Customer-Oriented Open Data for Accessible Transit: A Case Study in Contra Costa County

Research Team: Huadong Meng (lead) and Alex Kurzhanskiy

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Various agencies and local governments in California offer accessible transit services, which are specialized microtransit services for seniors and individuals with disabilities who don’t drive. In Contra Costa County, several initiatives have aimed to improve transportation for these transit riders, but barriers persist. Information about accessible transit options is challenging to navigate, making it difficult for travelers to find suitable choices. Also, there is currently no central source for real-time travel information tailored to these individuals’ needs. The diversity of accessible transit providers coupled with the range of travelers' abilities complicates data management and communication efforts. Furthermore, providers typically only offer limited text guides instead of up-to-date, open transit data. This hinders coordination efforts among providers, services, and agencies.

Project Description: This project will create an open data framework for accessible transit in Contra Costa County to demonstrate the concept of an Operational Data Portal, which aggregates data from service providers, riders, and community organizations to create a customer-oriented service. The project partner, Mobility Matters (a mobility management provider), will lead coordination with project stakeholders, including agencies and community organizations, and will help identify relevant policies, requirements, constraints, and operational data. Ultimately, this project will elucidate how open data from both service providers and riders can enhance accessible transit, identify gaps, and establish a framework better serving individuals with special needs.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $95,000