A guest post by Jaime McKay, TRIP Commuter Services Coordinator at Central Maryland Regional Transit. TRIP, also known as the Transportation Resource Information Point, is a one-call, one-click resource that provides information on public, private, and human services transportation throughout the state of Maryland. These efforts empower older adults, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and the general public to safely and confidently navigate the complex transit network in Maryland. As part of these efforts, Jaime and her colleagues have been working diligently to build GTFS feeds for transit agencies across the state of Maryland. Recently she's been adding these feeds to Transitland, too. She was kind enough to share her experience:
You may know that there is a bus route near your home or work, but do you know where it goes? Can you visualize it on a map; or interact with it in a way that allows you to plan trips? Central Maryland Regional Transit's TRIP team worked to put all of Maryland's transit systems into a format called GTFS that can be used for interactive trip-planning, data analysis, and more. This process allows people throughout the state—from Cumberland to Ocean City—to plan their trips using transit. The team created 18 systems' worth of GTFS and enabled access for hundreds of thousands of commuters across Maryland.
Because of the TRIP team's work, 187 routes for 18 systems have been formatted for Google Transit, Bing Maps, and apps; and are fully accurate, up-to-date, and functional. This valuable effort serves transit-dependent populations throughout the state, and commuters will now have accurate information allowing them to make regional connections. Maryland, through the TRIP project, is the first state to create these feeds for transit agencies for no cost, using tools that most transit agencies already have access to.
The TRIP team's GTFS efforts in Maryland have helped build out the map—not only for commuters and for transit agencies, but for data enthusiasts and developers like Transitland! Through open data and sharing of information, the community is able to better understand transit service areas, identify service deficiencies, engage users, and so much more. Transitland provides the ability to view and interact with the data on a large scale, creating a visually appealing map while providing impactful ways to innovate and create. The TRIP team is excited to continue to add our transit feeds to Transitland and really see the map grow.
Now that Jaime and her colleagues have added feeds to Transitland, Maryland is available for easy browsing using the Transitland Playground data explorer and download. The same data is also available through the Transitland Datastore API to power mobile apps, web visualizations, and other transit data projects.