|License||The MIT License|
|Data Input||GTFS, OpenStreetMap, ACS/Census, LODES, custom shapefiles|
|Data Output||GIS shapefiles, maps, accessibility graphs, GeoTIFF,|
Transport Analyst integrates transit and land use data to compare current system performance and accessibility with various scenarios. It is an open source tool developed by Conveyal, and can be hosted and run independently or hosted by Conveyal for a fee along with consulting services.
Analyst offers basic statistics of how far or fast a system can carry people but also, by layering information from OpenStreetMap and census data, it allows planners to view accessibility. Analyst can display job opportunities, businesses, and various amenities that become more accessible to people living near a new planned transit line. Accessibility outcomes offer new opportunities for collaboration between land use and transportation planning. The software can intake multiple alternatives and return graphical prototypes such as spectrograms and histograms that compare accessibility outcomes for the different scenarios.
The accessibility outcomes offered by Analyst display the total number of a given amenity that can be reached within a given amount of time from a given point, or for a full system analysis, the number of origin destination combinations available within a given amount of time. For example, it can show how many jobs can be reached from a household, or how many household-job combinations exist withing a time cutoff. The information is displayed as a spectrogram that demonstrates the change in access to the given amenity as the travel time cutoff increases, and as a histogram that shows the variability of accessibility for a given time cutoff with in a time range, highlighting the effects of schedules and headways.
A single point analysis, showing accessibility from that point to all other points, can be calculated quickly, usually taking 5-15 second. An analysis of an entire region, looking at accessibility from every point to every other point, takes longer. The factors that most affect computation time are the size of the region, the number of points in the region, and the size and density of the transit and transportation network. Furthermore, a scenario analysis is able to use results from the base case and only run the analysis where results will differ. Therefore, more changes in a scenario will lead to longer computational time. An analysis run on a single server can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the complexity of the system. If the analysis is run on multiple servers, either using Conveyal's hosting service or through other access to cluster computing, the runtime can be reduced to a few minutes to a few hours.
Different scenarios can be generated a number of different ways. Future scenarios can be generated by importing foretasted demographic and jobs data as custom shapefiles. These are usually derived from regional or state forecast models. Scenarios can also be generated by importing custom demographic, jobs, or point destination data that represent the predicted result of a land use change or of a new development. Furthermore, scenarios can represent changes or additions to the transit system, generated through edited GTFS files or by using Conveyal's scenario editing tool. If a new potential transit line only has a route planned, the scenario editor can add stops according to a set spacing. These can be moved to represent more likely stop location, say at large intersections or transit centers. Multiple scenarios can be generated and run simultaneously to offer an accessibility and performance comparison analysis.
Analyst can be run on a web interface that allows for public outreach and consultation. The map allows users to see the impact alternative scenarios would have on them and to make recommendations as a result. It can output maps in GIS format for integration into publications and reports.
Travel time calculations incorporate pedestrian travel time, using the street network to account for how long it takes to walk to and from the bus station. Conveyal is currently developing other multimodal access calculations, such and biking and driving, so that bikes on transit, bikeshare, and park-and-ride can be better accounted for. Walk time is calculated using the pedestrian street network available through OpenStreetMap, however a direct street network editor is in development.
Title VI and Equity
Using demographic data from census inputs, Analyst can preform equity analyses and reveal disparate impacts that a given scenario might create. This analysis aides transit agencies to ensure projects comply with Title VI in the US, and supports agencies in determining how projects align with their own internal equity goals.
Conveyal's commitment to open data and open-source has led them to use open data for all of Transport Analyst's inputs, such as publicly available GTFS feeds, map data from OpenStreetMap, and census data. The components for Analyst are themselves open source, licensed under the Apache 2 license.
- Conveyal analysis-ui documentation. Accessed 20 April 2017. http://analysis-ui.readthedocs.io/en/latest/analysis/#spectrogram