Use of Planning Support Software in Transit Services: A State-of-Practice Survey

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, planning - signage/information, land use - planning, mode - mass transit


United States, Transit operating agencies, Transit lines, Surveys, State of the practice, Software, Public transit lines, Planning, Mass transit lines, Information technology


Many U.S. transit agencies have been using planning support software to assist in daily planning, operation, and customer services. However, the literature is not clear about the extent to which transit agencies are using planning support software programs for daily activities. To determine the state of the practice in the use of planning support software in the U.S. transit agencies, a survey was conducted. The survey found that the use of planning support software confirms the general trend in the use of information technology: that is, its use is directly related to the size of the transit agencies. Larger transit agencies tend to use more planning support software, while small agencies do not use that much. Probably one of the most important findings is that many smaller transit agencies consider the purchase and use of planning support software in transit planning, operation, and marketing as unnecessary, especially given the difficulties in obtaining funding, training staff, and hiring and retaining technical support personnel. However, those difficulties are mainly caused by constraints in budgeting and technical staffing issues rather than the undesirability of or the unproved or unrealized benefits related to the use of planning support.