By Evan Landman.
Last summer, we covered an exciting new transit planning tool called Transitmix. Transitmix grew out of a Code for America project that sought to create a web-based tool to automate much of the complex yet mundane work that goes on in the background during transit planning. Cost estimation, line measurement, population and employment coverage analysis, are all examples of tasks that require time and effort such that they cannot all be carried out in real time during a planning meeting or workshop.
The team at Transitmix reached out to transit planners all over the county (including our firm), learning what did and didn't work about current practices and workflows. They created a beta version of a simple online tool that hinted at what might be possible. Finally, last week, Transitmix released a new video announcing the impending release of the professional version of the application, with critical features that offer the promise of a dramatically simpler, more open, and more easily understood transit planning tool.
Dynamic demographic and employment mapping and analysis, and side-by-side network and route comparisons are the main new features implemented here, to go along with the live updated costing, and deeply configurable frequency, span, and cost parameters the older version already includes. Transitmix continues to impress, creating a tool that simplifies and demystifies procedures that are too often known only to practitioners. We look forward to getting our hands on the full-featured product.
Probably the best-designed map data app UI I’ve ever seen. I’m going to have another go at Lilac after seeing this http://midrisemixeduse.tumblr.com/post/93447816503/five-metrics-to-judge-a-regulating-plan
Thanks for all the support, Jarrett and team. Really means a lot to us.
It was lovely to see our fair city in the demo, but could you update the beta with the data that is in the demo so that we could experiment with the app, too?!
I would love to see this paired with a simple ridership modelling tool. It’s very, very exciting.
Does this have data for the networks in Australia, particularly the South East Queensland area (Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast) ? I know a few people in our local transit advocacy group would definitely be interested in using this, and I imagine the Transit Planners at Translink would probably like it as well.
I have tried the demo only, so I don’t know its full functionality. Features that would be good to include are vehicle cycle (turnover) time, capacity to add or remove stops (which would enable the user to fine tune the cycle time) and some way of showing connectivity at nodes. Unless the network is high frequency, pulse interchanges at nodes are important to create usable connections between routes.
It says it uses the Census LEHD data. I found a huge problem with that in NYC. All of the job locations of city employees were assigned to Brooklyn Borough Hall, because that’s where the paychecks come from. That issue renders the jobs data almost useless for bigger cities. The CTPP data were correct, but it’s always old data, so it’s useful but not for cities that change rapidly. So I guess for big cities you have to choose between data that is inaccurate or old. I prefer old, but that’s just me.
It is a great tool to show the process of transit planning for both the public and the planners. I think it can add more support to the professional planners if it can create some kind of data API to allow input specific city data. It can also add more intelligence of pubic planning: the route, station, fare, schedule, even the real time data.
Unless I’ve misread most of the coverage I’ve seen about this, it transitioned from an open beta accessible to everyone one, into a completely closed product, that they won’t even admit is actually a product with a price unless they like the answers you put into their form.
Since that initial open-beta coverage suggested — at least to me — that the *real* advantage of the thing was *the input it gathered on live systems from the semi-general public*, that seems like a loss to me, quite aside from the fact that it came and went before I knew I needed it…
That’s my understanding as well, which is really disappointing. I tried to get onboard and they were very polite the first time but basically the answer was “you’re not the sort of customer we’re looking for” (I’m a student)