Trillium Blog

News and commentary about transit and online information from Trillium

Transit Wiki for shared notes and rapid research

Transit Wiki logo - link to Transit WikiWikipedia changed what we imagine is possible in an online resource collaboratively edited by millions of volunteer subject matter experts. TransitWiki aims to become a rich library of practice and research information for public transportation. Every day, transit professionals are documenting current practice and conducting research. If more of this happened in a central resource, making it quick and easy to share information, we could all uncover new information more quickly and avoid continual reinvention of the wheel. That’s TransitWiki.

For an example of what is in TransitWiki, check out the page on GTFS. As part of the GTFS information, Sean Barbeau and I built out a directory of GTFS-consuming applications. Check out the many varieties of GTFS applications, and add a few more! Here is a discussion of stop naming conventions borrowed from the SF Bay Area’s MTC.

Imagine if even more agencies were sharing their practice through TransitWiki, and, further, if research from programs like TCRP was in this collaborative, quick-publish space: it would become easier to discover, discuss, and implement new practices and technologies. Try a search and edit a page to add your knowledge. Here is another idea: next time you hire a consultant to do research, require that they deliver appropriate research through TransitWiki — it holds your consultant more accountable and, further, benefits the entire transit community.

Get in touch if you would like help editing a page on TransitWiki.

The The UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, through a project led by Juan Matute, manages TransitWiki. The project was begun, and is maintained with funding from the  Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation.

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Sign up for the National Transit Map!

You may have gotten a letter from the Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx about the new National Transit Map project.

We’re thrilled to see the USDOT joining us and other advocates of open transit data in our mission of seeing every transit agency in the United States release public GTFS data. This is a huge step forward and a strong show of support from the USDOT.

How can your agency participate?

It’s simple: just have the staff member who handles your NTD reporting follow these steps.

First, log in to the NTD reporting website and click on the “Actions” tab to find the link to “Register National Transit Map Data”.

1-Action Page

After clicking through the landing page, you’ll be asked to enter your agency’s NTD ID, and the link to your GTFS data.

2-Provide Data Page

The red text below indicates where all your info should be when you click the final “submit” button.

3-Confirmation Page

The USDOT will fetch your data at the URL your provide them about once a month. We’re looking forward to seeing the live map!

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Don’t get stranded! See how late transit runs in Google Maps.

Last week a new option was added for public transit directions in Google Maps. You can now choose the last possible trip for the day to get you where you want to go (probably home?). This is a convenient option to check before heading out for the evening, if, for example, you are trying to see if transit will be available when a concert ends. Now you’ll know.

This has been tested on Desktop and iOS version of Google Maps.


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Apple Maps Expands to Los Angeles

In December, Apple Maps added transit-directions coverage for the greater Los Angeles region, after adding transit directions for several other regions in summer 2015.  I tested the trip planner with several queries and received consistently accurate and descriptive public transportation directions.  The range of transit coverage extends well beyond Los Angeles County and into Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and Ventura counties— up the coast as far as Santa Barbara, to the northeast as far as Lancaster, east to Indio, and south to Oceanside.  This inclusion of transit systems throughout the greater LA region adds another layer of relevancy to Apple’s incorporation of transit data, allowing riders in the city to reach rural areas, and vice versa, allowing rural communities access to services not available locally.

Apple Maps LA screenshot

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