Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Development of Florida Transit Information System (FTIS) Version 2004

  • Sponsor: Florida Department of Transportation
  • Contact: Dr. Albert Gan, 305-348-3116, gana@fiu.edu

  • To allow Florida's transit agencies to make use of data for better transit planning, the FDOT Public Transit Office first contracted with the Lehman Center of Transportation Research (LCTR) at the Florida International University (FIU) in February 2000 to develop the Florida Transit Information System (FTIS). In its fourth year of continued development, FTIS has become a nationally known software system. In early 2003, FTIS was included in TCRP Report 88.

    FTIS Prototype Development (February 2000-December 2000)

    The prototype development successfully completed the following tasks: (1) integrated the complete NTD data for the 1984-1999 data years; (2) developed a user-friendly interface for the retrieval and analysis of the NTD data; (3) developed customized functions for easy viewing and plotting of the NTD trend and peer performance data; and (4) developed a stand-alone GIS interface that allows quick access to spatial data pertaining to Florida transit agencies. A beta version was delivered to Florida transit agencies for their review.

    FTIS 2001/2002 Development (June 2001-July 2002)

    Following a positive review of the beta version, the FDOT funded the FTIS 2001/2002 development, which significantly refined and expanded the system functionalities and resulted in the first official release of FTIS in March 2002. The following major tasks were completed under this project: (1) updated existing GIS layers and developed the metadata files; (2) expanded NTD related functions to generate standard Florida performance measures, create user-defined measures based on formula setup, generate Crystal reports, display NTD data definition, and perform table sorting; (3) incorporated all functions implemented in the TIMESLink program; (4) expanded GIS functions to include network and data editing, buffer zone analysis, FTIS-ArcView linkage, thematic mapping, spatial select, and aerial photograph background display; (5) developed the first version of FTIS website; (6) integrated 2000 NTD data; (7) developed the FTIS online help; and (8) shifted from the VB install to the more professional InstallShield install. Some useful functions not covered in the original scope were also implemented. They included creating interactive cross table and plotting, computing totals by any combinations of system variables, creating variables through formulas, generating constant dollars based on any specific year, freezing variables in tables, creating pie/bar charts on GIS map, changing feature color at mouse cursor, etc.

    FTIS 2003 Development (September 2002-September 2003)

    The FTIS 2003 development focused on both system maintenance and new development. Under this project, a number of bugs were fixed, some formula and data problems were corrected, and some software operations were enhanced, resulting in a very stable system. Specific accomplishments from this project included: (1) improved and expanded the FTIS website to include various features, including user registration, user forum, and complete aerial photographs for the majority of Florida transit systems; (2) integrated the 2001 NTD data; (3) updated the FTIS interface, the User's Guide, and the online help; (4) developed and conducted FTIS workshops (one long and two short); (5) developed various new NTD related functions; (6) developed an easy-to-use peer selection process for both systemwide and statewide data; (7) added ability to perform simple, multiple, and polynomial regression modeling, to plot regression functions and scattered points, and to generate general detailed general statistics and plot frequency distributions; (8) to automatically generate reports with minimum user input (user only needs to select system of interest, with ability to change default settings); (9) updated GIS layers to include Census data from Summary Tape File 3, which includes data related to income, employment, travel, vehicle ownership, and disability; (10) incorporated complete data for NTD Forms 300 and 301 data for years 1984-1991; (11) added ability to move all saved values (peer groups, variable groups, queries, workspaces, etc.) from an existing install to an updated install; (12) aggregated nationwide data for Florida standard variables; (13) added ability to select and display systems by GIS map at both the system and state levels; (14) added ability to perform query for statewide data, to save and retrieve queries, to enter a search string to find transit systems, and to save and print NTD display forms; and (15) developed the "report card" feature that allows the user to select a system and obtain a report card that show the grades for each Florida standard variable.

    FTIS 2004 Development (January 2004-December 2004)

    FTIS is currently a stable and versatile system. The development of FTIS version 2004 will not only update both the NTD and GIS data, but it will also further expand the functionality and versatility of the system. A major effort in this development will involve the conversion of the NTD data from the old format to the current format. Another major effort is to develop a tool to identify Transit Supportive Areas (TSAs) that hold potential for new transit starts.

    The main objectives of this project are:
    1. To continue to maintain FTIS, including FTIS functionalities, FTIS website, technical support, help facilities, software distribution, etc.;
    2. To update FTIS to include the nationwide 2002 NTD data and the 2003 data for Florida systems; and
    3. To expand the existing capabilities of INTDAS and FTGIS.