August 7, 2012

TriMet’s multimodal trip planner goes live

Photo courtesy TriMet.

Photo courtesy TriMet.

In the past year, riders have planned more than 5.5 million trips using Portland, Ore.-based TriMet’s trip planning tools. Now riders can combine transit with biking and walking using the newest version of the online trip planner. This open source trip planning tool is the first produced by a transit agency in the U.S. that allows users to combine multiple modes of transportation.

“We’ve heard from riders that they want more tools to help them get around by transit, bike and foot, which aligns with TriMet’s and our regional partners’ mission to encourage active transportation,” said Bibiana McHugh, TriMet IT manager of GIS and location-based service. “So, last fall we launched a test version of this innovative new trip planner. Since then, hundreds of riders have helped us fine tune the tool.”

The multimodal trip planner is now live at trimet.org.

New trip planner features include:

• Combining transit, biking and walking in a single itinerary.

• Customizing routes by travel mode and options such as quickest, flattest and most bike-friendly.

• Accommodating bike preferences and an elevation chart display.

• OpenStreetMap, a Wikipedia-like map, so bike routes and walking paths can be kept up-to-date.

• Allows for future inclusion of other transit systems, such as C-TRAN.

• Car-share locations to easily plan trips to Zipcars and other car-share providers.

TriMet developed the trip planner in partnership with OpenPlans, a New York-based nonprofit, and developers around the world. Because it uses open source software and open data, the trip planner was less expensive to develop and the technology can be used by other agencies worldwide. Metro and its Regional Travel Options program provided nearly $164,000 in funding. TriMet contributed staff time to the development.

TriMet and OpenTripPlanner were recognized by the White House as Champions of Change touting how “open government technology transforms the way we travel.” To find out more about the technology behind this new application, visit www.opentripplanner.com.

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