Transit Boardings Estimation and Simulation Tool (TBEST)

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TBEST Transit Modeling and Analysis software, funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, is used for short-term transit ridership forecasting, market analysis, and network accessibility analysis. TBEST is designed to support transit agency strategic and service planning initiatives including the development of ridership forecasts within 10-year Transit Development Plans [1]. TBEST can import GTFS data. The TBEST GTFS import tool has been implemented for service and strategic planning at LYNX in Orlando, Florida and is used to update new service bids [2]. Service levels contained in the GTFS trips.txt file are aggregated into six time periods (AM Peak, Off Peak, PM Peak, Night, Saturday and Sunday) which are utilized within TBEST models for estimating time-period specific, stop-level ridership. From the GTFS tables, TBEST derives key transit planning variables including route-level service-span, in-vehicle travel time, headway, and stop arrivals. With available socio-economic and land use data, users can develop models which respond to the GTFS derived network and service conditions. TBEST network coding tools can also be used to create alternative conditions by adding or subtracting routes, patterns, or stops, modifying service levels, and adjusting to projected future year socio-economic conditions.

To use the TBEST GTFS Import Tool, the following software and data are required: • ESRI ArcGIS (ArcView license) installed locally on the machine. No extensions are required. • Census data compatible with TBEST data input requirements • Address-based (point) or zonal (polygon) employment data • Optional: parcel centroids containing land use data [101]

Pre-formatted Census, employment and parcel data are available for download for Florida TBEST users.


  1. Steve Polzin, Mark Mistretta, and Rodney Bunner (2009), "Lessons Learned in Transit Stop Level Ridership Model Deployment," in 12th TRB National Transportation Planning Conference, Houston, Texas, Accessed at:
  2. Rafiq Basaria, Stanmira Bourova, and Rodney Bunner (2012), "LYNX is using TBEST to Model and Estimate Ridership for the Major TDP Update in 2012," in 2012 ESRI International User Conference, San Diego, California, Accessed at: