The recent availability of “big data” has drastically changed the way we analyze transportation services. We are at the forefront of the industry in use of the most current data sources available, such as mobile tracking data, real time traffic data, transit automatic passenger counters and automatic vehicle locators. At CTG, we have invested significant resources into developing analytical tools that provide clients with an in-depth understanding of travel, service and cost characteristics. These tools provide us with innovative and efficient ways in performing data-driven planning.
CTG’s customizable data-driven tools can provide answers in a time-efficient manner, almost in real-time!!
Capital Investment Grant AnalyzeR (CIG-AR)
Major transit projects often look for federal assistance when determining funding sources, especially FTA’s Section 5309 “New Starts” program. CTG recently developed the Capital Investment Grant-Analyzer (CIG-AR) to help evaluate projects against the CIG program criteria. CIG-AR results help agencies understand a project’s likelihood of obtaining those funds, including areas of potential risks should project parameters change. Our CIG-AR tool can answer questions such as:
- How are CIG ratings impacted for a particular corridor when considering alternative modes, such as BRT vs. LRT?
- How do potential premium service corridors in a region fare against each other in terms of ridership and cost measures?
- What is my likely CIG rating for a proposed project?
Service Planning Operations Tool (SPOT)
A comprehensive transit service assessment requires a solid understanding of existing route performance characteristics. We have the means to automatically generate route profiles with our tool “SPOT”, reading in various local data sets, such as AVL and APC data. This analysis helps an agency address questions such as:
- What as been the historical performance characteristics for a particular route?
- Are there periods of the day where service can be adjusted to better match with demand?
- Are there segments on a route with unacceptable passenger loads?
- What is the potential ridership if I introduce a limited stop service in a corridor?
On-Time Performance Evaluation Tool
It is important to stay on top of on-time performance monitoring to determine when schedule adjustments are needed. It can be overwhelming to sort through large AVL reports to determine where those schedule adjustments are needed. CTG has developed an in-house tool that can quickly import AVL data. This tool is helpful for determining needed schedule adjustments. This tool will help address questions such as:
- What’s my on-time performance for a certain route?
- Are schedule adjustments needed for particular segments of a route?
- Can I save resources (vehicles and O&M cost) by tweaking the schedule?
- Should schedules vary by day of week? By time of year?
Travel Time Estimation
An accurate representation of a new transit line’s travel time is critical in the planning of a project. We have developed travel time estimates for dozens of corridor projects across the country for all transit modes. We have templates in place to quickly estimate station-to-station travel times, taking into account vehicle acceleration and deceleration, curve restrictions, station dwell times and signal delays. Travel time estimates can then be used to generate stringline diagrams, such as the example shown below. Our travel time template tools will address questions such as:
- What are the anticipated travel time differences between alternative alignments or station/stop scenarios?
- How much travel time savings should I realize with dedicated lanes? Transit signal preemption?
- What are peak and fleet vehicle needs for a new transit line?
- Where are likely train meets if considering single track sections along a proposed alignment?
O&M Cost Estimation
Forecasting future operating and maintenance costs can be challenging when considering new modes of service, significant increases/decreases of service and alternative service delivery methods. CTG’s experience with O&M cost estimation is unmatched. Our cost models can address questions such as:
- What portion of my O&M costs are fixed vs. variable?
- What are agency O&M cost impacts if I change service levels?
- How much cost savings can I realize if I change vehicle types or service delivery methods?