Here’s your chance to analyze and visualize the movements of the Metrobus fleet.
In anticipation of the upcoming Metro Hack Night, Metrobus planning staff has generated an automated vehicle location (AVL) systems data set. The data set, for fivedays in October, shows the time that each Metrobus was at each stop over the course of the day, the buses’ dwell time, and a comparison of actual stop time to scheduled stop time.
Real-time arrival sings at Metrobus stops around the region are powered by automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems on-board buses.
What can be done with this kind of data? Here are a few ideas:
Look at how the running times for routes varies across the day
Calculate vehicle speeds across the region
Dive deep into on-time performance
See how dwell times affect running times, speeds, and on-time performance
Map the movements of Metrobus vehicles over time
Get a better understanding of Metrobus operations, including how vehicles are interlined among routes and the number of different variations of some routes
Come on techies! Dive in and find new and inspirational ways to look at this data.
Metro Data Day 1 will bring together Metro staff, the app developer community, riders and advocates.
Metro has some great data feeds, and app developers — from Google and Apple to Metro Hero — are consuming them to provide great tools for transit riders in the Washington DC region.
That’s great news, and yet there are opportunities to do even more! For example, we’d love to see app developers help customers plan an accessible trip – one that routes a user to station entrances where elevators are present. And this isn’t likely the only unmet need from the Metro transit rider community. There are loads of great ways to make this data more useful to you. That’s where you come in. Read more…
If you are great with data and love cities and transit, we have a job for you.
We were excited to announce that a job listing for a Business Intelligence Analyst position within Planning’s Applied Planning Intelligence unit has just been posted. We are looking for a healthy overlap between a data scientist and a transit nerd. For the full job description, head over to the wmata.com/careers site, scroll down and click on View all jobs. A short description is posted below.
Currently a team of two, we work to convert Metro’s many data sources into information that can be used to inform plans, policies and procedures. Many of our projects have been featured here on PlanItMetro, including:
Metro’s commitment to developers was well received following our informal “Coffee Chat” event designed to foster connections between and among Metro and the developer community.
Wednesday, Metro set aside some time for Developer Coffee Chats to enable dialogue between Metro’s API users and other developers. The informal event proved successful, with numerous developers taking advantage of the resources available to them (provided both by Metro and by their developer peers). Although several topics were discussed, the clear focal point was Metro’s Real-Time Train Position API, released last week through the General Manager’s CARe Initiative.
Metro staff members engaged in various dialogues with third-party developers
At the event, several developers spoke with Metro’s API team to seek guidance regarding the technical backend of their apps and others simply showed Metro their work for feedback and suggestions for implementing new features. One attendee commented on the quality of Metro’s API documentation, crediting the documentation with enabling him to move from building local-apps and scripts to building a full-fledged Metro app using the APIs.Read more…
Metro is committed to working with the developer community – we’ve launched a real-time train position API, are hosting developer coffee chats this Wednesday (7/27) from 4pm to 6pm, created a developer google group, and are seeking submissions for an App Gallery!
Screen capture of Metro’s internal real-time train positions map. Now, third-party developers can make their own versions of this using a recently released data feed.
We can’t wait to see what you do with the data. But we know you’ll have questions. That’s why we’re hosting an informal “Coffee Chat” this Wednesday, July 27, at Compass Coffee on F Street (near the Gallery Place-Chinatown station and 70/74/D6 buses). Stop by any time from 4pm to 6pm to say hello, show us something on your computer, or ask us questions!
Metrorail riders get excited; the 2016 Travel Trends Rail Passenger Survey is here! If you haven’t noticed all the orange in the stations yet (surveyors in orange Metro bibs handing out orange surveys, offering orange Travel Trends pens to fill them out), keep an eye out! Throughout April and May of 2016, WMATA (Metro) will be conducting the Travel Trends survey on a rolling basis throughout the system, to cover all 91 stations.
The Rail Passenger Survey is an FTA-mandated survey that Metro is required to administer every five years, or at least two years after the launch of new rail service (this year’s survey comes two years after the launch of the Silver Line). The primary use of the survey is to:
Improve our service and validate our internal systems.
Here is a video that summarizes the work being conducted and why it’s important:
Your answers to the survey contribute to the data used to support operating and planning activities—it provides us with greater insight into how we can best match service to fit the overall needs of our customers using the system.
Here is a sample of some of the questions we ask in the survey, and what your answers to those questions will be used for: Read more…
We analyzed Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess ridership for all Maryland residents in response to the Maryland Legislature’s data and analysis request. Newsflash – we have customers from across the state!
Origins of Maryland Rail Riders
In the 2015 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed the WMATA Utilization Study (HB300),which required the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and WMATA to analyze the utilization of Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess every five years. This year’s analysis is based on the most recent Metrorail passenger survey (2012), Metrobus passenger survey (2014), and actual ridership for MetroAccess for an average day in April 2015. Below are some findings that I found most interesting. But more importantly, here is the complete 2015 Maryland HB300 WMATA Utilization Study (native pdf), which includes all the links to the underlying survey data, interactive charts, and analysis.
82 percent of Metrorail trips by Montgomery County residents are destined for Washington DC in the morning on a typical weekday;
71 percent of Metrobus trips in the AM peak period made by Prince George’s County residents are for work purposes on a typical weekday;
3.3 percent of all trips across all Metro services on a typical weekday are taken by Maryland residents from Frederick, Charles, Calvert, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City;
35 percent of other Maryland residents on Metrorail access via commuter rail (MARC) and Amtrak; and
17,600 residents of the District and Virginia reverse-commute into Maryland on Metrorail and bus each morning on a typical weekday (about 5 percent of total system ridership)
Any other nuggets that you found from analyzing the data? Ideas for other ways to graphically represent the findings?
Metro is coordinating with other regional agencies to release a single data file that will contain schedule data for all transit operators in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.
Over 10 years ago, Metro began coordinating with local bus operators and commuter rail agencies to incorporate all of their transit schedules into wmata.com Trip Planner. It took some time and effort, but eventually Metro reached agreements with all the operators in the region and began to consolidate transit schedules in one online, searchable data source. In fact, Metro’s Trip Planner is the most comprehensive online data source for regional transit trip planning. So much so, that when the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) needs to update their four-step travel demand model they request all of the region’s transit schedules from Metro and we deliver them as a General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) file.
Sites and app developers can load one data file for all the region’s transit instead of downloading separate files for each agency.
Only some agencies in the region publish their own GTFS files, and releasing this file will make several agencies’ schedule data available online for the first time.
Over the past two years, Metro staff have worked to negotiate the release of this GTFS file. We were pleased reach out to the other regional operators in July requesting sign-off on a regional data-sharing agreement that would permit Metro to release the other agencies’ data online in this GTFS format. We are excitedly awaiting executed agreements from the operators, and we’ve received one back already, thanks RideOn! Once we have received a few more replies, we will begin to publish a regional file including the data of all agencies that have executed the agreement.
In the meantime, feel free to contact your local bus, commuter bus or commuter rail operator and ask that they expedite the signing of this regional transit schedule data sharing agreement.