Data needs in public transit research

Research Team: PI: Brian D. Taylor Team: Jacob Wasserman

About this project:

This project will develop a framework that outlines outlines the various types of data relevant to understanding public transit systems and their use, identifies currently available data for each of these types, and their quality, and makes recommendations on how to address data needs for public transit research. The goals of this white paper will be two-fold: (1) be a go-to source of information on all of the data sources for public transit (with an emphasis on California, and (2) identify the most pressing data needs to be addressed in the years ahead.

What problem does this research aim to address?

The National Transit Database (NTD) maintained by the Federal Transit Administration is an invaluable source of comparative data on public transit systems, but it is far from a complete one. In particular, the NTD tells us a lot about public transit services provided by system and mode, as well as their cost. But other then the number of unlinked trips made by transit users, they provide very little data on public transit users. In addition, new transportation services, like transportation network companies and dockless mobility services, my be both complementing and competing with traditional public transit services, but data on the extent and use of these services are sorely lacking. This lack of data relevant to public transit inhibits our ability to understand and optimize the use of these systems.

What are the expected impacts and benefits of the research?

This research will result in two products: (1) a white paper approximately 5,000 words in length that will summarize the findings of the research and (2) an ITS Policy Brief approximately 500 words in length to provide decision-makers, journalists, and others with a quick to understand summary of the principal findings and recommendations of the report.


By |October 3, 2019|Categories: Public Transit
By |2019-10-03T17:13:09-07:00October 3rd, 2019|