Code for America, a non-profit group that gathers coders to create civic minded apps, is working on a DIY transit scenario builder for the web, Transitmix. For armchair transit planners convinced they could rethink the regions transit network, this tool allows you to do just that, complete with cost estimations and service frequency. Below, a quick example from the WATS offices.
First, the user pulls up a blank map. Clicking 'adding a transit line' brings up a simple point and click interface to begin building routes.
As the user builds routes, the app generates estimations of operations costs, number of buses needed, and total route length.
Users can specify the length of peak service, and the frequency of service during the various parts of the day. Those adjustments are reflected in the total operating costs and buses needed.
While the level of customization is currently targeted for public input and visualization, eventually the developers plan to target transportation planning professionals as well. However, as is, the tool remains an interesting idea for public feedback and better engagement. WATS has requested that data be loaded for TheRides existing system, so hopefully users won't need to start with a fully blank slate.