Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 2, Issue 4 (2000) by Brian L Smith, University of Virginia, Priya K Durvasula, ALK Associates, Inc., Stephen C Brich, Virginia Transportation Research Council
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a proven resource for public transportation service planning and evaluation. In particular, their spatial analysis and database management capabilities make them well suited for such applications. The primary cost incurred in a GIS application is for the development and maintenance of high-quality spatial databases. Due to this cost, public transportation agencies want to utilize these databases to support a wider array of applications. As desktop GIS software and computer hardware become more powerful, GIS can be used to develop applications for “real-time” operations. In this research effort, a GIS-based prototype system was developed and tested to support the scheduling and dispatch functions of an on-demand flexroute transit service. The effectiveness of the prototype demonstrates the potential of GIS to support time-critical transit operations.