The National Academies

Transit IDEA J-04/IDEA 65 [Completed (IDEA)]

A Context Aware Transit Navigator
[ TCRP J-04 (Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis--The Transit IDEA Program) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Jon M. Williams
Research Agency: University of Illinois at Chicago
Principal Investigator: Jakob Eriksson
Completion Date: 8/10/2013
Fiscal Year: 2011

The objective of this project was to create a real-time, context-aware transit navigation system. The system integrates the route-planning and real-time tracking functionality provided by current systems into a single, real- time and context-aware application, combining a smartphone end-user device, such as the Apple iPhone, with a sophisticated back-end service.

The completed navigation system supports unified real-time transit navigation, including walking, biking or handicapped access, across all three Chicago transit agencies: CTA buses and subway trains, Pace suburban buses, and Metra commuter rail. The back-end is built as a generic routing service, which can be used by any number of client applications. On the client side, an iPhone application has been created, with an attractive user interface and a wide selection of convenient features. The iPhone application has been published on the iTunes App store for public download. The app is downloaded by approx. 2,000–3,000 users per month, and has received over 1,000 reviews, many of which are very positive.

The next immediate step is to identify a feasible business-plan for the continued funding and commercialization of the service.
The server back-end part of the work is and will continue to be available for open-source download at https://github.com/jeriksson/graphserver. Depending on how future commercialization efforts develop, the client side app may also be released under an open-source license in coming years.

The contractor's Final Report is available.

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