Roadmap

The table below provides a listing of ongoing and planned enhancements to the OneBusAway open-source software by the OneBusAway community. This information evolves continuously; interested parties are invited to contribute to the discussion on the onebusaway-developers group.

Definitions

Status:

  • Proposed – unfunded initiatives
  • In progress – funded initiatives
  • Complete – funded initiatives that have been finished and publicly launched

Sponsor – Agencies funding or otherwise supporting the implementation of the feature
Performing organization – Organization implementing the feature
Interested agencies – Agencies that are interested in implementing and possibly financially supporting the development of this feature

Features

Personalized voice profiles in OneBusAway Alexa

  • Goal:  Allow multiple transit users within a household to easily access personalized transit information without having to switch profiles manually.
  • Features:  Recognize a user’s voice and automatically give them information (e.g., arrival times) specific to their profile settings (a particular bus stop).
  • Status:  Completed https://medium.com/@sjbarbeau/onebusaway-for-alexa-gets-personal-83fe8b502b4a
  • Sponsor:  Amazon

Allow users of native apps to opt-in to contributing travel behavior data

  • Goal: Support better analysis of multimodal travel behavior of OneBusAway users, including transfers to and from transit as well as use of non-transit modes (e.g., transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft).
  • Features:
    • Allow user to opt-in to contributing origin/destination data, as well as in-app usage data (e.g., what arrival times did they see before taking a trip?)
    • Target highly optimized activity transition data collection to avoid negative impact on device battery
  • Status:
    • Released as an update to the OBA Android app to a beta testing group of 676 users in June 2019. Over a 10-week period, 74 users opted into the study without any incentive and contributed 65,582 trips. No complaints on battery life and no one left study. Update will be released to production soon. Report to be released soon. Data available to researchers.
  • Sponsor: National Center for Transit Research

Transition all OBA/OTP servers in Regions API to HTTPS

  • Goal: Apps should be communicating with all OBA and OTP servers defined in the Regions API using HTTPS (instead of HTTP) for privacy and security. This is a requirement for iOS and Android platforms.
  • Status:

Transition Maven Repository to HTTPS

  • Goal:  Prevent DNS injection techniques from hijacking build artifiacts
  • Features:  Host Maven repository via HTTPS with support for SNI headers
  • Status:  Rolling out now

Java 13 Support

  • Goal:  Upgrade onebusaway-application-modules to support Java 13
  • Status:  In Progress
  • Sponsor:  Sound Transit, MTA

Webapp V2.0 UI/UX enhancements

  • Goal:  Perform a round of user testing on the V2.0 web interface and implement a subset of the suggested improvements
  • Status:  In Progress
  • Sponsor:  DASH

Disruption Management Features

  • Goal:  Communicate service change / detour changes to rider in real-time.
  • Features:
    • Enable hidden service ids in schedule
    • Modify headways
    • Hide predictions for detoured stops
    • Show route alignment changes
    • Automated Service Alerts communicated disruption changes
    • Handle Snow routes / Hurricane Routes / Evacuation Routes
  • Sponsor:  DASH, …
  • Status:  Proposed

Improved Service Alert Support

  • Goal:  Support more complex combination of Service Alerts
  • Features:  Route, Route + Stop, Stop support for service alerts
  • Sponsor: Sound Transit
  • Status:  In Progress

Add support for private service in OneBusAway

  • Goal:  Regional private transit providers desire to be hosted alongside public transit in OneBusAway
  • Features:
    • Design/implement data model that would demarcate service as private and or query as to type of membership required for access.
    • Add API support
    • Design web-app support
    • Design native app support
  • Status:  Proposed
  • Interested Agencies:  Sound Transit

Administrative Console Enhancements

  • Goal: Make it easier for agencies administering OneBusAway to manage key components of the system via an upgrade to the administrative console web site.
  • Features:
    • GTFS-RT debugging: comprehensive debug UI for tracing real-time data as it flows into and out of OneBusAway
    • Transit data bundle validation: additional introspection into the bundle building process to validate input and output data
    • Transit data bundle reporting: a customizable report comparing the current dataset to previous dataset to highlight potential gaps (complete)
    • Vehicle status pages: a UI to report on the last known status of every bus in the fleet (complete)
    • Manual Vehicle Assignment UI:  Through integration with TheTransitClock, allow for manual dispatch
    • Improved Service Alert editing with validation
  • Status: In Progress
  • Target: Ongoing
  •  Sponsor: Sound Transit, HART, MTA, DASH
  •  Interested Agencies: WMATA
  • Performing organization: Cambridge Systematics

GTFS-RT v2.0 Support

  • Goal:  Perform a gap analysis on 2.0 features and implement
  • Status:  Proposed
  • Sponsor:  Sound Transit, ….
  • Interested Agencies:  ALL
  • Performing organization:  Cambridge Systematics, …

Better GTFS-Realtime Output

  • Goal: Improve the capabilities of the OneBusAway server to share real-time information with other systems (e.g., Google Maps) via a GTFS-realtime output feed.
  • Features:
    • Provide GTFS-RT output via a robust and scalable mechanism
    • Support per-stop predictions (complete)
    • Add a caching layer in support of larger deployments
    • Improve current/future trip prediction support (e.g., when multiple predictions occur on the same block)
  • Status: Proposed
  • Interested agencies: WMATA

Embedding Social into OneBusAway

  • Goal: Make it easier for OneBusAway users to connect to one another and share information about the transit system via the native OneBusAway Android and iOS apps
  • Features:
    • Show social feeds for all stops and routes
    • Allow users to post information to specific stops and routes
  •  Status: In progress
  • Android Target: 2016
  •  iOS Target: 2017
  • Sponsor: USF CUTR, Microsoft Research
  • Performing organization: USF CUTR, Microsoft Research

White label and Embedding Support for OBA

  • Goals:
    • Modernize OBA iOS codebase to make it easier for prospective new contributors to begin adding features to the app.
    • Add support for whitelabeling the OneBusAway app for iOS so that transit agencies can easily launch their own custom, branded versions of the app without having to fork the codebase. (e.g. KiedyBus and Cuando Subo no longer have to maintain their own versions of the app with their own Polish and Argentine Spanish translations) 
    • Turn the OBA iOS codebase into a ‘library first’ so that its features can be embedded into other applications. (e.g. a transit agency’s existing app could embed ‘OBAKit’ in order to reuse any of OBA iOS’s features.)
    • Make it easier for innovative developers to build experiences on top of new platforms, like the web, Apple TV, the Mac, and Apple Watch.
  • Features:
    • All current features of the shipping OBA iOS app.
    • Whitelabel support for building custom-named and branded versions of OBA iOS.
    • OBAKit framework for embedding OBA features in other iOS apps.
    • OBAKitCore framework for creating new experiences on top of the OBA iOS core code.
  • Status:
    • Project has been underway since October 2018.
    • In active feature development, with 29 open tickets remaining before beta testing.

Support Real-time Demand Response Transit Information

  • Goal: Allow agencies to share demand-response transit (e.g., paratransit, flex routes) information via OneBusAway. Demand Response includes transit modes such as paratransit that do not follow a fixed route schedule, or have a vague schedule and deviate significantly from it.
  • Features:
    • Integrate Demand Response position information into OneBusAway Enterprise interface allowing the tracking and Estimated Time of Arrival of vehicles as they follow a flexible route.
  • Status: At Risk
  • Interested agencies: HART

Show Passenger Count Information for Vehicles

  • Goal: Show riders how full their approaching vehicle is to allow them to plan for using other routes in advance
  • Features:
    • Integrate Automated Passenger Counter (APC) Data from real-time sources including GTFS-RT and expose via SIRI API and the web UI v2.0.
    • Create a taxonomy for occupancy from raw APC data, such as empty, partial, and full.
  • Status: Complete on MTA fork, In progress
  • Target: 2017
  • Sponsor: MTA
  • Performing organization: Cambridge Systematics, MTA
  • Interested agencies: HART, Sound Transit, York

Support Transit Trip Planning on Android and iOS

  • Goal: Give mobile users all the relevant information they need to explore a new city or optimize their commute to work. Highlight real-time data in decision making and constantly re-evaluate choices as new information arrives.  Use a sustainable geocoder and find a long-term source for geocoding.
  • Features:
    • Support point-of-interest and address search for origins and destinations
    • Show the user step-by-step directions for using public transportation to get from their origin to destination
    • Alert the user if changes in real-time predictions affects a trip they recently planned
    • Integrate with Pelias
  • Status: Reopened (Pelias Geocoing)
  • Android Target: Completed
  • iOS Target: Completed
  • Sponsor: HART
  • Performing organizations/developers: Sean Barbeau, Cambridge Systematics, Aaron Brethorst

General Enhancements to OneBusAway for Transit Riders

  • Goal: Allow transit riders to discover more information about transit and other modes via the web UI v2.0 for desktop and mobile.
  • Features:
    • Trip Planning: integration with OpenTripPlanner to recommend the best trip available
    • Schedule time tables: exposing static schedule data at the stop level, especially when real-time is not available (complete)
    • Multi-modal support: differentiating icons and other customizations to support ferries, light rail, and subway. (complete)
    • Status Page and RSS Feed: report on the status and performance of OneBusAway in support of agency transparency goals (complete)
    • Last mile support: Integrated with increasingly popular transit services such as bike sharing, Uber/Lyft and others to provide a single point of transit planning.
    • Show the user step-by-step directions for using a bicycle or shared bike. For shared bike, show the user where they can pick up and drop off a bike.
    • Show available bike-share bikes and stations/hubs (if applicable) on a map
  • Status: Complete/ Proposed / In progress
  • Interested agencies: Sound Transit, HART, MTA, WMATA

Integrated Support for Generating Arrival Predictions

  • Goal: Enhance the capability of OneBusAway to generate arrival predictions from raw vehicle location data
  • Features:
    • Provide custom integrations with the popular open source prediction engine Transitime to support rapid rollout and data synchronizing features.
  • Status: Proposed
  • Interested agencies: WMATA, HART, Sound Transit

Integrate Contributions by various agencies into the OneBusAway project

  • Goal: Merge improvements made by MTA, Sound Transit, and HART on OneBusAway branch into the main OneBusAway project so other agencies/regions can benefit from them
  • Features:
    • onebusaway-admin-webapp: a back-end management module that builds bundles, manages users and API keys, and many other administrative functions (some that are very agency specific). (complete)
    • onebusaway-enterprise-acta-webapp: a sample branded web application based off of the MTA Bus Time code base (complete)
    • onebusaway-gtfs-archiver: basic support for archiving GTFS and GTFS-RT to a database (complete)
    • onebusaway-twilio-webapp: a trivial port of the onebusaway-phone-webapp to Twilio (cloud) services
    • onebusaway-nextbus-api: an alternate implementation of the nextbus API using transitime (complete)
    • many many bug fixes
    • true per-stop prediction support via TimePointRecords
    • many more metrics in onebusaway-watchdog
    • enhanced user indices for additional API key metadata
    • Spring 3 security updates
    • Post 2.0 bug fixes
  • Status: Complete
  • Target: Early 2020
  • Sponsor: Cambridge Systematics
  • Performing organization: Cambridge Systematics

Enhanced Support for Rider Feedback

  • Goal: Make it easier for riders to report problems to agencies, and provide agencies with better tools to triage, manage, and respond to rider feedback.
  • Features:
    • Re-design the feedback process in OneBusAway Android to facilitate feedback being sent to the correct organization
    • Provide Open311 protocol support so issues can be reported to any Open311-compliant tool
  • Status: Complete
  • Android Target: 2016
  • Sponsor: Florida Department of Transportation
  • Performing organization: USF CUTR

Integrated Fare Payment for Native iOS and Android Apps

  • Goal: Allow riders to pay for transit fares using the OneBusAway iOS and Android apps
  • Features:
    • Support integration with mobile transit fare payment providers via APIs
  • Status: Completed via Deep Linking / Proposed for onebusaway-application-modules
  • Interested agencies: HART, Irish Rail

Real-time Transit Navigation for Native iOS and Android Apps

  • Goal: Provide real-time navigation instructions to transit riders via the iOS and Android native apps. Enhance the ability of riders with special needs to exit the transit vehicle at the correct location.
  • Features:
    • Set a destination reminder for when the rider is approaching their destination and monitor the rider’s location in real-time
    • Allow parents/guardian to be notified if a transit rider deviates from their planned route
    • Support remote real-time tracking of rider if needed by parent, guardian, or travel trainer
  • Status: Complete (Android)
  • Sponsor:  USDOT via CTEDD
  • Interested agencies: HART, Pierce Transit, Pace Bus

Implementation of Real-Time Dispatching Method

  • Goal: Replace current schedule by a real-time dispatching method
  • Features:
    • Holding times recommended at control point along the route
    • Holding instructions communicated to dispatchers via transiTime extension. Dispatchers then instruct operators when to start their route
    • Dispatching method uses real-time predicted arrivals to maintain stable headways and maximize frequency of service.
    • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191261515001149
    • Predictions are generated by a modified transiTime. transiTime is being modified to provide support frequency based services. This is as a prerequisite to integrating the described holding method into transiTime
    • The predictions will be based on an historical average.
      • Dispatching method will replace schedules during lunchtime (11AM to 2PM) for several weeks
  • Status: Completed on Branch
  • Sponsor: Atlanta Streetcar
  • Performing organizations: Georgia Tech, Sean Óg Crudden