Social-Transportation Analytic Toolbox (STAT) for Transit Networks

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - coordination, operations - performance, place - north america, planning - integration, planning - methods, planning - service improvement, technology - geographic information systems, technology - passenger information


Transit accessibility, twitter, performance assessment, GTFS, social media


This project builds an open-source, socio-transportation analytic (STAT) toolbox for public transit system planning in an effort to integrate social media and general transit feed specification (GTFS) data for transit agencies in evaluating and enhancing the performance of public transit systems. This toolbox is novel and essential to transit agencies in two aspects. First, it enables the integration, analysis and visualization of two major, new open transportation data, social media and GTFS data, to support transit decision-making. Second, it allows transit agencies to evaluate service network efficiency and access equity of transit systems in a cohesive manner, and identify areas for improvement to better achieve these multidimensional objectives. The toolbox employs a combination of data mining, geographical information systems and transportation network modeling. The STAT is an open-source toolbox and is publicly accessible. The project engages two transit agencies, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and TriMet, to test the usability of the toolbox, where Salt Lake City and Portland are used as case studies in the platform for querying, navigating and exploring the interactions between transit users and services. STAT can assist agencies in evaluating overall system performance and identifying existing public transit connectivity gaps, particularly for disadvantaged populations, in reaching essential services. It can also act as a decision support tool for recommending improvements (e.g., prioritize the stations and routes, identify the necessity for introducing a new line within existing infrastructure, etc.) The project ties to the NITC theme of improving mobility of people and creating vibrant communities. We expect that it can be adapted over time to cover different geographies and incorporate new data sources. In addition to serving transit agency staff, the tool can be used in university curriculum and by advocacy organizations engaged in transportation decision-making. Finally, the project lays the foundation for NITC developing other open-source tools using big data.


Copyright remains with National Institute for Transportation and Communities.