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Why doesn’t this happen in Toronto? #TTC

January 24th, 2010

While looking up info on alternatives to Trapeze 6.0″, used on the TTC‘s new trip planner, I discovered the following page. But first, the better way of displaying and organizing transit data is EFA by mdv — used to great effect in LondonGermany, etc. I have to wonder why it wasn’t chosen by the TTC. They’ve a US distributor, mdv Transit & Traffic Solutions Inc., and if they get business elsewhere, they’ve been perfectly willing to open a branch office there (E.g. Australia, etc.). But now on to why you clicked — why hasn’t the TTC adopted or other similar projects, like the following:

511 Transit is a Part of the Bay Area 511 Traveler Information (

MTC’s 511 Traveler Information suite of websites provides comprehensive information about how to get around in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you need transit, traffic, rideshare or bicycling information, you can find it in a single place, at this one-stop resource. For more information, visit the 511 home page at

But there’s more to 511. 511 is also a toll-free telephone information number. This easy to remember three-digit number provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic conditions and incidents, details on public transportation routes and fares, instant carpool and vanpool referrals, bicycling information and more. All available by dialing 511 from anywhere within the Bay Area.

Evolution of the Transit Website

The original transit website began in 1994, as a comprehensive Bay Area transit information resource started by two U.C. Berkeley students. In cooperation with individual transit agencies, that website provided customized methods and tools for posting and updating schedule, route, fare and map data on the internet.

In 1996, MTC worked with the original transit website developers to continue their efforts and begin expanding the information base to include all public transit services in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Since June 1998, the project has been funded by MTC.

As part of a separate project and with the cooperation of regional transit agencies, MTC implemented a transit trip planning system that, given an origin and destination, computes a transit itinerary connecting the two points. This system was originally developed primarily for the benefit of telephone information operators in the different transit agency call centers. In 2001, MTC launched its original regional transit trip planning system on a website interface for the general public.

In November 2003, MTC launched its revised Transit website as a part of the new 511 service. MTC and its contractor bd Systems (later acquired by SAIC, Inc. in 2006) were responsible for designing, developing and implementing the Regional Transit Information System (RTIS), the larger project under which the transit website is included.

From 2004 through the present, the 511 Transit project continued to incorporate transit service information from additional transit agencies into the 511 Transit website. Today, most of the major public transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area provide service data that MTC and its contractor make available to the public through 511.

In 2007, MTC decided to acquire a new transit trip planner to replace its current aging software. Along with the new trip planner, being launched on this website, a comprehensive update of the entire Transit website was undertaken by MTC and its contractors. While offering this all new website, MTC will continue to make the original 511 Transit website available, with features that are optimized for accessibility purposes, including screen reader capabilities and an accessible version of the new trip planner. The link titled “Accessible Version” in the upper left corner of this new 511 Transit website is a quick way to get back to the older, accessible version of the site.

Through the 511 Transit project, MTC currently oversees all aspects of these transit websites. With the invaluable cooperation of Bay Area transit agencies, MTC and its contractors manage the entry and updating of transit service information for the benefit of the Bay Area riding public. This new website is a joint effort of MTC, participating transit agencies, and SAIC, with trip planning software provided by Mentz (mdv), and website design assistance by 352 Media, Oakleaf Consulting, and Swirl, Inc.

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