October 18, 2011

TriMet launches multi-modal trip planner

Ore.-based TriMet launched its beta application of a new open-source, multimodal trip planner. The Portland Regional Trip Planner is the first of its kind produced by a U.S. transit agency, according to TriMet.

The new trip planner is unique in that it combines transit, biking and walking in one itinerary, making it easier for customers to plan their trips, and reduces travel time compared with single-mode trip planners.

Customers can also plan their trips according to their preference for safest route, quickest route or flattest elevation. And because the Regional Trip Planner uses open-source data, it was less expensive to develop and the technology can be used by other agencies worldwide.

Features include:

  • Trip planning by combining transit, biking and walking in a single itinerar.
  • Accommodating bike preferences and an elevation chart display.
  • OpenStreetMap, a wiki-like map, to update bike routes and walking paths.
  • Possible future inclusion of other transit systems, such as C-TRAN and SMART.
  • Car-share locations.

Customers can provide feedback about the trip planner by email to rtpfeedback@trimet.org. After the beta testing is complete, the final product will go live in early 2012.

TriMet developed the trip planner in partnership with the nonprofit OpenPlans and a team of developers from around the world. Oregon Metro provided the funding through its Regional Travel Options grant program. TriMet received $68,960, matched with in-kind contributions for a total of $137,920. Metro's Regional Travel Options program works to improve air quality, reduce car traffic, and encourages active and alternative modes of transportation.

TriMet and OpenTripPlanner were recognized by the White House in a Champions of Change blog post touting how "open government technology transforms the way we travel."

 

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