Tiramisu: Information from Live Data Feeds

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University:Carnegie Mellon University
Principal Investigator:Anthony S. Tomasic and Aaron M. Steinfeld
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Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): $78,097.00
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Project Status:Complete
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Abstract:This project used to be named "Tiramisu: Live Bus Occupancy and Data Feeds” but we feel it is more appropriate to use the name listed above. The primary source of information for rider safety with respect to dynamic events such as cancelled buses, detours, traffic conditions and other factors is the transit system website. Although technological enhancements, such as real-time tracking, rider alert RSS feeds, and Twitter feeds, are available for transit users, such information sources do not always report updates reliably. For example, some real-time tracking systems stop transmitting updates about a bus if the bus takes a detour from its scheduled route. Rider alerts might temporarily suspend updates due to holidays or employee PTO. Notifications through social media frequently offer information of relevance, but are often difficult to understand, or for one to comprehend the impact of the message on their trip. Paradoxically, users are still faced with a lot of effort at navigating the appropriate information sources, finding and understanding messages and updates of relevance to their trip. Our project goal is to access transit service live update data feeds, identify the routes and stops on which their updates will have an impact, and provide an integrated display of that information in the user’s Tiramisu smart phone app. The extracted information can be used in multiple ways to improve the interactive experience of the user and keep them better informed. For example, if bus stops will be discontinued between certain hours of a day for, say, water main repair, and other stops will be established during that period, a search of nearby stops will reflect such temporary changes. This, combined with vehicle fullness data from the Tiramisu system, will allow riders to identify alternate transit trip options that are not too full to board.
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