What’s new in TBEST 4.8

TBEST version 4.8 builds upon the advances in prior versions and adds new functionality to support advanced transit planning analysis and reporting. The following features highlight the improvements within the software:

TBEST 4.8 GIS Framework

TBEST is compatible with ArcGIS versions 10.8.2, 10.8.1, 10.7.1, 10.6.1, 10.5.1, and 10.4.1 (Basic license-level).

Florida TBEST Socio-Economic Data Updates

The Florida 2023 Socio-Economic Data Package is available for download and includes 2020 Census geography and demographic tables, 2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimate tables, 2020 LEHD Employment data and 2022 Florida Parcel Land Use data.

Florida TBEST Transit System Updates

The 2023 Florida TBEST Transit Systems are available for download and include the following:

  • Transit Agency Logo
  • Each Transit System references the new Florida 2023 Socio-Economic Data Package
  • Transit networks generated from the Spring 2023 agency GTFS files (where available)
  • Configured with publicly available fares, per hour/per mile cost, transfer stations and general special generator/amenity information.
  • Constructed a 100 Minute Network Accessibility Build for the AM Peak time period
  • Completed ridership forecasting model run using the new TBEST Land Use Model 2023 model package

Florida Regional TBEST Transit Systems

FDOT has configured regional TBEST Transit Systems for South Florida, Tampa Bay and Central Florida. The regional Transit Systems include a include Scenario networks generated from multi-agency route systems imported from 2023 agency GTFS files. Florida TBEST users can utilize these Transit Systems to investigate regional transit connectivity, demographics, costs, and service levels using the TBEST market analysis, query builder, network accessibility, ridership estimation, and mobility areas tools.

South Florida Regional Rail and Transit Accessibility from Ft. Lauderdale Stations

TBEST Land Use Model Updates

TBEST 4.8 installs with the new TBEST Land Use Model 2023 ridership estimation model structure which includes the following updates:

  • Implemented an model algorithm to adjust for overlapping route patterns on the same route. In the past, ridership estimation on a route could be inflated given multiple overlapping route patterns in the same direction. The new algorithm will adjust the variables when stops are shared across patterns. 
  • Updated the model to recognize the TBEST network route vehicle seat capacities for vehicle capacity constraints, rather than the default values in the model parameters. 
  • Adjusted the default Rail model adjustment factors based on the Miami-Dade Transit Tri-Rail and MetroMover production levels.
  • To account for the overall decrease in transit ridership from the original 2014 model development, the TBEST model team adjusted the direct boarding and transfer boardings model constants to fit the March 2023 production levels from Broward County Transit.
  • The TBEST Land Use Model 2023 was tested with both Florida networks and networks outside of Florida with results indicating a much improved fit to current ridership numbers. 

TBEST Socio-Economic Data Configuration Tool (Outside of Florida)

In order to utilize the comprehensive Transit Planning tools available within TBEST, agencies outside of Florida have been required to develop TBEST-compatible Socio-Economic Data “packages” for their local area, region or state. In past TBEST versions, FDOT provided guidance, templates and tools to perform the configurations, but assembly and processing the source data into TBEST format required and expertise in multiple toolsets and technologies. In TBEST 4.8, the new TBEST Socio-Economic Data Configuration Tool provides users with the ability to automatically configure TBEST Socio-Economic Data packages for any region within the United States. The tool downloads, assembles and formats Census 2020 geography files and demographic tables, American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimate tables, and Longitudinal Household Dynamics (LEHD) employment datasets. The tool outputs fully-formatted, TBEST-compatible Socio-Economic Data packages referenced within the TBEST Explorer Socio-Economic Data folder. See User Guide Section 4.2 for more information.

TBEST Socio-Economic Data Configuration Tool – Northern Virginia Setup

TBEST OpenRouteService Dedicated Server

TBEST incorporates network routing and isochrone generation toolsets available within the OpenRouteService (ORS) web platform to support essential transit planning functions including transit network coding and creating the Mobility Area walk, bicycle, drive and wheelchair sheds available within TBEST. In prior software releases, TBEST utilized the free ORS service which is limited in daily access requests and request frequency. By implementing ORS on a dedicated server for TBEST 4.8, we are able remove limitations on using these tools along with improving the stability, utility and processing speeds for all ORS toolsets within TBEST. The TBEST Dedicated ORS server is available for all fifty U.S. states. International users still have the option to utilize the default ORS service. In addition, the TBEST Land Use Model 2023 ridership estimation model parameters include the ability to utilize ORS walk sheds for stop-level socio-economic data capture. For modeling, having walk shed market assessment provides a more realistic data capture as it includes “barriers” to transit access relative to sidewalks, water and roads.

Scenario Groups and Mobility Area Groups

The TBEST Explorer panel has been upgraded to allow users to organize TBEST Network Scenarios and Mobility Areas into logical groupings. Users can create Scenario Group folders to organize Application Scenarios into groups such as: TDP Scenarios, Operations Planning, or Archived Scenarios. Likewise, users can create Mobility Area Group folders to organize Mobility Areas into groups such as: Mobility on Demand Areas, Counties, Cities, Service Area, or Commission Districts.

Other New TBEST 4.8 Features

  • GTFS network import includes the ability to transfer TBEST stop-level special generator/amenity values to incoming networks via stop location as the default assignment method. This update helps support stop special generator/amenity values across multi-agency networks within the same scenario.
  • The Mobility Area Transit Shed now includes walk sheds at destination stops.
  • Updated Florida Mean Annual Wage and Projected County-Level Socio-Economic Growth tables
  • For TBEST Model Validations, to support regional TBEST networks where in some cases observed route ridership is unknown, TBEST no longer requires that all routes are in validation route collections prior to running the model validation procedure.
  • General bug fixes and performances improvements.