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Visualizing the customer experience through on-time performance

In November 2019, CUTA hosted its first ever Data Blitz at its annual conference in Calgary. The Data Blitz was an event organized to inspire the public transit industry to tell stories with data that would highlight the benefits of effective public transit in Canada. Several teams of consultants, academics, and data scientists from across Canada were challenged to work with data released by Calgary Transit, to evaluate the efficacy of Calgary Transit’s ambitious network redesign in 2018.

Saadiq Mohiuddin, a project engineer for Calgary Transit, was a participant of CUTA’s Data Blitz and used free open-source software (FOSS) to create a transit stop visualization map of on-time performance (OTP) before and after Calgary Transit’s network redesign.

The OTP visualization uses automatic vehicle location (AVL), automatic passenger counter (APC) and general transit feed specification (GTFS) data to represent on average how many minutes a bus arrives early or late to a stop along a bus route in Calgary. OTP is an important measure of the service reliability of a transit system. A common standard of OTP is that 1 minute early to 5 minutes late to a stop is considered on-time.

OTP is a valuable metric for 2 reasons:

  1. For customers, OTP could be the difference between making a transfer or catching the bus on time. Good OTP can improve customer satisfaction and attract new riders.
  2. For transit agencies, good OTP indicates a transit system’s performance and reliability. Developing a comprehensive view like this can help planners understand the performance of routes and how certain interventions (scheduling changes, infrastructure improvements, etc.) impact routes over time.

 

To view the data visualization, visit: http://saadiqm.com/bus-on-time-performance/

To read Saadiq’s in-depth blog about his work, visit: https://saadiqm.com/2020/01/05/bus-schedule-deviation-visualization.html

 

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