The National Academies

Transit IDEA J-04/IDEA 60 [Completed (IDEA)]

TCIP Traveler Information Pilot Project
[ TCRP J-04 (Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis--The Transit IDEA Program) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Harvey Berlin

IDEA Concept and Product
This project included installation and field testing a TCIP-based passenger information and vehicle tracking system. This project included testing of the system at LYNX, the transit agency in Orlando, Florida, and demonstrated TCIP interfaces in a transit agency environment.
Transit Communications Interface Profiles (TCIP) is an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) standard that provides a means to define and implement interfaces for data exchange among transit business systems. Prior to this project, such TCIP interfaces have not been implemented by Transit agencies.
This project converted proprietary vehicle tracking data to TCIP, merged the tracking data from a bus being tracked with a TCIP-based AVL solution, and used the data from both sources to provide information to passengers via an electronic sign installed at the LYNX central station. The sign receives bus location information for display to passengers via a TCIP interface.
Completed Investigation
TCIP interface and application software, developed by Ayers Electronic Systems LLC (aE), was ported to appropriate rugged hardware and installed into the LYNX operating environment. The installed system was be tested and evaluated to verify its operation and effectiveness in a transit environment.
A rugged computer was installed on a transit bus, and other LYNX buses was tracked using translated data from the existing AVL system. A rugged sign was installed at the LYNX central station to convey arriving bus information to passengers. A server was installed in the dispatcher area, and the subsystems were interconnected using the Internet, a commercial wireless data provider, and local networks.
Project Payoff Potential
The use of TCIP is intended to reduce life-cycle costs to transit agencies that implement intelligent transportation system technologies, to facilitate increased integration of transit information systems leading to greater operating synergies and efficiency, and to increase the degree of control that transit agencies are able to exercise over the integration of their information systems.
This project demonstrated TCIP interfaces to perform real-time interactions between business systems in the transit environment.
Product Transfer
The results are published in a final report for this project, which includes information so that other transit agencies can consider using this technology. The results have also been disseminated by the Principal Investigator via presentations at professional meetings and conferences of transit organizations and associations.  
Following this project, aE plans to further develop the technology used in this project and to offer to install the resulting products for a fee to transit agencies.  Since TCIP is an open standard, other suppliers will also be able to offer compatible products and systems based on this technology.

Final Report for this Transit IDEA project is available.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=2696