Development of Florida Transit Information System (FTIS) Version 2003
To allow Florida's transit agencies to make use of 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) in March 2000 to develop a software system called the Florida Transit Information System (FTIS). Phase I of the system development was completed in early 2001 and was delivered to select users for feedback and beta testing. The system was also demonstrated in a NTD workshop held in May 2001 in Orlando. The Phase I development successfully completed the following tasks:
- Integrated the complete NTD data for the 1984-1999 data years into a Microsoft Access database.
- 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 the corresponding data, and then display them on forms or tables. For data analysis, the system includes customized plotting functions that allow the user 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 values for each variable.
- Developed customized functions for easy viewing and plotting of the NTD trend and peer performance data that were 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 user 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 FDOT subsequently funded the Phase II development, which began in June 2001 and is scheduled for completion in July 2002. The Phase II development significantly expanded the functionalities of the system and resulted in the first official release of FTIS in March 2002. It includes the following major tasks:
- Administer and support FTIS beta tests.
- Update existing GIS layers and develop the corresponding metadata files.
- Expand NTD functions to include abilities to generate Florida performance measures and any other user-defined measures based on formula setup, display of retrieved NTD data on a map, generate reports, perform additional statistical functions, display NTD data definition, and perform table sorting.
- Incorporate all functions implemented in the TIMESLink program originally developed by CUTR.
- Expand GIS functions to include network and data editing, buffer zone analysis, FTIS-ArcView linkage, thematic mapping, spatial select, and aerial photograph background display.
- Identify and possibly incorporate new GIS data sources such as tax parcel data.
- Develop an automated web-based database update capability to allow easy and timely update of various FTIS databases.
- Obtain and integrate 2000 NTD data.
- Develop an online help.
In addition to the above tasks, a number of useful functions that were not included in the Phase II scope of services were also developed. They include an interactive cross table, interactive plotting, computing column totals by any combinations of system variables, creating variables through formulas, generate constant dollars based on any year, freezing system variables in tables, creating pie/bar charts on GIS map, changing feature color at mouse cursor, etc.
During Phase II development, the FDOT project manager and the LCTR development team have identified several new tasks, in addition to the annual data update, that will further expand and strengthen FTIS. This scope of services will implement these tasks. Upon completion of phase III, FTIS can be expected to become a fairly complete and mature package. The continued development of FTIS after phase III (i.e., Version 2002) will be transitioning from development phase to maintenance phase.
This development phase aims to implement the following tasks:
- Prepare and Conduct 2002 and 2003 Workshops
- Provide User Support
- Develop and Maintain a Homepage for FTIS
- Maintain and Update Existing FTIS Components
- Develop New INTDAS Functions
- Update User's Guide and Online Help
- Research and Implement an Improved Peer Selection Process
- Develop Data Mining Functions
- Acquire and Integrate 2001 NTD Data and Update FTIS Interface
- Update GIS Layers