Within these pages, readers will find information and resources on transit data, with a particular focus on the ITS transit data sharing, integration, and management needs of transit agencies. Better integration and management of ITS transit data could improve the use of these data by transit agencies to support transit planning and day-to-day operations.
The transit industry has enormous volumes of data applicable to many different facets of the business. Transit data apply to core aspects for transit monitoring (stops, vehicles, connections, and facilities) and static transit schedules/timetables. They also apply to a range of business systems including spatial data, fare systems, ridership, customer service, information systems, asset management, operators, security, revenue, parking, and payroll.
Data from transit intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is also a valuable resource for transit service planning and operations. In particular, vehicle location and passenger activity data from automatic vehicle location (AVL), automatic passenger counter (APC), and automatic fare collection (AFC) systems can be used to provide essential insights into transit operations. They can also inform decision-making to increase the efficiency, productivity, and safety of transit service. There are, however, significant challenges for transit agencies in accessing and using this data. Many agencies cannot get to the data at all or do not understand the data they have. Data validation and quality control, integration and matching across various data sets, and aggregating data are all hard tasks. Additionally, there are issues developing the types of reports, tools, and analytics that contribute to informed decision making. Even when transit agencies, researchers, and consultants do address these challenges, they often have difficulty sharing their work with their peers in the industry because the same types of data may be managed differently among transit agencies. The result is that transit ITS data is rarely used to its full benefit. 1
- 1TRB. (2019, August 8). TCRP G-18 Improving Access and Management of Transit ITS Data. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from Transportation Research Board: https://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4687