Real-time transit information offers many benefits to transit riders, including reduced wait times and increased customer satisfaction. However, offering real-time transit services has been challenging for many transit agencies. While mobile apps have emerged as a preferred dissemination method for real-time information, it is typically cost-prohibitive for transit agencies to fund custom development of native mobile apps for all popular smartphone platforms. Third-party developers can offer services if an agency openly shares real-time data, but these individuals are volunteers whose priorities and deadlines may not be the same as the agency’s. As a result, few cities have full app portfolios that cover all smartphone platforms. This CUTR webcast presentation on April 17, 2014 discussed the OneBusAway multi-region project, a collaborative effort that is enabling the rapid expansion of native mobile transit apps to new cities. OneBusAway is an open-source transit information system that has provided real-time transit services to the Puget Sound, WA area since 2008. The new OneBusAway multi-region feature expands the coverage of the existing Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, and Windows 8 apps for OneBusAway to new cities including Tampa and Atlanta. The multi-region system architecture, collaborative design and development process, and lessons learned from this ground-breaking project are discussed. The fundamental shift from proprietary to open-source software in the transit industry that has made this type of project possible is also examined.
Presenter: Sean J. Barbeau, Ph.D., Principal Mobile Software Architect for R&D at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida
Dr. Sean J. Barbeau is the Principal Mobile Software Architect for R&D at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida. Dr. Barbeau has served as the PI for multiple research projects investigating intelligent software systems for mobile phones. He has over 40 peer-reviewed papers and conference presentations and was a member of an international Expert Group which developed a Java-based software standard for location-aware mobile phones. Dr. Barbeau has 9 patented inventions and another 8 patents pending in the area of location-aware technology. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from USF as well as a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from USF.