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Transitmix: Design Your Perfect Bus System

On June 19th at BETA, we had the pleasure of launching the public beta of Transitmix, a sketching tool for transit planners (both professional and armchair) to quickly design routes and share with the public. Transitmix is a cross-team, collaborative project that has received contributions from eight 2014 Fellows from seven different city teams.* It has been an amazing opportunity for all of us to learn from each other, share skills, and build on each other’s work to create something truly awesome.

Transitmix is the first tool of its kind. It allows users to draw bus routes on any city’s road grid and specify frequency and times of service to determine estimated total cost of the system. Users can then share their maps for others to view and “remix” by adding, changing, or deleting routes. In select cities, users can add and remix real-world transit lines, demonstrating how the bus network costs vary as existing lines change in route, frequency, and service time.

Preview of Transitmix app

It turns out Transitmix is the tool that transit professionals never knew they needed and armchair planners always wanted. The day after BETA, we had the honor of being featured in Gizmodo (“While Away Your Friday By Desigining Your Own Fantasy Transit System” - June 20, 2014) and The Atlantic’s CityLab (“Design Your Own Fantasy Bus System for Real-World Cities” - June 20, 2014). These articles, along with dozens of others, prompted a response we didn’t anticipate — more than 50 transit planners reached out to us via email and Twitter to give us support, feedback, praise, and advice.

Though I’m a rail scheduler now by trade, I’m always a bus guy at heart. Your new app really does fill a tremendous void!

– Adam J. Paul, Manager, Rail Scheduling, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The most exciting piece for us has been the numbers. As of July 3rd, Transitmix has more than 24,000 maps and 63,000 routes. And those numbers just represent visitors who have made maps — the website has seen more than 195,000 page views from more than 18,000 individual users. This number is growing even as I type!

The reception and feedback has kicked the team into high gear adding new features and modifying the tool in response to what we’ve been hearing. Our main goal is to make it easier to plan and build large, detailed transit networks like those in cities across the country. And we’re starting to succeed — in just the last week, 16 professional transit agencies from all over the world have reached out and requested their transit data be added to the tool. With these numbers increasing week after week, Transitmix is beginning to prove itself as a helpful tool for real-world transit planning and analysis.

What a fantastic tool for planners and citizens alike!

– Stefan Marks AICP, Director of Planning and Scheduling, Veolia Transportation Services, Inc., New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA)

Check out the tool at transitmix.net. The project is in active development on GitHub. Thanks to Heroku for hosting, MapBox for the mapping services, OpenStreetMap for the map data, and to the many generous funders of the Code for America Fellowship.

You can follow us on Twitter at @transitmixapp. If you are a transit agency, professional planner, curious citizen, or just have something to say, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at transitmix@codeforamerica.org.

*Project contributors: Sam Hashemi, Atlanta; Dan Getelman, Long Beach; Danny Whalen, Charlotte; Tiffany Chu, Charlotte; Becky Boone, Denver; Maksim Pecherskiy, San Juan, PR; Jason Denizac, Chattanooga; Lyzi Diamond, Lexington.


Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.