Development of Florida Transit Information System (Phase II)
Transit agencies rely on various sources of data to help plan, manage, and improve transit facilities and services. Some of these data include the National Transit Database (NTD) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), socioeconomic data from the Census Bureau and local planning agencies, land use data such as those from the county tax appraisal offices, transit route data maintained by transit agencies, TAZ maps maintained by planning agencies, etc. These data from different agencies for a variety of reasons are not ready to be used by transit agencies with special needs.
To allow Florida transit agencies to make use of these available data for better transit planning, the FDOT Public Transit Office contracted with the Lehman Center of Transportation Research (LCTR) at the Florida International University (FIU) to develop a prototype, called the Florida Transit Information System (FTIS), for use by Florida transit agencies. The prototype has recently been completed and is scheduled for delivery to Florida transit agencies for their review and feedback in April 2001. This delivery will essentially conclude the Phase I of the FTIS development, which has completed the following major tasks:
- Integrated the complete NTD data for the 1984-1999 data years into a Microsoft Access database for quick data retrieval.
- Developed a user-friendly interface for the retrieval and analysis of the NTD data. The data retrieval functions allow the user to quickly select transit systems and NTD variables of interest, retrieve data for the selected systems and variables, and display the data on forms or tables. For data analysis, the system includes customized plotting functions that allow the users to plot different types of charts of up to three variables at a time, and statistical functions that compute the minimum, maximum, total, and average for each variable.
- Developed customized functions for easy viewing and plotting of the NTD trend and peer performance data developed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR).
- Developed a stand-alone GIS interface that allows quick access to spatial data pertaining to Florida transit agencies. The interface, developed using ESRI's MapObjects, allows the users to select a transit system of interest and then load all available GIS layers into the interface automatically. The GIS functions that have been completed include all typical map display, query, and select functions.
The objectives of the FTIS prototype developed under Phase I of the project were to design the overall system structure, to “showcase” as many functions and capabilities as possible, and to allow transit agencies to “test-drive” the system and provide feedback for possible consideration and implementation in the final version of the system. Since the prototype was not intended to be final, some of its existing functions remain to be fine-tuned, some planned functions remain to be added, and new and useful functions remain to be identified, designed, implemented, and tested. These tasks have been planned for Phase II of the project, which are what this scope of services is intended for. In addition to these general tasks, Phase II will also undertake the task of updating existing GIS layers and developing new layers that will be useful to transit agencies.