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The TBEST Framework for Data Analysis and Forecasting Rodney P. Bunner October 16, 2013 l Public Transit Modeling. Agenda. Motivation and Use GIS Specifications TBEST Framework Components Data Management Data Interoperability Data Requirements Model Engine Analysis and Reports

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The TBEST Framework for Data Analysis and Forecasting

Rodney P. Bunner

October 16, 2013 l Public Transit Modeling

  • Motivation and Use
  • GIS Specifications
  • TBEST Framework Components
    • Data Management
    • Data Interoperability
    • Data Requirements
    • Model Engine
    • Analysis and Reports
  • Next Steps
  • FDOT/planners wanted a software tool for short-term transit service planning – designed specifically for transit.
  • Serve as FDOT provided ridership estimation technique for State mandated Transit Development Plans (TDPs)
  • Transit Boardings Estimation and Simulation Tool (TBEST) has been in production for several years and is on its 4thMajor Version (4.1).
  • FDOT is continually supporting the improvement of TBEST.
TBEST in Florida
  • Major Benefits:
  • Standardized modeling method to ensure consistency and equity among agencies
  • TBEST reduces burden on FDOT for evaluating a variety of ridership estimation methodologies
  • TBEST reduces burden on agencies to prepare and conduct more expensive and complex modeling efforts
  • Leverage TBEST data and software framework to support multiple transit agency tasks:
  • Service Planning
  • Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA)
  • Grant Applications
  • FTA Title VI Analysis
  • Mobility Studies
  • NTD Route Miles
  • Market Analysis
  • Network Accessibility
tbest elsewhere
TBEST Elsewhere

Various projects inside and outside of Florida:

  • RVTD (Oregon) Calibration and Implementation
  • Los Angeles Metro Calibration
  • CAT (Savannah) Strategic Plan
  • TheT (Ft. Worth) Model Development
  • LYNX (Orlando) Service Planning Implementation
  • PennDOT Pilot Project
  • PeopleMover (Anchorage, AK)
tbest gis specifications
TBEST GIS Specifications
  • Desktop application requiring ArcGIS 10.1 Basic license
  • Utilizes ArcGIS Engine for map display, spatial analysis and network editing
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 (Express or Enterprise editions)
  • No Network Analyst or ArcSDE required
  • Utilizes ESRI Map Services, Bing Maps or preformatted .mxd for base map
  • No fee for TBEST except ArcGIS license
components data management
Components – Data Management
  • TBEST manages data specific to individual transit systems
  • Each transit system is composed of scenarios which contain editable routes, segments, stops, socio-economic data and network attributes
  • Validation specific to each transit system
  • All GIS/database files managed internally
  • Download pre-formatted SE data, transit systems and model definition packages
  • Easily create current or future year scenarios

TBEST managed Transit Systems

components data management1
Components – Data Management

TBEST User Interface

components data interoperability
Components – Data Interoperability

GTFS Import

  • Imported networks for FL agencies with GTFS feeds
  • Utilized nationally in Ft. Worth, RVTD, Los Angeles, Savannah

GTFS Export

  • Export TBEST “planning” network into GTFS
  • Added TBEST attributes to exported data including ridership and stop amenities


  • Export TBEST maps and data into ArcGIS
  • Import route alignments into TBEST from outside data sources
  • Export “loaded networks” into geodatabases
components data requirements
Components – Data Requirements

Original Data Requirements

  • Census 2000
  • Employment
    • FDOT provided InfoUSA address-based data
  • Manually coded Route Network
  • Special Generator Specification

Current Data Requirements

  • Census 2010
  • American Community Survey
  • Employment
    • FDOT provided InfoUSA address-based data
    • Optionally include locally provided zonal data
  • Land Use
    • Florida Department of Revenue parcel data
  • ITE Trip Generation Tables
  • GTFS network import and full network editor
  • Special Generator and Stop Amenity Specification
components model engine
Components – Model Engine
  • Micro-level model which simulates transit ridership at the level of the individual stop: by route, direction and time period
  • Designed to capture both walk access market and network accessibility
  • Model equations estimate direct and transferboardings
  • Accommodate service features of fare, speed, frequency, etc.
  • Accommodate fundamental differences in route types (local, circulator, express)
  • Automated Validation – Users supply observed ridership and TBEST calculates model application adjustments…allows TBEST to adapt to different urban locations without developing new model equations (transferable)
components model engine1
Components – Model Engine

Multiple Model Management

Users are able to maintain multiple model structures which can be applied to model scenarios

Editable Model Structures

Users can add, delete or modify coefficients, land use trip rates, and network and market accessibility parameters

Available Models

components model engine2
Components – Model Engine

BRT Sensitivity - Users specify the implementation level of specific route-level BRT characteristics and TBEST will adjust base ridership forecasts with an empirically derived

adjustment factor

components analysis and reports
Components – Analysis and Reports

Stop, Segment, Route and Regional distribution reports with supporting maps

components analysis and reports1
Components – Analysis and Reports

Scenario Comparison and Mobility Threshold service recommendations

components analysis and reports2
Components – Analysis and Reports

TDP Summary Report - Summarizes annual service area pop, employment, performance, and service for all scenarios in a TBEST transit system

components analysis and reports3
Components – Analysis and Reports

Land Use Market Analysis

components analysis and reports4
Components – Analysis and Reports

Socio-Economic Market Analysis

components analysis and reports5
Components – Analysis and Reports

Network Accessibility Analysis

steps underway
Steps Underway

October 2013

  • Release TBEST 4.1
  • Contains online Video Tutorials
  • Classroom training early 2014

January 2014

  • Enhanced FTA Title VI and Environmental Justice Analysis and Reporting

June 2014

  • Parcel Editor
  • Integrate Observed Ridership for COA support

October 2014

  • Network Accessibility Composite Measures
Contact Information

Thank You!

Xuehao Chu, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

[email protected]


Rodney Bunner

Transportation Technology Specialist

[email protected]

[email protected]

Steven Polzin, Ph.D.

Director Mobility Policy Research

[email protected]