Authors: Elliot Martin, PhD, Adam Cohen, Evan Magsig, Susan Shaheen, PhD
Date: July 2020
Abstract: This report evaluates the TriMet OpenTripPlanner (OTP) project, part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) MOD Sandbox Program. The TriMet OTP project was designed to enhance the existing TriMet trip planner to include shared-use mobility (SUM) options, real-time information on transit vehicle arrivals, pedestrian routing in consideration of sidewalks, and other interface enhancements. The evaluation explored the technical function of the TriMet OTP, including geocoding, routing, and data veracity. It also evaluated user response to the TriMet OTP through a survey and an unscripted test of its trip planning and routing capabilities. Finally, expert (stakeholder/project partner) interviews with project participants were conducted to assess lessons learned from the project operation. Overall, the results found that the TriMet OTP was an enhancement over the existing TriMet trip planner and provided some features that were superior to other leading trip planners. The results of the evaluation supported the hypotheses that the design interfaces were improved, the shared mobility and real-time information was useful, and the new design would facilitate better access and egress to transit. Some challenges were uncovered with respect to the capacity of the Pelias geocoder to handle misspellings or unusual inputs relative to other geocoders. The pedestrian routing also displayed a few limitations but performed well overall. Most hypotheses in this evaluation were supported, and, overall, the project was found to perform very well.