Minnesota to trial use of StreetLight’s real-world travel data


The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has taken out a pilot subscription with mobility analytics company StreetLight Data Inc. to trial the use of the company’s real-world travel pattern data for transport planning issues.

StreetLight Data is San Francisco-based technology company that transforms the massive amount of geospatial data produced by mobile devices into useful transportation behavior information. MnDOT will use a Regional Subscription to StreetLight’s InSight platform to transform big data into useful mobility metrics to tackle transportation, event and development projects statewide, including major events such as the Minnesota State Fair, the Renaissance Festival, and Super Bowl LII, which takes place in Minneapolis in February 2018.

MnDOT’s subscription to StreetLight’s InSight platform will provide unlimited analyses of real-world travel patterns across Minnesota, such as origin-destination and select link studies. The platform will be available to designated employees of MnDOT; the Metropolitan Council, which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St Paul) region; the Minnesota Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); and specified consulting firms that do work on behalf of these agencies.

The state’s transportation experts and urban planners will get instant access to the easy-to-use online InSight platform, which provides detailed travel data based on trillions of real-world location records collected from mobile devices. Potential StreetLight InSight data uses by MnDOT include:

• Planning for Super Bowl LII, to be hosted by Minneapolis;

• Renaissance Festival relocation;

• General modeling, forecasting and planning, especially public transit planning and freight/commercial truck studies;

• Performance measurement for major construction projects;

• Public engagement on planning issues.

“To the ultimate benefit of Minnesotans, StreetLight Data is bringing the agency big data insights into travel behavior that were impractical to get before,” explained Paul Czech, planning manager with MnDOT Metro District’s office of planning, program management, and transit.

“We are piloting a comprehensive Regional Subscription so that we can get travel data when and how we want. We also aim to save budget compared to collecting data for individual projects.”

Laura Schewel, CEO and co-founder of StreetLight Data, commented, “It’s exciting to be working with the MnDOT to bring greater visibility to travel patterns in the state. Like many states, Minnesota’s transportation needs vary greatly from border to border, and the Regional Subscription to InSight makes collecting mobility data for every project, no matter how big or how small, easy and cost-effective. This leaves transportation planners, engineers and modelers more time to focus on designing the policies and infrastructure the state needs.”

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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).