Simulating better bus service

Fellows: Andres Akle, Jordan Bates, Walter Dempsey, David Sekora
Mentor: Brandon Willard
Project Partner: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
[Project Blog Post] [Github Repo]

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) runs the nation’s second largest transit system. Its buses and trains agency move a ton of people – around 1.6 million trips are taken each day. CTA also gather lots of data: they know where buses and trains are in real-time and how many people get on and off at each bus stop.

We’re building transit planning tools that help CTA better predict the impact of a service change on a route – and all connecting routes – before deploying a single vehicle.

We’ll use CTA’s bus GPS and passenger count data to simulate future demand at every stop in Chicago, and predict how well transit service is likely to perform under a particular schedule change. We’ll also map how different schedules affect Chicagoans’ ability to get around. The goal is to use cutting-edge simulation to enhance the CTA’s ability to plan bus and rail service.