About Transit Tech
Making use of multiple transportation modes, especially transit, requires planning and good information. With the widespread adoption of smartphones, which nearly two-thirds of all Americans now use, it’s easier for people to access new transportation services and information.
Thanks to the increasingly wide range of options available in places like Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, a trip to work and social activities can combine walking, biking, driving, ridesharing, and transit. A growing consensus surrounding connectivity and data transparency is leading cities and agencies to prioritize real-time information, allowing riders to know more than ever about their options.
Mobility Lab and Arlington County have sought to support the development of better technology-enabled transportation systems through events like our annual TransportationCamp, monthly Transportation Techies group, and tech partnerships like CarFreeAtoZ, TransitScreen, Transit Near Me, and others. With multiple kinds of regional engagement, these events and projects help individuals, businesses, and communities incorporate smarter transportation choices into daily life.
Popular Tech Stories
Applications Culitivated by Mobility Lab
CaBi Station Crowdsourcing
Enables public participation in planning a network of preferred station locations.
Real-Time Transit Screens
Monitor status of custom-selected stations for rail, bus, and bikeshare.
The map shows all the stations you can bike to in 30 minutes or less.
Transit Near Me
Discover bus and rail lines near your home or office.
Compare routes for driving, walking, biking, and transit
Car Free Near Me
A mapping program currently in beta by Arlington County Commuter Services.
It allows anyone to insert an address anywhere in the Washington D.C. region to view their travel options, see real-time arrivals, and check for service advisories with various transit agencies.
This tool that helps find goods and services within a critical distance of any given Metro station.
Tool for studying trip-history data for bikeshare systems and Metro.
Display heat maps for bike accidents and bike counts.
Recent Technology News
A mother-and-son adventure in pursuit of a low-cost skiing vacation It started innocently enough: my teenage son begged for a ski trip to the Colorado mountains. His frugal mom decided to teach him how to save a few hundred bucks so he might be able to indulge his passion when on a college student’s budget…. Read more »
The news: Three weeks after launching a real-time data feed and satisfying a commitment to app developers, Metro has pulled some of the data, citing security concerns. The DC MetroHero app’s take: Metro no longer publishes the location of non-passenger trains, a change made for “operational and security reasons,” but that snarls train-arrival data for developers, who say they… Read more »
by Todd Fisk I’ve lived in DC and used Metrobus here for 14 years. I’m also a designer, and I have a few ideas about how to make the bus timetable brochures clearer for people using them to understand the system. Metrobus brochures could included a map like this to give riders a sense of… Read more »
Biking alongside manually driven cars can be a nightmare for both the biker and the driver. Bikers can be fast. They weave in and out of traffic and sometimes human drivers toe the line when deciding how much space to give them — and sometimes they don’t. But now, thanks to Google’s many in-house bikers,… Read more »
While transit agencies have long been measuring their performance based on the data they keep, a new world of “open data” is providing the opportunity for anyone to analyze and visualize performance in ways that have almost never been possible. The National Academies – which advises Congress on science, engineering, and medicine – has now… Read more »
Commuters who regularly endure traffic jams and long travel times to work sometimes consider carpooling as an alternative, but it’s not always simple to find people to share a ride. A new app called Ride aims to change all that. Launched in April, Ride hopes to connect coworkers who have similar routes to work – reducing… Read more »
Sharing-economy companies like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB continue to disrupt industries as they create services that are incredibly appealing to consumers. Whatever your opinion on these companies, the decision regarding if, and how much, they should be regulated is important. It will help determine the speed of technological innovation in the U.S. and the direction… Read more »
Surveying and research modeling for transit ballot measures typically happens in the final crunch before elections. But Scott Wilkinson, founder of AlphaVu, makes a compelling case for transit agencies and transportation strategists to stay focused on how people are talking about them 365 days a year. “In transit, we’re feeling gun-shy. We’re used to people… Read more »
Boston-based Bridj recently launched limited service between Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. to help fill a niche not being targeted by buses. Another company, Split, launched just a couple days ago and is similar to Uber and Lyft in that you order a car to your location to taxi you to your destination. The… Read more »
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer, the author of a recent award-winning study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are… Read more »
An important tactic for transportation agencies to balance traveler demand on roads and transit is to give people the tools and information they need to make smart choices about how they get around. One such tool is rideshare matching – providing commuters with potential carpool or vanpool matches based on origin, destination, and time of… Read more »
One of the key strengths of bikeshare is how it effectively expands the transportation network for its users. It unlocks new travel options that might not otherwise be possible, even for people with their own bikes. Now that CarFreeAtoZ supports bikeshare as an option, we can begin to see this impact more clearly than ever…. Read more »