and analysis. These issues, strategies and benefits of using GIS to assist in transit station area planning and development are explored from the perspective of the several Florida areas using this technology.

Contact Information:

Ronald C. Sheck, Transit Solutions, P.O. Box 1488, Tampa, FL 33690, Email: transol@tampabay.rr.com

GIS Applications in Rail Station Area Planning

Louis Millan

NJ TRANSIT is a provider of statewide public transportation services in New Jersey, serving over 200 million passengers annually. It operates a system of 12 commuter rail lines and 162 stations, a light rail system, and a network of 170 bus routes. NJ TRANSIT has used the analytical and display capabilities of geographic information systems to support rail station area planning and ridership development activities. GIS applications generally fall into five categories: accommodating passenger access to the rail system; location of facilities; provision of amenities; minimizing negative impacts; and, communicating with the public. The effectiveness of these applications has been enhanced by the availability of a variety of spatial data resources, including digital aerial orthophotography, and the use of global positioning systems (GPS) for mapping. NJ TRANSIT is using GPS to survey and map its rail lines, utilizing a technique for processing GPS points and generating track centerlines that is based on statistical regression. The presentation will include examples of GIS applications, and the data utilized therein.

Contact Information:

Louis Millan, Manager, GIS-T, New Jersey Transit Corporation, One Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ 07105, Tel: (973) 491-7760, Fax: (973) 491-7837, Email: cplnlxm@njtransit.state.nj.us

Using GIS to Plan for Transit Oriented Development in Maryland

Stuart Sirota

The passage of Maryland's Smart Growth legislation in 1997 has led to heightened interest in pursuing transit oriented development (TOD). TOD is considered to be a powerful tool for reducing sprawl and creating livable communities in which residents have less reliance on automobiles as a sole means of transportation. The Maryland Department of Transportation along with its public transit arm, the Mass Transit Administration (MTA) is investigating the feasibility of creating TOD at its transit facilities. While MTA's mission is to oversee and develop public transit policy throughout the Maryland, it also functions as the primary transit operating agency for the Baltimore region and provides commuter services in the Washington, DC region. It operates or contracts four modes of transit including bus, light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail and serves over 130 rail stations and express bus park and ride facilities.

While there is currently no formal TOD program at MTA, there are individual projects and activities that are involved in the implementation of TOD at various levels. GIS has been instrumental in supporting these efforts in a number of ways. The presentation will discuss various ways GIS has been used in this capacity. These include:

1.) Creation of GIS data sets for all transit services and facilities in Maryland. This has been used as the foundation for all subsequent TOD applications;

2.) Tracking development activity in the Baltimore Region and using the resulting analysis to provide input to local review agencies with respect to transit serviceability.

3.) Inventorying and rating bicycle & pedestrian access at transit stations.

4.) Developing transit facility profiles which assess the potential for TOD at all transit facilities in Maryland.

Another important effort in promoting TOD activities has been the sharing of information and analysis with external agencies, developers, and other interested organizations by bundling and distributing GIS data on CD. GIS maps and analysis have also been converted to Adobe Acrobat format, and have also been freely distributed. This has expanded the reach of GIS products into the hands of non-GIS users. In addition, all of this information is expected to be published on the MTA's World Wide Web site in the near future. The use of GIS at MTA has been steadily increasing, and is expected to increase further still, because it has proven to be a highly effective tool for supporting TOD and other transit planning activities.

Contact Information:

Stuart Sirota, Senior GIS Specialist, Parsons Brinckerhoff, 301 N. Charles S., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD, 21201, Tel: (410) 752-9627, Fax: (410) 727-4608, Email: sirotas@pbworld.com;


GIS Applications in Service Planning

Tuesday, May 18, 10:30 - 12:00 PM

Using GIS To Evaluate Multimodal Travel Patterns at Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Susan Bregman, Kristin Dorsey Santangelo, Gary D. Hufstedler

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) provides transit services in Dallas and 12 surrounding cities. Over the past few years, DART has evolved into a multimodal system. Light rail and commuter rail service were recently introduced, and DART has modified many of its bus routes to support the new rail system. To assess the impacts of these changes on its ridership, DART recently conducted an on-board survey of bus and rail passengers. The data will provide DART with a comprehensive understanding of the travel patterns of current users and serve as a baseline for subsequent analysis.

GIS is central to this multimodal travel analysis and was used to develop a snapshot of current ridership patterns. Using survey data, Multisystems prepared summary maps for each bus route and rail station. For bus routes, each map depicted the route alignment and showed passenger destinations at the Traffic Survey Zone (TSZ) level. For rail stations, maps were developed to identify passenger origins and destinations. These maps provide an overview of the geographic patterns in DART ridership, which will help service planners and marketing staff target their efforts on specific corridors.

In addition, more detailed GIS analysis can be undertaken for specific routes, stations, or transfer centers to highlight demographic characteristics and ridership behavior. For example, maps may be developed to display key combinations of survey variables, such as ridership frequency in relation to city of origin or mode of access to rail by time of day. Maps can also be used to highlight transfer activity, both between bus routes and between bus and rail. In addition to supporting service planning activities, this level of information can help inform policy decisions about rail expansion, park-and-ride availability, marketing strategies, fare levels and payment media, and similar issues.

This presentation will focus on the role of GIS in analyzing on-board survey data and the implications for planners and decision-makers. The methodology for translating survey data into GIS maps will be discussed, along with the challenges encountered and problems resolved. Maps prepared for this analysis will be incorporated into the presentation.

Contact Information:

Susan Bregman and Kristin Dorsey Santangelo, Multisystems, Inc., 10 Fawcett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, Email: sbregman@multisystems.com

Gary D. Hufstedler, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, P.O. Box 660163, Dallas, Texas 75266-0163

Using GIS for Transit Service Planning

James Wensley, James "Buck" Marks

In the earliest applications of GIS to short-range bus service planning, GIS was used to map demographic data in the service area of a bus route or a whole transit system. The characteristics of the population of the service area within a quarter-mile or half-mile buffer of a route could be calculated and used for analysis of possible service changes. Going beyond these early applications GIS can also be used to map and analyze other data available to transit agencies, such as detailed ridership data, on-time performance data, and level of service statistics. This presentation will illustrate how these types of data from various sources can be linked to geographic representations in GIS and be manipulated to perform analyses useful to the service planning function.

Over the last several years, the amount and detail of ridership data available to transit agency service planners has grown rapidly. First, there was the introduction of electronic fareboxes, followed by greater use of vehicles equipped with automated passenger counters. These data sources were added to the traditional labor intensive sources, such as on-board surveys and passenger counts, done now using both traditional manual methods and with hand-held automated data collection units. While these methods all result in somewhat different sets of data, the data share the same common link to geographic elements, routes, route segments, and bus stops, that can be represented and analyzed using GIS.

The amount of transit operations data available to planners has also grown in recent years. Automated vehicle location (AVL) systems, many now using GPS, are providing a wealth of data on transit schedule adherence. Computer assisted transit vehicle scheduling systems contain easily accessible data on transit schedules and scheduled service levels. Newer scheduling systems, such as Multisystems' MIDAS-VOS, provide direct links to GIS databases of bus routes, so that data on actual transit service can be compared to schedules and scheduled service levels, and the data can be analyzed and mapped.

This presentation will show how transit ridership, transit operations, and zonal data (such as census or survey data) can be analyzed together using GIS in order to assist transit service planners. The presentation will include examples of actual data from major cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and San Juan, in addition to other illustrative examples of GIS service planning analyses.

Contact information:

Multisystems, Inc., 10 Fawcett St, Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel: (617) 864-5810, Fax: (617) 864-3510, Email: jwensley@multisystems.com, bmarks@multisystems.com

Using G.I.S. to Enhance Transit Service Planning

Brad Thompson

Pace, the suburban bus service of northeastern Illinois, began pursuing GIS technology in the late 1980's. The interest in GIS was enhanced by the decision of other community, county and sub-regional groups development of similar systems. Pace recognized the opportunity to be an integral part of the planning process for internal service design as well as external planning processes.

By 1990, Pace had implemented an early version of ARC/INFO, and secured the Census Bureau's TIGER Line files for use as a base map. Pace also obtained regional census demographic data including population, employment, and forecasts for future growth. Pace worked with other agencies, particularly the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) to develop an accurate database of information.

With a database established, Pace developed processes to improve service planning and to identify and develop potential new markets. Service planning is completed at the route, station, sub-system, system and regional levels and the GIS enhanced Pace's capabilities to design services appropriate for a sprawling suburban region. In addition, the links to other regional transit agencies (the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra Commuter Rail) are identified in Pace's GIS and the data is used for service planning.

Since most transit and transportation data that Pace requires can be linked spatially, GIS is an excellent tool that can be used by the Operations Department for service design and implementation. The GIS also provides valuable information to other departments at Pace including:

Intergovernmental Affairs Market research Paratransit

Market Development Strategic Planning Vanpool

The presentation provides insight into how Pace uses GIS including how to:

1. Target and market potential riders

2. Display automatic passenger counter (APC) data

3. Determine Americans with Disabilities (ADA) service boundaries

4. Analyze service by political boundaries

5. Geo-code applications to determine eligibility

Contact Information:

Brad Thompson, Senior Project Manager, Pace Suburban Bus Service, 550 W. Algonquin Rd.,

Arlington Heights, Il. 60005, brad.thompson@pacebus.com


Melting GIS into Transit Planning, GIS Ingredients for Public Transit

(Workshop Session)

Tuesday, May 18, 10:30 - 12:00 PM

Terry Bills, Shirley Hsiao, Marc Kratzschmar, John Sutton

This session will discuss the importance of transit operation data integration and demonstrate how different levels of analyses can be performed using a common database. Project examples will be presented.

1. Basic Transit Planning Elements: Essential GIS-transit data elements and the need for a common master database will be discussed as the key ingredients for GIS in transit. Since data preparation is costly and labor intensive, leveraging existing operation data sources and promoting consistent data standards within the agency will also be highlighted.

2. Routine Use of GIS Functions: To provide GIS functions directly accessible from transit planners' desktops, OCTA compiled frequently requested information to support well-defined business function areas within the agency. The presentation will focus on how the transit planning process becomes more responsive and efficient with a variety of transit performance measurements and routine GIS functions precompiled for immediate application in a client /server environment.

3. Higher Level of Modeling Analysis: The next level analysis addresses how GIS modeling functions are used to support strategic planning and streamline operation process. For instance, GIS logistics was applied to optimize the bus stop maintenance crew schedule with more routing assignment capacity. Using GIS, a new "spatial criteria" is incorporated to validate the on-board survey, so origin-destination trip distribution and travel characteristics are generated through spatial data analysis.

4. Internet Application: Internet-based GIS data application is a powerful tool in responding efficiently to transit customer information inquiries. This presentation will describe how the Southern California Association Governments implemented a transit trip-planning module on the Internet. As the primary transit information hub for southern California commuters, this program provides specific routing and scheduling information based upon users' input on origin, destination and travel time preference.

Contact Information:

Terry Bills, Southern California Association of Governments, 818 W. 7th Street, 12 th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017, Tel: (213) 236-1807, Fax: (213) 236-1962, Email: bills@scag.ca.gov

Shirley Hsiao, Orange County Transportation Authority, 550 South Main Street, Orange, CA 92868, Tel: (714) 560-5711, Fax: (714) 560-5794, Email: shsiao@octa.net

Marc Kratzschmar, Environmental Systems Research Institute, 380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373-8100, Tel: (909) 793-2853 ext. 2183, Fax: (909) 793-5953, Email: mkratzschmar@esri.com

John Sutton, GIS/Trans, Ltd., 2081 Business Center Drive, Suite 145, Irvine, CA 92612, Tel: (949) 222-0701, Fax: (949) 222-1081, Email: jsutton@ca.gistrans.com


Access to Jobs

Tuesday, May 18, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

A Transit Access Analysis of TANF Recipients in the City of Portland, Oregon

Thomas W. Sanchez

The passage of TEA-21 accelerates the opportunities for utilizing GIS for Transportation Planning (GIS-T) to support Welfare-to-Work. Guidance on the use of GIS-T for this purpose is needed quickly to provide the information that transit agencies, service providers, and social service organizations need to develop suitable programs and maximize their available resources. Add to these challenges presented by TEA-21, the challenges routinely faced by transit operators in providing effective service amidst increasing automobile dependency as well as dispersed and transit inaccessible land use patterns. It becomes clear that transit's role in employment based transportation is changing and becoming more difficult.

Little evidence exists regarding the relationship between transit service provision and labor participation rates. While policy-makers continue to assert that employment status is a function of transportation mobility, there is no empirical evidence to support this theory. It is generally assumed that public transit effectively links underemployed, car-less, persons with appropriate job locations. Out of these assumptions, it is a common belief that if adequate transit were available, a worker's likelihood of being employed would increase. Hence, the call for more transit services to assist moving welfare recipients to gainful employment. Thus far the available evidence is anecdotal, while general patterns of transit access and labor participation remain relatively unexplored.

This analysis examines whether transit access serves as a viable alternative to the personal automobile for work related trip making for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients in the City of Portland, Oregon. The analysis uses disaggregate TANF recipient location data from the State of Oregon, Department of Adult and Family Services; transit route/stop data from Tri-Met; block group census data; and disaggregate employment location data within a GIS. GIS capabilities are essential in performing network accessibility analyses and for analyzing spatial patterns of TANF recipient locations and employment locations. The results of this analysis provide transportation planners with valuable information that can be used to target transit operations for Welfare-to-Work activities.

Contact Information:

Thomas W. Sanchez, Asst. Professor, Center for Urban Studies, Portland State University, PO Box 751-CUS, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, Tel: (503) 725-8743, Fax: (503) 725-8480, Email: sanchezt@pdx.edu

The Mobility Needs of WAGES Clients in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties Establishing Transportation Needs Through a GIS

Martin Catalá, Jennifer Hardin

In 1996, the State of Florida established the Work & Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency Program (WAGES). WAGES replaced the state's entitlement-based welfare system with focus on helping welfare recipients successfully reenter the workforce. With new work and education responsibilities former welfare recipients have numerous new problems to confront. This has created an entire new set of problems for the agencies responsible for delivering services to these populations. A major component of this problem is the spatial mismatch of jobs, homes, and daycare facilities. This paper examines how geographic information systems (GIS) can help identify problems and potential solutions for agencies charged with addressing these problems in two counties on the West Coast of Florida. The GIS will identify transit and daycare service opportunities and gaps.

The study identifies areas with high incidence of WAGES clients and high numbers of children of WAGES clients. Additionally, the number of employed WAGES participants and their respective employment location are identified through the GIS to assist with identifying potential shared trips with the participants. The final element of the examination is the daycare facilities. The location and availability of daycare facilities relative to the location of WAGES families is also considered. The analysis, performed at the U.S. Census Blockgroup level, ultimately identifies areas of need. Identification of these areas of need provide the service providers with useful information to assist with decisions regarding resource allocation. Finally, the GIS was used to locate areas of high need based on all of the above mentioned criteria.

Contact Information:

Martin Catalá, Research Associate, Center for Urban Transportation Research, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, CUT 100, Tampa, FL 33620, Tel: (813)-974-9791, Fax: (813)-974-5168, Email: catala@cutr.usf.edu

Jennifer Hardin, Research Associate, Center for Urban Transportation Research, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, CUT 100, Tampa, FL 33620, Tel: (813)-974-1092, Fax: (813)-974-5168, Email: hardin@cutr.usf.edu

Spatial Analysis as Related to Welfare-to-work Planning

Steve Smith

The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has expanded dramatically in the past several years. GIS has proven to add efficiency to a wide range of applications to make better use of limited resources. The best example of the social good that computerized GIS can achieve is Welfare-To-Work planning.

The availability and proximity of employment and childcare are large factors in moving individuals from the public payroll to paying jobs. This is largely a logistical problem and is perfectly suited for GIS analysis.

A wide variety of GIS is being put use to solve the Welfare-To-Work problem. The fundamental issues as related to GIS are the same:

This data must be coordinated and shared between the different sources. Due to the numerous cross-governmental agencies working on the Welfare-To-Work issue, this can be complicated:

The challenge is to integrate the data together in a functional way. This dilemma lends itself perfectly to the Internet. With the centralized availability of map, employment locations and transit infrastructure data that the Internet can provide, employment facilitators can concentrate on the more human issues of moving people from the welfare payroll.

The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) in Detroit, Michigan is in an ongoing effort to use GIS to enhance mobility in the area. SMART has brought together the agencies and technology necessary to accomplish such a system. As early pioneers in GIS for transit, SMART was the first transit agency to implement the Trapeze mapping solutions for Welfare-To-Work analysis. With the preliminary studies complete, the next two logical steps are apparent: 1) to move the system to the Internet for remote access; and, 2) to more thoroughly interface to the system the fixed and flex route scheduling data providing on-line access to transit itineraries.

The potential is for anyone to go to such a site on the Internet and, either personally or with assistance, type in a profile of themselves including their address, work preferences, previous experience and child care requirements and obtain a list of available jobs, public transit itinerary and childcare details at one sitting.

Contact Information:

Steve Smith, Trapeze Software Group, Attn: Marketing Communications Coordinator, 2800 Skymark Avenue, 2nd Floor, Building 1, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L4W 5A6, Tel: (905) 629-8727, Fax: (905) 238-8408, Email: info@mail.trapezesoftware.com

Applying GIS to Welfare to Work - A Summary of Best Practices

David Koses, Kristin Santangelo, Russell Thatcher

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become useful tools for welfare-to-work transportation planning. Many transit agencies and other organizations have been able to analyze transit coverage by creating layers of geographic data, including welfare client residences, available transportation services, possible job opportunities, and child care facilities. Organizations have been able to use these geographic layers to create maps and analyze service gaps and opportunities for improvements in transit networks. For example, many organizations are detecting a spatial mismatch between areas where welfare clients traditionally live (in urban centers) and areas where entry-level job growth is occurring (often in the suburbs). In addition, GIS is being used as a tool for trip planning by transit agencies and others.

Multisystems, Inc. is currently working on a research project funded by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) to collect information from various planning, transit and other organizations regarding current uses of GIS for welfare-to-work transportation. This project, TCRP H-20, is titled "Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Welfare-to-Work Transportation Planning and Service Delivery". This presentation will present examples of the use of GIS for welfare-to-work transportation planning across the country.

First, the research will identify how agencies are using GIS for welfare-to-work planning applications. The research will describe problems and solutions encountered as each agency's GIS application was developed, as well as the benefits realized from the use of GIS software. This information will be especially useful to municipalities, agencies and organizations that would like to start using GIS for their welfare-to-work transportation planning. Detailed information will be developed about each model application, such as: the GIS software and functions used, database management issues, and costs and benefits acquired from using GIS for welfare-to-work transportation planning. GIS applications for welfare-to-work planning efforts, which have been or will be surveyed as part of this project, include the following areas: Akron, Albuquerque, Attleboro and Taunton (MA), Bergen County (NJ), Boston, Buffalo, Cape Cod (MA), Chautauqua County (NY), Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Jersey (statewide), New York City, Orange County (CA), Orange County (FL), Philadelphia, St. Mary's County (MD), Syracuse (NY), Worcester (MA), and York County (VA). The focus of the research will be on best practices rather than a description of all activities.

A second part of this project describes how GIS can also be used as a customized trip planner, on a desktop or over the Internet, to aid in the efforts of job counselors, transportation coordinators, transitional caseworkers, and welfare clients. Trip planners are useful in identifying the desired trip, including mapping of the origin (home location), destination (place of employment), intermediate stops (child care) and the transportation alternatives available for that trip to take place. Again, the focus of the research will be on best practices.

Contact information:

Multisystems, Inc., 10 Fawcett St, Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel: 617-864-5810, Fax: 617-864-3510, Email: dkoses@multisystems.com, ksantangelo@multisystems.com; rthatcher@mutlisystems.com,


Data, Data, Data

Tuesday, May 18, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Census and Journey to Work Data

Celia G. Boertlein

This presentation is very general in nature. It briefly discusses the Census Bureau's past, present, and future data products that contain information relating to commuting. Much of the discussion relates to the decennial censuses (1960-2000) and their products and the newly-developed American Community Survey.

Journey-to-work data is collected in the Census through several questions: place of work location, means of transportation to work, carpool occupancy, time of departure, and minutes to work (travel time). This information is used for planning highway construction, public transportation services, and programs for easing traffic and parking problems.

Journey-to-work data provide information for the states and large metropolitan areas on how we use national transportation and energy. This information helps to forecast transportation and energy needs and helps our leaders in developing transportation and energy policies.

Journey-to-work data for local areas provide information for local community planners to develop transportation programs and develop plans for disaster recovery or contingency planning. In addition, this information is used for business-related activities to define daytime populations in marketing.

Contact Information:

Celia G. Boertlein, Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch, Population Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C. 20233-8800, Tel: (301)457-2454, fax: (301)457-2481, Email: Celia.G.Boertlein@ccMail.Census.GOV


Susan Liss

From July 2000 through June 2001, the Department of Transportation is planning on conducting two major surveys of personal travel --

The NPTS/ATS 2000 represents the work we are doing to coordinate the results of these surveys to view the full continuum of travel by the American public.

The following survey features may be of special interest to the transit planning community:

The year 2000 may represent the last year of the long form of the Decennial Census, which allows for the collection of extensive data on the journey to work. The NPTS/ATS 2000 gives us the opportunity to view the journey to work in the context of travel for all purposes.

Contact Information:

Susan Liss, NPTS Project Manager, Federal Highway Administration, HPPI, Room 3306, Washington, DC 20590, Tel: (202) 366-5060, Fax: (202) 366-7742, Email:


The National Spatial Data Infrastructure

John J. Moeller

The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) was established by Executive Order 12906 on April 11, 1994 in order to promote the development, use and sharing of geographic data across the nation. EO 12906 directs Federal agencies to provide leadership in development of the NSDI and to do this in partnership with State, local, and tribal governments, academia, the private sector, professional societies, and others. The creation of the NSDI is in recognition of the need to increase the sharing of geographic data and to reduce potential duplication of data collection among those who use geographic data in their business activities and decision making. The NSDI is being established with the recognition that common pieces of geography link agencies and communities together and that improved sharing of data over these common areas will enable us to bring together economic, social and environmental decisions in a way that enhances the nation's ability to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Making NSDI work will involve implementation actions across a number of areas. The NSDI is built on cooperation in using electronic technology to help find and share geographic data. It includes following a level of mutually accepted standards for data management, content and classification and using common base themes of data for referencing and linking other data. It also means creating a network of organizations and unified collections of data that together represent shared responsibilities, data requirements and interests in common geographic areas.

The NSDI is a way of bringing together the technology, standards, people and new ways of doing business to help make decisions critical to our current and future well-being. Across the nation, many agencies, organizations and individuals are working together with an attitude of cooperation to connect data and decision requirements in order to leverage their collective strengths and to use geographic information to help them understand problems and to reach workable long-term solutions.

Contact Information:

John J Moeller, Staff Director, Federal Geographic Data Committee, US Geological Survey, 590 National Center, Reston, VA 20192, Tel: (703) 648-5752, Email: jmoeller@usgs.gov