Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) OpenTripPlanner (OTP) Shared-Use Mobility, Evaluation Report
Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) serves a population of approximately 1.8 million in 533 square miles of the urban portion of the three-county Portland metropolitan area through rail and bus routes. TriMet has planned to extend its open trip planner project (OTP), an integration of transit, bicycling, and walking. The OTP project was designed to enhance the existing TriMet trip planner to include shared-use mobility (SUM) options, real-time information on transit vehicle arrivals, accessibility, pedestrian routing in consideration of sidewalks, and other interface enhancements. The project also implemented a fully functional and comprehensive open geocoder to advance a non-proprietary system for geocoding that could lower the costs for implementing a trip planning system. This report presents the results of the independent evaluation (IE) that explored the technical function of the OTP, including geocoding, routing, and data veracity as well as user responses through a survey. Expert interviews with project participants were conducted to assess lessons learned from the project operation.
The quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods used in the TriMet IE included the following: 1) System testing of the geocoders and trip planners, 2) Data verification, 3) Survey analysis with a total of 187 respondents, and 4) Summary of expert (stakeholder/project partner) interviews. The evaluation hypotheses approach was used to explore the technical performance of the OTP and the user response to several design and interface features. Relevant data (e.g., survey, address, sidewalk, and expert interview data) was collected between 2018 to 2019 for this MOD demonstration.
Respondents provided feedback about their user experience and the intuitiveness of the user interface. They were asked to plan their own trips as part of the test and generally found that the trip planner produced valid results.
- About 60 percent of the survey respondents reported that having the shared-use mobility option in the OTP would at least slightly improve their mobility, and 20 percent said it would greatly improve their mobility.
- A majority of the test respondents (93 percent) found that the OTP returned valid results (reported “totally satisfactory” or “some parts satisfactory” for the returned results).
- Respondents generally reported that the real-time information would be very useful (76 percent rated its utility at the top of the scale), and a majority (82 percent) stated it would greatly improve their ability to plan for trips compared to the existing TriMet trip planner.
- Approximately 30 percent of the users reported that they believed the OTP would greatly improve their ability to access to public transit and to make multimodal trips. Forty-four percent and 32 percent noted that it would enable at least a slight improvement in their ability to access or egress public transit, and conducting multimodal trips, respectively.
- The TriMet OTP generally had good performance with respect to correctly routing pedestrians in ways that improved or expanded their use of sidewalks or provided a lower stress level relative to a more direct route.