Mobility Analytics Blog

StreetLight Data Blog

The latest news about Big Data and mobility analytics.

Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Transportation  |  public transit

Big Data and Public Transit: Measuring Vehicle Trips to Help Modeshift

Public transit is a key component of cities’ mobility networks, especially in dense urban centers. Trains and buses help commuters avoid the hassle of traffic jams on congested roadways, not to mention pricey parking. But some cities are attracting commuters and residents so quickly that public transit cannot keep up -- just ask anyone who lives in Denver, Colorado.

The population in Denver has grown by ~45% since 1996, and the average commuter there now spends 49 hours per year sitting in traffic, but only 4.4% of commuters use public transit (Source: Denver Post). Similar scenarios are playing out across the US in cities like Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and more. Even though alternatives to driving are available in many of these growing cities, not enough commuters are using them – and congestion keeps getting worse.

Traditionally, public transit planners improve systems by looking at existing transit users’ behavior. They identify potential users as those who live and work near transit stations. But in this era of rapid urban population growth, we cannot consider these groups alone: What about the people who are driving because transit isn’t currently a viable option? What about the people who could be using the transit to commute, but aren’t? In this blog post, I’ll walk you though a few ways Big Data can help address these questions.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Case Studies  |  Transportation

Minnesota Department of Transportation Taps StreetLight Data to Bring New Traffic Intelligence to Everything From the Super Bowl to the Minnesota State Fair

We’re excited to share that StreetLight Data has a new public agency partner: Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The agency recently signed up for a one-year pilot of our Regional Subscription to StreetLight InSight®, the first online platform that turns Big Data from mobile devices into transportation Metrics.

MnDOT’s Regional Subscription provides designated users with unlimited access to StreetLight InSight for Metrics in the state of Minnesota (and a buffer area). That means MnDOT’s Regional Subscription users can design and run as many StreetLight InSight transportation studies as desired to during their subscription term – without any incremental costs or additional procurement processes.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Mobile  |  Software Updates

How We Doubled Our Sample Size in One Year

We just passed our one-year anniversary of using Location-Based Services (LBS) data, so we decided to update some key sample size figures. The results are exciting: Our sample size has doubled to more than 62 million devices in the US and Canada in the past year. In other words, now our analytics anonymously describe the travel behavior of 23% of the US and Canadian adult population.

There are many reasons for this increase, including our main LBS data partner, Cuebiq, doing a great job. However, the most important reason is that Location-Based Services are becoming more and more widely adopted by consumers. As a result, our clients can now analyze the aggregate travel patterns of nearly ¼ of the population in just a few mouse clicks.

That’s a large sample by any measure, but when you consider the “status quo” methods of collecting travel behavior data, it’s even more dramatic. Imagine how much it would cost – and how long it would take – to collect household travel surveys from 62 million people, or to install sensors and traffic counters on the roads they use every day. It just wouldn’t be feasible. In this blog post, I’ll explain how we calculate sample size (hint: accuracy is more important to us than flashiness) and why it’s grown so much in just one year.

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Blog Feature

Modeling Travel Demand: Introducing StreetLight InSight® Metrics for PTV Visum

We’re excited to share that StreetLight Data and PTV Group have taken the next step in our partnership: Our first integration of StreetLight Data’s transportation analytics into PTV Visum, one of PTV Group’s flagship software platforms for travel demand modeling. For the first time, transportation professionals can use up-to-date, comprehensive Big Data analytics in their models in just a few mouse clicks.

Our new feature means that modelers do not have to manually process .CSV files or write custom code to use our origin-destination matrices in their Visum models. Instead, they can install the StreetLight Add-In to Visum, then pull in the data they need in a flash. In this article, we’ll explain why we decided to build an integrated data solution for modelers, how it works, and the next steps for our partnership.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Case Studies  |  Transportation

Ohio DOT Selects StreetLight Data and INRIX for On-Demand Mobility Intelligence

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently selected StreetLight Data to provide on-demand transportation studies along with one of our partners, INRIX. We’re thrilled to see ODOT join the hundreds of public agencies across the US and Canada that benefit from our Big Data analytics. 

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Location-Based Services  |  Transportation

Real-World Travel Patterns: Who Works on Labor Day?

The Labor Day public holiday celebrates American workers by giving them the day off – or at least, that’s the idea.  Here at StreetLight Data, we wanted to find out how many American workers are still commuting to their jobs on Labor Day. The results were surprising: Only about ~56% of American workers get the day off nationwide, with some variation in results across different states. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through our analysis of Labor Day travel patterns.

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