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Center Identification Number: 473-10

Project Title: The Florida Department of Transportation Statewide GIS for Transit Technical Assistance Program

Principal Investigator: 

Martin Catalá, Research Associate 
813-974-9791 
E-mail:
catala@cutr.eng.usf.edu

Institution: 

National Center for Transportation Research at Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

External Project Contact
Ike Ubaka, AICP 
Program Manager, 
Transit Systems Planning 
Florida Department of Transportation 
605 Suwanee Street, MS 26 
Tallahassee, FL 32399 
(850) 414-4532; SunCom 994-4532; Fax (850) 922-4942

I. Project Objective:

1. To provide technical assistance and short-term technical support related to the geographic information systems (GIS) needs of Florida's transit agencies. Technical assistance would include providing assistance with GIS related difficulties, such as integrating transit related databases with GIS software, such as bus stop inventories. Additional assistance with programming automated tasks and troubleshooting highly technical problems is included. Assistance with assessing the GIS needs and strategic planning for GIS implementation are also covered by the technical assistance. The first step of the project is to gather bus stop information from the State of Florida's fixed route transit providers for input into the Florida Transit Information System (FTIS). The FTIS was created by FDOT to provide transit agencies with better analysis tools.

2. Short-term technical support may provide GIS analyses of new routes and service modifications. Short-term technical support provided to transit agencies would include those activities that are non-recurring in their nature.

II. Project Abstract

The FDOT has recognized the important role of geographic information systems for public transit agencies. Providing public transit agencies with the support and technical expertise to expand the use of GIS within each of the State's transit agencies would better enable agencies to provide the best service for its residents and visitors. Many of these systems are limited in their ability to hire experienced GIS transportation professionals. This technical assistance will enhance the work performed by the agencies GIS professionals and will introduce transit planners to the potential uses of GIS. Limitations to the extent of the technical assistance available will be based on the level of effort necessary to assess the "State of the Practice", and data collection efforts for the bus stop inventories.

III. Task Descriptions

Task 1: Assessment of GIS Usage for Florida Transit Agencies

A survey of transit agencies level of GIS usage and the software utilized by the agencies will be made in order to determine the extent and type of assistance to be provided. This survey will use the instrument used in a previous CUTR study, which surveyed transit agencies throughout Florida, to assess the extent of GIS usage.

Task 2: Collect and Update the GIS Route Stop data for all Transit Agencies

CUTR staff will gather bus stop information from transit agencies that have collected and maintained bus stop inventories for integration into the Florida Transit Information System (FTIS). Only information that is readily available and usable by the FTIS will be gathered. CUTR staff will not collect individual bus stop data, but will use updated bus stop inventories provided by the transit systems as input to the FTIS. The collected information may also include any attribute information available from the agencies; such attributes may include handicapped accessibility, and the availability of shelters and benches.

Task 3: Develop and create a specialized GIS listserv for transit GIS users.

CUTR staff will create and develop a listserv for GIS users throughout the state to use for advise and assistance on GIS related needs.

Task 4: Provide technical assistance and short-term technical support to Florida transit agencies.

CUTR will provide technical assistance and short-term technical support related to the geographic information systems (GIS) needs of Florida's transit agencies. Technical assistance would include providing assistance with GIS related difficulties, such as integrating transit related databases with GIS software, such as bus stop inventories. Additional assistance with programming automated tasks and troubleshooting highly technical problems is included. Assistance with assessing the GIS needs and strategic planning for GIS implementation are also covered by the technical assistance. This may include recommendations on software and hardware needs as well as identifying opportunities for cooperative relationships with governmental agencies with existing GIS capabilities.

Task 5: Report on the efforts of project staff.

CUTR will report on the efforts of project staff to improve and support the GIS efforts within the State's transit agencies. The report will serve as a summary of best practices throughout the state and newly implemented practices to serve as a repository of information for transit agencies to refer to when utilizing GIS to support transit planning activities.

Task 6: Participation in Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) Activities.

CUTR will participate in the Florida Public Transportation Association annual and mid-year conferences to present findings from the technical assistance program.

IV. Student Involvement

Graduate students will be used to research training topic areas and assist in the preparation of training materials.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida houses a number of FDOT sponsored technical assistance and training programs, such as the Maintenance Training Program, the Florida Vehicle Procurement Program, and the TDM Clearinghouse and Training Program. The Statewide GIS Transit Technical Assistance Program will be closely coordinated with these programs to avoid any duplication or fragmentation of effort.

VI. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review

The intent of this project is to increase and improve the use of GIS among Florida's transit agencies. To ensure the information of the projects efforts are widely known, the project staff will compile the work performed and report on the lessons learned and the best practices throughout the State.

The project staff will attend and report on these efforts at the annual and mid-year conference of the Florida Public Transportation Association as requested.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project

Transit professional will improve the level of analysis they perform for the transit system by developing, improving and/or expanding the use of GIS in the planning process.

X. TRB Keywords

Transit, GIS, mapping

National Center for Transit Research · at the Center For Urban Transportation Research · University of South Florida · 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 · Tampa, FL 33620-5375 · (813) 974-3120 · (813) 974-5168 · www.nctr.usf.edu · Comments: webmaster@cutr.eng.usf.edu