Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Development of a Web-Based Reporting System to Use Transit ITS Data to Help Improve Services for Special Populations

  • Sponsor: Federal Transit Administration
  • Contact: Dr. Fabian Cevallos, (954) 234-4183, fabian.cevallos@fiu.edu
    or Dr. David Shen, (305) 348-1869, shenl@fiu.edu

  • Transit agencies that have Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) systems are constantly collecting data, which provides a valuable resource for transit planning. With large amounts of data, there are great opportunities for converting data into useful information that can be used in decision making. Yet, the usage of data for more sophisticated analysis is still in its infancy. Most transit agencies cannot take full advantage of the data due to the lack of easy-to-use tools needed for data analysis and reporting. There is a need to create tools that can allow transit agencies to make intelligent decisions and more efficient use of their resources.

    Without accurate and timely information, decisions cannot be totally fair and equitable. Further, special populations have their own particular needs that cannot be overlooked. For instance, infrastructure improvements at stops and stations or services to economic disadvantaged areas cannot be accurately prioritized if there is little or no information. As transit agencies continue to face budget constraints, it is very important that their limited resources are allocated wisely and consider all segments of the population.

    This research will concentrate on using data from transit ITS technologies, mainly from Automatic Passenger Counters (APCs), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Bus Stop Inventories (BSI) as well as other related operational data. These data sources will be used to create a database system. A web-based application will be developed to assess the infrastructure conditions and service needs of special populations. The front-end reporting system can be used to dynamically retrieve data and generate information, based on data stored in a back-end database system. A tool like this can greatly assist transit agencies in making intelligent decisions, assuring that transit services and related improvements take into considerations the needs of special needs populations.