Fifth National GIS in Transit Conference Program Unveiled

Park Ridge, IL—September 15, 2009 — URISA and the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) have announced the Fifth National GIS in Transit Conference, “The Route to Success in Transit GIS,” taking place in St. Petersburg, Florida, November 16-18, 2009. This biennial conference will focus on the growing role of GIS in supporting planning, service delivery, and decision making in public transit. Recognizing the importance of the conference, both the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) have endorsed the event.

The Program Committee organized an educational program based upon the abstracts submitted through a Call for Participation.

Some of the highlights of the conference include:

Monday, November 16, 2009 - Preconference Workshops

  • Asset Management: Planning, Strategy, and Implementation
  • An Overview of Open Source GIS Software
  • Transportation Spatial Database Design

Important Keynote Address & Plenary Session
Keynote: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - Paula (Polly) Okunieff, Consensus Systems Technologies Corporation – Polly Okunieff has over twenty two years experience of system engineering development, sixteen of which is dedicated to transit ITS planning, design and deployment. Her experience ranges from developing Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite and transceiver navigation algorithms, to planning, designing and building transportation information systems that use a variety of information technologies (IT) including GPS, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), IT standards (such as XML/XSLT), and communications systems. Very well-known in the field, her keynote address is much anticipated!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - Google Transit - GTFS Data Standards with Open Innovation
The Google Transit Web Based Trip planner has excited many within the transit community. Equally exciting is the open source data format which drives the Google Transit application. This open source format encourages innovative uses of transit data to communicate with transit passengers in many ways. This session will address the open data format and illustrate innovative approaches to using this data to better communicate with the transit customer. It will feature Joe Hughes from Google Transit and three software innovators using the Google Transit data format to create alternative web and mobile trip planning applications.

Peer Presentations
- just a few of the important sessions on the program:

Planning Transit Access -
Providing viable access points to transit is critical to the success and usage of transit. This session will explore innovative methods to improve access to transit.

  • Analysis of the Walking Environment, Developing a Tool to Facilitate Sustainability
    Cara Westerman and Sinclair Knight Merz, South Brisbane, Australia
  • Community Asset Mapping to Support Transit Planning
    Teresa Townsend, Planning Communities LLC, Orlando, FL
    Allen Ibaugh, GISP, Data Transfer Solutions, Orlando, FL
  • Improving Walk-access Transit Modeling Using GIS Technology
    Bing Mei and Joe Huegy, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

  Data and Systems Management - Attendees will learn how to effectively plan and develop efficient strategies to move the transit industry forward. In addition, an understanding of specific data formats will be acquired and the new field of Transit Informatics will be defined.

  • Data and Systems Integration for Improved Operational Performance and Service Decision
    Terry Bills, ESRI, Redlands, CA
  • A Mass Transit Routing: A Data Perspective
    Ian White, Urban Mapping Inc, San Francisco, CA
  • Defining Transit Informatics
    Martin Akerman, University of South Florida, Orlando, FL

Models to Success - This session will focus on GIS models developed to analyze transit ridership, pedestrian crashes, and transit stop locations. These analytical models observed ridership data, traffic volume, facilities (such as sidewalks and crosswalks), and geographic data. The models that will be discussed were implemented to develop new plans for future transit systems and to improve existing ones.

  • Using GIS and CTPP Data for Transit Ridership Forecasting in Central Florida
    Xiaobo Liu and Jeffrey Stiles, Jacob Engineering Group, Morristown, NJ
  • Using GIS to Study the Role of Transit Ridership on Pedestrian Crashes
    Srinivas Pulugurtha, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC
  • Transit Stop Location Optimization Using Geographic Analysis
    Maaza Mekuria and Peter Furth, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

An exhibition and networking events will accompany the educational program. Visit the conference website for details and registration information and be sure to take advantage of discounted registration fees available until October 5. Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities are also detailed online. The conference is pleased to announce ESRI as the conference silver sponsor!

Visit the conference website at:


Wendy Nelson
Executive Director - URISA
E-mail: Email Contact


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