T1: Oral Presentation C Friday, 8:30 9:00 am C Lake Superior Ballroom O

Metropolitan Council 2001 Transit Database Update

Mike Dolbow
Metropolitan Council
Mears Park Centre
230 East 5th Street
St. Paul, MN  55101

In early 2001, the Metropolitan Council conducted a major update of the transit GIS data for the seven-county Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) Metropolitan Area in Minnesota. The existing transit data sets did not align to street data and were outdated. The Council's GIS department used a custom ArcView interface to solve this problem by registering all bus routes to The Lawrence Group (TLG) street centerline dataset. This presentation will show participants how the custom application was used to develop the database, and detail the resulting improvements.

The ArcView application was developed by Rowekamp Associates (Burnsville, MN) according to guidelines set forth by the Council's GIS department and Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Area's primary transit provider. A custom dialog was used to select individual segments of the region's bus system, which were then geographically defined using continuous TLG street centerlines. The program kept a master table relating the bus segment ID to the sequential TLG segment ID's, thereby providing a flexible system that can be re-created with future versions of the TLG data. Multiple users shared data across a network, allowing the department to build over 200 routes in a matter of weeks. 

The resulting database is a significant improvement over the previous transit GIS. The linework is now served at three levels of increasing detail (summed service, routes, and segments), with attributes such as ridership and daily trips. Schedule information was used to populate the stops and timepoints with similar attributes, allowing for detailed analyses of the region's transit service. With plans to update the data on a regular basis, the data sets are now served to the public and can be found at www.datafinder.org.