T3 Webinar Overview

Learn from the Experts: Open Data Policy Guidelines for Transit – Maximizing Real Time and Schedule Data Use and Investments

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Date:   December 5, 2013
Time:   1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:   All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:   1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


As transit agencies continue to address increasing service demands and decreasing budgets, maximizing technology and data investments through open data policies is necessary to retain and attract customers. Webinar participants will be exposed to the opportunities that open data provide and the challenges to overcoming technology and implementation strategies. Attendees should expect to realize the benefits of open data policies and how transit agencies have successfully partnered with private entities to produce more real-time scheduling and trip planning applications through the use and sharing of data. This informative webinar will serve as the foundation of guidelines to be developed for transit agencies seeking to share schedule and real-time data. This session will highlight experiences of transit agencies with a history of producing and sharing real-time and schedule data for its customers and private sector third party developers.


Martin Catala, Manager, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Informatics Group, Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), University of South Florida, will give a brief overview of the project underway with the Federal Transit Administration on open data policy guidelines for transit. The project focuses on transit data relating to schedules and situational status, such as passenger load, predictive arrival time, and vehicle location. The findings from this webinar will be incorporated into a guide for transit agencies interested in successfully implementing open data within the transit industry.

Timothy Moore, Bay Area Rapid Transit District Website Manager, will discuss the value of open data for agencies and developers. He will also highlight a business case study; showcase how to move beyond data sharing; and focus on the effects that data sharing has on free mobile application development and the savings impact.

David Barker, Manager of Operations Technology, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), will provide lessons learned from MBTA's launch of its real-time, next-generation, integrated, open data platform. This new system integrates schedule, real-time, and alert information across all MBTA modes into one unified frontend. He will also focus on MBTA's collaboration with third-party developers and how the MBTA can deliver comprehensive service information to its customers in innovative ways.

Kevin Webb, Conveyal, Co-Founder and Principal, Washington, D.C., will discuss U.S. and international case studies of transit information systems built around open data and open standards, both for the public facing and policy making applications. Using examples from Mexico City, Mexico, Manila, Philippines, and Portland, Oregon, Mr. Webb will showcase ways that open data platforms have improved public and interagency communications.

Target Audience

  • Transit and traveler information managers, consultants, vendors, academia, government officials, including those in local, State, and Federal Departments of Transportation (DOTs), and any other individuals or entities involved in the design, deployment, purchase, or evaluation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and traveler information technologies
  • Those wanting to learn more about open data policies, state-of-the art technologies, and costs and benefits of open data sharing and use

Learning Objectives

This webinar will:

  • Offer guidelines for transit agencies seeking to share schedule and real-time data.
  • Provide examples of business models for data sharing through case studies.
  • Establish a long-term vision of moving beyond sharing data and measuring its impact.
  • Showcase the lessons learned and best practices of sharing open data.
  • Determine what characteristics are important to transit agencies when implementing new systems for data sharing.

A second webinar will follow in early 2014 on sharing open data, focusing on legal ownership of real-time and schedule information, including legal barriers, customer perceptions, expectations, and political liability of open data.


Charlene Wilder, Transportation Management Specialist, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. DOT, (Washington, D.C.)

photograph of Charlene Wilder

Ms. Wilder has served as a Transportation Management Specialist for the Federal Transit Administration, in Washington, D.C., since 1996. She manages ITS Projects for the Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation. Her areas of expertise include open data guidelines for transit; rural ITS coordination; advanced technologies for persons with disabilities; and traveler information systems, including 511 and real-time information systems. Ms. Wilder earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Troy State University and a Master of Arts Degree from Central Michigan University.

Ms. Wilder previously served as the Federal host for the following T3 Webinars:

  • Findings and Lessons Learned from an Evaluation of Advanced Parking Management Systems for Transit;
  • How to Implement the Time Table Publisher: An Open Source Application for Transit Agencies;
  • Public Transit ITS Data Collection and Analysis – Large and Small Agency Lessons Learned;
  • Core Suite of ITS Technologies for Transit Agencies;
  • Deployment Lessons from Washoe County and Central Florida/Polk County; and
  • Keep It Real: Real-Time Transit Traveler Information Systems – 511, Social Media, and More.

Dave Barker, Manager of Operations Technology, MBTA (Boston, MA)

photograph of Dave Barker

Dave Barker has worked at the MBTA for ten years and manages the Operations Technology department. In Operations Technology, he has led or worked on the installation of the stop announcement, the vehicle location, and the computer-aided dispatching system for the agency's one thousand buses. Mr. Barker introduced real-time countdown information on the MBTA's entire bus system and heavy rail lines. He has helped move the MBTA from being one of the last major agencies to get its schedule information on Google Transit to becoming one of Google's launch partners for real-time information and a national leader in open data sharing.

Martin Catala, Manager GIS and Informatics Group, CUTR University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)

photograph of Martin Calala

Martin Catala has over 15 years of experience with GIS for transit analysis. His experience includes mobile data collection, transit GIS analysis, transit performance measures, livability, open-data policy development, database administration and design, and project management. He is the co-chair of the National Transit GIS Conference and National Center for Transit Research, Transit GIS Clearinghouse and a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Spatial Data and Information Science (ABJ60).

Timothy Moore, BART Website Manager (Oakland, CA)

photograph of Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore currently oversees interactive services for BART, Oakland, CA. He led BART's early use of mobile, messaging, social, and location-based services. He also developed BART's pioneering approach to open Application Programming Interfaces and established some of the country's first policies and practices for open government data.

Mr. Moore's work has appeared in publications such as TechCrunch, Mashable, Fast Company, and Atlantic Monthly. He has garnered numerous awards, including a Webby, an AdMark ADDY, and numerous AdWheels from the American Public Transportation Association. BART's homepage design is part of the permanent AIGA Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum. Mr. Moore is a frequent speaker on interactive strategy, innovation, open data, mobile services, and social engagement.

Kevin Webb, Conveyal (Washington, DC)

photograph of Kevin Webb

Kevin Webb is a co-founder and principal with Conveyal, a consulting firm specializing in open data and open source technology for the transportation sector. As a principal, Mr. Webb builds mapping and trip planning tools to keep users informed about their transportation options. He has a long-time interest in planning, transit, and open government. Prior to Conveyal, he had leadership roles at OpenPlans and the Sunlight Foundation. Much of his career has been in early-stage research and development, including a software startup and several years as a partner in an industrial design consultancy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.