We work with outside tools and data that allow us to develop GIS, Excel, and Access-based tools for transit and active transportation applications. They rely on readily-available and client-provided data and incorporate, as needed, scheduling software (i.e., Hastus, Trapeze), on-board bus data systems and processing tools (i.e., Clever Devices, Xerox, UTA), performance reporting tools (e.g., Tableau), and transit planning tools (e.g., Open Trip Planner, Remix).

Some of the tools that we have developed include:

GTFS Creator

 

This geographic tool allows us to convert GIS route and stop layers and their associated properties (route alignment, stop location, span, schedule, headways) into the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data feed format. Agencies can use GTFS feeds generated in-house for an array of projects, including public-facing trip planners (such as Google Maps or Open Trip Planner), accessibility analyses, and Title VI service equity analyses.

Example Application: Foursquare ITP created the entirely new GTFS layer for the BaltimoreLink transit network redesign in Baltimore, MD, and used the tool for comparative analyses, generation of unique bus stop signage, and an online comparative trip planner application, which was deployed during public outreach and education to allow the public to easily understand how their trip would chance in the new system.

Online comparative trip planner app

GTFS Analyzer

This tool is designed to quickly and seamlessly extract, summarize, and aggregate transit data at the route, stop, or geographic level. It is used to conduct region-wide analyses by summarizing levels of service by day, time-period, route, bus stop, or geographic area.

Example Application: Foursquare ITP analyzed market conditions through this tool for the Articulated Bus Evaluation for the Centre Area Transit Authority (CATA) in State College, PA, allowing the agency to quickly see parts of the service area and routes that may benefit from the use of larger vehicles.

Articulated Bus Evaluation

Transit Propensity Calculator

This tool utilizes readily available data to determine the likelihood of transit use by different populations and for different purposes. Upwards of 60 variables are combined to generate GIS maps of relative transit propensity for the study area. Foursquare ITP’s tool uses scripts to automatically pull Census and LEHD data from online databases and auto-generates maps in GIS, allowing us to conduct a lot of analysis very efficiently

Example Application: For the Arlington County Transit Development Plan, Foursquare ITP generated overall and targeted trip-type transit propensity and combined it with existing service and overall travel flows so that the county could visualize gaps in transit service and develop targeted recommendations to address deficiencies.

Arlington County Transit Propensity Calculator

Route Sheet Generator

This tool automatically pulls key transit service data from our Transit Operating Cost Calculator tool and individualized maps from GIS to produce route profiles that summarize key data for our clients to quickly see key route information and for public and stakeholder outreach.

Example Application: In the BaltimoreLink transit system redesign, route sheets show proposed service levels and costs on one side and a map of the proposed route(s) on the other. These easy-to-read profiles explain this complex system redesign to the public.

Route sheets showing proposed service levels

Ridership Analyzers and Reporters

These tools are used to quickly process raw ridership data obtained through various types of APC software, including Hastus, UTA, and Ridecheck Plus. Once the ridership data is processed, the tool summarizes and aggregates ridership data at the system-wide, jurisdictional, route, and bus stop levels. It also creates illustrations of ridership patterns by route or stop.

Example Applications: Foursquare ITP developed custom database tools to aggregate and summarize ridership and on-time-performance data for transit agencies of all sizes. The Hampton Roads Transit’s (HRT) Ridership Database Tool aggregates and summarizes Hastus and APC data and allows HRT staff to monitor their service with the click of a button. The Pentagon Transit Center’s Ridership Database Tool compiles, standardizes, and aggregates shuttle and transit ridership data from a multitude of providers with varying data ridership data formats, making quarterly reporting on the Pentagon’s required Traffic Management Plan a breeze.

Hampton Roads Transit’s (HRT) Ridership Database Tool

Pentagon Transit Center’s Ridership Database Tool

Traffic Management Plan Quarterly Reporting

Ridecheck Data Collector

This tool takes bus schedule data and auto-generates paper or online forms for manual transit ridechecks, including departure times at timepoints and stop location. Once ridecheck data is entered, the tool will calculate passenger loads, total boardings, schedule deviation, and on-time performance.

Example Application: Foursquare ITP used this tool to collect baseline data for the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (EPTA), an agency that does not have AVL or APC data. Obtaining ridership and on-time performance data efficiently and consistently provided us and EPTA the needed information to develop recommendations that resulted in significant ridership increases.

Performance Measurement Trackers

Foursquare ITP develops custom performance measurement tracking databases to organize data collection and automate performance measurement outputs such as tables, graphs, and charts to track progress towards an agency’s goals and objectives. In many cases, these performance measurement trackers can also be integrated into online dashboards.

Example Applications: The Arlington County Performance Measurement System for the Transportation Division tracks 40 measures for a unified and simplified repository of performance tracking, making ongoing performance tracking simple across four independent departments. The Arlington County Performance Measurement System database tool was then translated into a public-facing dashboard. The DC Circulator Performance Dashboard utilizes a script to automatically update performance data in the Tableau platform to instantly visualize monthly performance metrics.

Arlington County Performance Measurement System