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Transit Tech

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From routes to reality: Improving biking data with better context

Adding context to existing datasets can play a significant role in improving the bicycling experience. That was the takeaway from the most recent Mobility Lab-sponsored Transportation Techies’ Bike Hack Night VI. Programmers and advocates presented and listened to a handful of bike-themed show-and-tells under the impending threat of rain at REI’s space at Wunder Garten,… Read more »

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How to get inventive transportation projects right early on

In 2013, the city of Nice, France, launched an ambitious “smart parking” service that allowed drivers to find available parking spaces in real-time through a smartphone app. In order for the system to work, the city paid 10 million euros (or about $11.3 million USD) to install hundreds of sensors next to parking spaces, as… Read more »

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WMATA pilot brings Wi-Fi to six stations, ties connectivity to better transit info

On Monday, WMATA launched a 45-day pilot of public Wi-Fi in stations downtown. The program will cover Union Station, L’Enfant Plaza, Archives, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, and Metro Center. While better wireless connectivity is always helpful for riders, it’s interesting that WMATA has chosen to integrate the pilot with real-time train arrival information. Upon signing… Read more »

Anna Petrone, MVJ

Finding traffic and car ownership solutions through ride- and car-sharing

While the D.C. region benefits from a diverse set of transportation options, there are unique situations where cars become necessary for those who don’t normally need them. With the rise of the sharing economy, there are now ways for residents to find more efficient ways to take the occasional trip by car. At the August… Read more »

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Car-centric data encourages car-centric transportation planning

We often discuss the role of data in the transportation industry, especially how advocates are using it and new technologies to improve non-drive-alone transportation options. But Joe Cortwright, over at City Observatory, recently made a key point about data: the vast majority of new technology-driven transportation data is focused on making it easier to drive. The movement towards the development… Read more »

esplanade MVJ

Recording biking comfort: Portland stress data, Biketown, and more

This is part two of our coverage of Transportation Techies: Portland edition. Read part one here. Portland, Ore., is known nationally as one of the country’s biking capitals, with more than 188 miles of bike lanes and one of the highest rates of bike commuting in the country. But even given its bikeway networks, “crossbikes,” and other… Read more »

Upperman-billings demo, MVJ

Portland’s open data leadership pays off with better transit information

Portland, known for its array of public transportation options, also has a special history with open transit data. The region’s TriMet agency, which runs Portland’s buses and MAX light rail, played an instrumental role in working with Google to develop and spread the General Transit Specification Feed transit data format 10 years ago. As Matthew Roth wrote on… Read more »

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Improving safe routes to school through champions for open data

The following post is based on a presentation to a Safe Routes to School National Partnership webinar, “Harnessing the Power of Data to Support Kids Walking and Biking.” The accompanying slides and the webinar recording can be found here. In the United States, cities build all kinds of new infrastructure when it’s time to host… Read more »

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Three weeks in, Portland’s Biketown bikeshare proving popular and easy to use

The brand-new Biketown system in Portland, Ore., is already taking off, and a tour of its offerings shows a unique system that improves the transportation options of locals and visitors alike. It’s great for transportation geeks because it automatically provides detailed data about one’s rides. It’s great for those who want to sightsee because stations are… Read more »

Information from the movement of phones has become a new source of transportation data.

New sources of data are reshaping transportation planning

Data, data, data. Does it have the same cachet as “location, location, location?” Big data. Open data. Standardized data. Personal data. If it doesn’t yet, it soon will. Transport planning has always been rich in the production and use of data. The difference now is that data is producing itself, the ability for the transport… Read more »