This tool is a one-stop shop for tracking, compiling, categorizing, and analyzing feedback on transportation plans, proposed service changes, environmental assessments, and other transportation planning processes that incorporate public comment. This tool integrates the data collection effort in a thoughtful and informed process. The tool can track how, when, and where a comment was submitted; assign it to a category or associated with a specific route/transit service; and provide summary data to track outreach progress in real time. Custom user interfaces can be added to make direct data input from paper forms seamless for novice users.
Example Application: Throughout the five phases of public outreach for the BaltimoreLink project, the Public Comment Manager was used to track who provided feedback (i.e., public, elected officials, stakeholders, operators); where or how they provided feedback (pop-up events, workshops, email, or online avenues), and, most importantly, what they thought about the BaltimoreLink plan. Users entered data directly into a public-facing interface, staff categorized comments through easy-to-use forms, and report outputs aggregated information automatically. By using this tool, Maryland MTA was able to see results and input on an ongoing basis, and service planners were able to easily and truly incorporate public feedback into revising the routes.