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Boston's Data-Driven Bus System Makeover
Stephen Miller reports on ongoing efforts in and around Boston to improve bus service on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority transit system. Boston is the latest city to revamp its bus network, but its approach to the process differs from that of famous examples like that of Houston, in its use of data collection.
"Instead of following the lead of Houston, which completely redrew bus routes across its sprawling grid all at once, the T will be using ODX data as part of a piece-by-piece approach on Boston’s winding roads," explains Miller.
ODX stands for Origin Destination Transfer—a ridership model developed by MIT’s Transit Lab for use in London, called. According to Miller, "MIT and the MBTA have begun breaking down the barriers between different fare payment and ridership data sets to estimate when people are traveling, where they are getting on trains and buses, where they are transferring and, using the origin of their subsequent trip, inferring where they are ending their journeys." That data is thus enabling the MBTA to make informed decisions about route alignment, stop spacing, frequency, and hours of service.