Estimating a Rail Passenger Trip Origin-Destination Matrix Using Automatic Data Collection Systems

Automatic data collection (ADC) systems are becoming increasingly common in transit systems throughout the world. Although these ADC systems are often designed to support specific fairly narrow functions, the resulting data can have wide-ranging application, well beyond their design purpose. This paper illustrates the potential that ADC systems can provide transit agencies with new rich data sources at low marginal cost, as well as the critical gap between what ADC systems directly offer and what is needed in practice in transit agencies.

Unified estimator for excess journey time

Excess journey time (EJT), the difference between actual passenger journey times and journey times implied by the published timetable, strikes a useful balance between the passenger's and operator's perspectives of public transport service quality. Using smartcard data, this paper tried to characterize transit service quality with EJT under heterogeneous incidence behavior (arrival at boarding stations). A rigorous framework was established for analyzing EJT, in particular for reasoning about passenger’ journey time standards as implied by varying incidence behavior.

MIT Team Wins "Better Buildings Case Competition" (again)

The US Dept of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge is an effort to reduce the energy use of commercial buildings by 20% by 2020 by catalyzing private-sector investment and innovation.  DOE and its “Challenge Partners” are developing replicable solutions to the barriers faced by building owners as they adopt energy efficient practices in their commercial building stocks.

DUSP Team Test Drives SimCity 6

Last month, a team from DUSP competed with planners in New York and Chicago in a six-team SimCity Challenge to test out the newest version of the classic city-building game.  This blurb from FastCompany's coverage of the event really demonstrates the spirit that the DUSP team -- planners for the imagined city of "MITroit" -- brought to the project:

Civic Data Design Lab project featured in GeoSkop

We are here now Moscow map was recently published in the acclaimed German magazine GeoSkop


Social media are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, from connecting with friends and sharing images to exploring cities through location-based applications. These new services have given us a different vantage point from which to understand, explore, navigate, and geographically record the places we live.

A Subjective Measure of Car Dependence

A subjective measure of car dependence was developed based on people’s own assessment of their reliance on car use. The measure supplements the commonly used objective measure based on actual car use. Structural equation models (SEM) were estimated to quantify the subjective dependence and to examine its determinants: demographics, socioeconomics, and land use and transit access. The comparison between subjective dependence and actual car use discloses significant differences between both measures despite their statistical linkage.

Transit Passenger Incidence Behavior

Passenger incidence (station arrival) behavior has been studied primarily to understand how changes to a transit service will affect passenger waiting times. The impact of one intervention (i.e. increasing frequency) could be overestimated compared to another (i.e. improving reliability), depending on the assumption of incidence behavior. It is important to understand passenger incidence so that management decisions will be based on realistic behavioral assumptions.

Has Shanghai’s Transportation Demand Passed Its Peak Growth?

Based on four comprehensive transportation surveys in Shanghai, this study examines the latest trends in Shanghai’s travel demand, investigates their social, economic and spatial drivers, and compares the pace of travel demand growth in three periods: I) 1980s to early 90s; II) early 90s to mid 2000s; and III) mid 2000s to now. The demand growth is relatively slow in Period I, and then speeds up in Period II, before returning to a slower pace in Period III.