USDOT hosting webinar on standards and specifications for Mobility on Demand projects


The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) is hosting a free webinar to discuss the needs and subsequent strategies for standards and specifications that have been raised during its Mobility on Demand (MOD) demonstration projects.

Sponsored by the USDOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO), the webinar takes place on February 15, from 2:00 to 3:00pm, ET. The webinar will allow interested stakeholders to learn about two MOD Sandbox grant projects that are using open source software, open data, and standards to facilitate the replication of the systems.

Participants will hear from the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) regarding their MOD projects, focusing on the integration of shared-use mobility providers into the OpenTripPlanner (OTP). Participants will also learn about initiatives supporting MOD activities, such as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) multimodal payment integration initiative.

New technologies, such as smartphones and on-demand transportation options, have disrupted transportation models in many areas across the world. However, with so many MOD providers entering the space, interoperability is becoming evident, but equally difficult to maintain. The webinar’s speakers will discuss their experiences in developing open source standards, to provide open and scalable platforms for interoperability and replicability. The webinar will also discuss payment integration solutions to provide a seamless travel experience within the mobility system.

TriMet’s FTA MOD Sandbox grant enabled the agency and its partners to extend its OTP platform, which was first released by in 2009 and has ever since enjoyed widespread adoption. With the FTA support, TriMet has incorporated additional mobility options, such as Lyft, Uber, car2go, and BIKETOWN into OTP so that riders can easily plan mixed‐mode trips. Some of the additional project elements have included the development of a robust, open source geocoder; improvements to the basemap to support better walking and wheelchair trip plans; and a new, mobile‐friendly interface for OTP.

VTrans received a FTA MOD Sandbox grant to develop an online trip planner to help rural residents better access on-demand bus service. Vermont transit agencies previously offered various online tools, but VTrans was able to integrate those into a seamless real-time statewide network.

Riders can now better plan bus trips, which often involve long headways and route deviations. The open-data system will allow VTrans to offer future services, such as links to shared-ride companies, taxis and online ticket purchasing.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).