Improving Transportation Performance Measurement via Open “Big Data” Systems – Phase 1

This project will create a “big data” centralized repository of archived real-time multimodal information to assist practitioners, researchers, and students in better understanding the transportation network across multiple regional geographic areas. This project will review data for multiple modes for inclusion in the repository, and develop open-source software for archiving this information that can be shared with all interested parties. Public transportation vehicle tracking data, in the form of arrival predictions, real-time vehicle locations, and real-time service alerts will be included. For public transportation, this database will serve as the data source for an online portal providing archived tracking data to researchers, students, and practitioners in a common format based on the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS)-realtime de facto standard, and for many transit agencies, over extended time periods. Several technical hurdles will need to be examined as part of this project, including which open-source software tools are feasible to archive such data, as well as how this data would be efficiently stored and served. Having readily available tracking data that researchers could acquire with very little effort or pre-processing required would significantly advance the state of the art in transportation performance measurement, and as a result, advance transportation operations.