CUTR Webcast Recording: Utilizing TBEST for Comprehensive Transit Planning

March 2, 2017, 12:00PM (ET)

Utilizing TBEST for Comprehensive Transit Planning

The Florida Department of Transportation Public Transit Office has developed the Transit Boardings and Simulation Tool (TBEST) transit planning software to support transit agencies in developing data driven processes to support strategic planning, service planning, grant applications, operations analysis.  This presentation will familiarize the audience with core TBEST applications and functionality including the following tool sets:

  • GTFS Network Integration
  • Network Editing
  • Ridership Estimation
  • Market Analysis
  • FTA Title VI Evaluation
  • Comprehensive Operational Analysis
  • Jurisdictional Analysis
  • Accessibility Analysis

Presenter: Rodney Bunner, President, ServiceEdge Solutions

Rodney Bunner is a Geospatial Technology Specialist who over the past twenty years has worked as a consultant to local, regional, state and federal agencies in developing spatially-enabled and GIS-T applications.  Mr. Bunner has contributed to the development of a variety of software products and tools within different government sectors including:

  • Public Transportation agency support for planning and operations;
  • Metropolitan/Regional Planning Organization support for multi-modal transportation planning including travel demand modeling and market assessments;
  • State Department of Transportation highway asset management and linear referencing including interactive straight-line diagramming;
  • Department of Defense (DOD) facility operations and asset management.

As a public-sector consultant, Mr. Bunner’s professional objective has been to develop software applications which streamline the technically challenging and time consuming data integration, data development and analytical processes required to fulfill specific government business needs and workflows.  To this end, over the past thirteen years Mr. Bunner has been the lead developer for the Florida Department of Transportation TBEST Transit Planning software.  TBEST provides implementing public transportation agencies with business specific data, analytics and reporting tools to address everyday service and strategic planning tasks.  Mr. Bunner supports numerous agencies throughout the U.S. in implementing and utilizing TBEST.

Mr. Bunner is currently the President of ServiceEdge Solutions, a technology company primarily focused on the development of geospatial applications for transportation.  He is a 1991 graduate of West Virginia University with a B.A. in Geography and a 1996 graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania with a M.S. in Environmental Studies.  He currently resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and two children.

Recording

https://cutr.adobeconnect.com/p5uyvbydwx5/

Please take a few minutes to complete the evaluation.

Unanswered Q&A During Live Event

Responses from the presenters are provided with each question.

  1. Is this free software, or does one have to purchase? TBEST is a free software but requires the user to have ArcGIS 10.3 or 10.4 licensed on the local machine.
  2. Do you have any comment regarding the features and functionality of the TBEST tool compared to REMIX? As I mentioned in the webinar, I am not that familiar with Remix in terms of the specific features/applications of their software since they aggressively market transit agencies and not consultants.  Remix seems like a tool which allows agencies to perform some quick sketch planning of transit route alternatives for cost and market analysis.  From my cursory knowledge, I would say that TBEST probably goes beyond what Remix delivers in terms of being able to support multi-faceted, strategic transit planning projects.  A few examples of this would be the following TBEST features:
    1. Integration of local and regional socio-economic data sources
    2. Application of future year socio-economic growth
    3. Ridership Estimation engine for 0-10 year forecasts with customizable parameters, equations, code, trip generation rates and BRT characteristic specifications
    4. Jurisdictional/Corridor Analysis for geographic summary of service distribution, observed performance, proposed performance, and service equity
    5. Integrated parcel-level land use data with a supporting Parcel Editor for TOD/DRI forecasting
    6. Comparative analysis reporting for ridership estimation, accessibility, and Title VI
    7. Pre-made Title VI Maps and Reports for incorporation into FTA Triennial Reporting
  3. I have access to MapInfo, but not ArcGIS.  Is there any possibility of adding MapInfo? Unfortunately, MapInfo will not be integrated with TBEST. 
  4. Does the accessibility tool measure distance according to the road network or just “as the crow flies”? The accessibility tool measures walk access distance “as the crow flies”.  You would need to employ ArcGIS Network Analyst or another method to determine walk-access via the roadway/sidewalk network.  
  5. How do we see models other than the TBEST Land Use Model 2016? At present, other models have been constructed for RVTD in Medford, OR and ServiceEdge Solutions completed a model calibration for the Los Angeles area.  For the RVTD model, you would need to contact the agency directly and receive the files from them.  For the ServiceEdge Solutions Los Angeles model, since finalization of the model was funded by our team, we are only providing the files as part of specific project applications where we are able to properly develop the inputs and apply the model.  The Los Angeles model is distinctive as in was calibrated in a dense, urban environment and contains specific model equations to estimate ridership on rail modes.  Also, as I mentioned in the webinar, the Los Angles model is not dependent upon parcel land use data as an input, while all other existing models are dependent this data.  ServiceEdge Solutions is supporting the calibration of TBEST models under separate contracts with UTA (Salt Lake) and Cascades East Transit (Bend,OR).  Once completed, the model files would be available from the respective agencies at their discretion.  You can email me (rodbunner@myserviceedge.com) if you are interested utilizing our services to implement the LA model structure in your region or if you are interested using our services to calibrate a TBEST model that is sensitive to local travel patterns and demographics.   
  6. For a small urban area not in Florida, what would you estimate be in terms of staff hours to get TBEST up and running? Relatively minimal with properly skilled staff.  As I mentioned in the presentation, TBEST requires that users have certain skillsets for configuring and operating TBEST.  The more technical the planner the better, with medium to advanced skills in GIS, travel demand modeling, GTFS, and overall planning protocols.  For Florida, the socio-economic data is already configured so with some initial training you should be able to begin using TBEST within a few days.   
  7. Is there a possibility to analyze load factors, seat mile usage? There has been a recent interest to do this within the TBEST COA workflow support tool, however there is no current funding in place for development.
  8. It is an amazing product. Remix does not do ridership estimation and is not planning to do it. It also as far as I know does not do the comparison. Great, glad you like it and let us know about your TBEST experiences. 

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