What’s New in TBEST 4.6

TBEST version 4.6 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:

Framework

  • Compatible with ArcGIS versions 10.7.1, 10.6.1, 10.5.1, 10.4.1, 10.3.1 and 10.2.1 (Basic license-level)
  • Updated TBEST local computer permission requirements to no longer require write permissions in the Program Files folder.  For some organizations, this will alleviate the permissions issues experienced when performing a TBEST model run.  In addition, TBEST no longer prompts for elevated permissions when the software opens.
  • TBEST has increased utilization of openrouteservice.org services for routing and isochrone generation for drive sheds, walk sheds and bike sheds. 

Socio-Economic Data Framework

The TBEST Socio-Economic Data framework has been updated to include the following:

  • American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates – Added support for the following socio-economic variables: Disabled Population, Military Veteran Population, Primary Languages (Vietnamese, Russian, German, Tagalog, Arabic, Other Asian Language, Other Indo-European, and Other Unspecified)
  • For Florida users, downloadable Socio-Economic data includes the new ACS variables.
  • Multi-State Configuration Support – To support agencies with inter-state service, users can configure cross-state socio-economic data.  Instructions to construct multiple state data is provided within the Socio-Economic Data Configuration Guidance document.   
  • Updated Socio-Economic Data Configuration guidance and templates are available on the TBEST website.  Templates include support for 2018 ACS 5-Year data.

Florida Transit Systems

The Florida Transit Systems downloadable from within TBEST have been updated and now include the following:

  • Transit Agency Logo
  • Configured with the most recent Florida TBEST socio-economic data
  • Transit network generated from the latest available agency GTFS
  • 100 Minute Network Accessibility Build for the AM Peak time period
  • Completed ridership forecasting model run

TBEST UI Updates

The TBEST Team continues to update the TBEST UI to improve effectiveness, efficiency and stability using the software.  TBEST forms, dialogs, tools, buttons and overall look have been updated to be consistent and intuitive for both the beginning user and TBEST experts.  As an example, below are the new TBEST Transit System Downloads UI and Route Import UI each offering a more graphically intuitive experience for the user.

Route Service Summary Report

TBEST 4.6 includes the Route Service Summary Report which summarizes route-level service variables, cost and operation characteristics for all routes or a selected set of routes.  Service can be summarized by Weekday, Saturday, Sunday or Annual.  Weekday time-of-day summaries for AM Peak, Off Peak, PM Peak and Night are also available.  This report does not require a TBEST ridership forecasting model run.

Route Socio-Economic Summary Report

TBEST 4.6 includes the Route Socio-Economic Summary Report which summarizes walk access socio-economic characteristics around in-service route stops or segments and provides a total (non-double counted) evaluation for all routes in the report.  This new report is generated from the current route selection or all routes in the system and the socio-economic capture distance is defined by the user.  The user can elect to calculate socio-economic totals by individual service periods (Weekday, Saturday or Sunday) or all periods.  This report does not require a TBEST ridership forecasting model run.

Mobility Areas

To facilitate Transit Planners evaluating areas which may be served by combinations of traditional fixed route transit and new mobility modes, TBEST 4.6 features a Mobility Areas toolset which provides users with interactive ability to create and evaluate geographic areas as defined by the following:

  • Walk Shed via the road/sidewalk network from a single map location, from multiple map locations, from selected transit stops, from selected segments or from a selected route.  Walk Sheds can be defined using distance or time as an input. 
  • Bike Shed via the road/sidewalk network from a single map location, from multiple map locations, from selected transit stops, from selected segments or from a selected route.  Bike Sheds can be defined using distance or time as an input. 
  • Drive Shed via the road/sidewalk network from a single map location, from multiple map locations, from selected transit stops, from selected segments or from a selected route.  Drive Sheds can be defined using distance or time as an input. 
  • Drive Path via the road network as defined by the user by clicking way points along the proposed path/route.  The drive path is then buffered by a user defined distance to create the Mobility Area.  Great for creating roadway corridors.  
  • Point Buffer around a single map location, multiple map locations, selected transit stops, selected segments or selected routes.
  • Line Buffer around a single linear map definition, multiple linear map definitions, selected segments or selected routes.
  • Polygon defined by the user on the TBEST map, or from selected polygons within a polygon layer or the TBEST map. 
  • Transit Shed via the current TBEST transit network from a single map location, from multiple map locations, from selected transit stops, from selected segments or from selected routes. Transit Sheds are generated using total travel time as an input. 
TBEST Mobility Areas for Transit Sheds, Walk Shed and Drive Shed

Mobility Area Reporting

Perform detailed analysis of transit service, transit performance, socio-economic conditions and land use conditions within Mobility Areas with a variety of options to interactively produce reports and maps.

Mobility Area Service Summary – The Mobility Area Service Summary report details transit service and operating conditions within a Mobility Area.  This report is an important tool for transit agencies seeking to evaluate service within various geographies including Rural vs. Non Rural, Political Jurisdictions, Taxable Districts, Corridors or any local geography that is significant for operational evaluation.  Within the report, service is calculated for each route operating within a Mobility Area and the total service for all transit routes within the Mobility Area is summarized in the Totals line of the report.  The report also provides the percent of individual route service and percent of total system service within the Mobility Area.

Mobility Area Performance Summary – similar to the Service Summary Report, this report provides important service characteristics and adds either TBEST estimated ridership or observed stop-level APC ridership with service performance variables including boardings per service trip, per service mile and per service hour within a Mobility Area.  Very powerful tool for evaluating service distribution and performance across any geography.

Mobility Area Socio-Economic Summary – The Mobility Area Socio-Economic Summary report summarizes population, household, employment, Title VI and income variables within the Mobility Area.  Links to TBEST Market Analysis distribution map. Allows users to evaluate detailed socio-economic conditions within an interactive reporting environment.

Query Tool Updates

TBEST 4.6 adds a Route-level attribute search function and Spatial Filter to the existing TBEST Query capabilities.  The Route Query provides interactive query capability to select routes from data variables including service levels, estimated performance, observed performance and socio-economic attributes.  The Route search features a time-of-day based filter including Weekday, AM Peak, Off Peak, PM Peak, Night, Saturday and Sunday.  The Spatial Filter uses Mobility Area geography to filter the queried attribute results to apply to selected features which either intersect, are completely contained by, or do not intersect the Mobility Area.  The Spatial Filter option can also be performed without an attribute query defined. 

Route Service Summary – Route Evaluation Template

TBEST generates a formatted, Microsoft Excel-based route evaluation template which includes the Route Service Summary statistics and additional formatted pages containing detailed instructions on how to use TBEST service planning tools to insert maps, reports and data into the template.  The template is flexible and can accommodate additional inputs to allow Service Planners to fully evaluate an existing or proposed route. 

TBEST Scripting and Add-Ins

TBEST 4.6 provides a scripting interface within Microsoft Visual Studio where users can leverage the TBEST API to create unique applications using additional data sources, methodologies and logic to solve outside of the box problems.  The scripting is exposed on the TBEST interface within TBEST Explorer under the Workflow Support Tools->Scripting folder.  A sample application is provided for users to investigate the API calls to load TBEST Transit Systems, Scenarios and Routes, export GTFS, and execute a model run.  Scripts can be published into a TBEST Add-In which is made available in the TBEST UI under the Tools menu.  Scripting requires installation of Microsoft Visual Studio Express and the ESRI Developer Kit – ArcObjects SDK for .NET Framework.

Stand Alone Model Run

The TBEST ridership estimation model now runs from a separate executable file within the Stand Alone Model Run TBEST Add-In.  In prior TBEST versions, the TBEST model ran within the TBEST main executable and required elevated permissions within the Program Files folder on the local machine.  The model run process would also tie up the main TBEST UI during execution.  With TBEST 4.6, the new Stand Alone Model Run executes as its own process originating from the new C:\TBEST\Tools\Add-Ins directory. The Stand Alone Model Run is the first product of the new TBEST Scripting/Add-Ins toolset to be included with TBEST. This Add-In has been integrated into the TBEST UI to create a seamless transition from prior TBEST versions.  The Stand Alone Model Run is also available as a standard Add-In under the TBEST Tools menu.    

Other New TBEST 4.6 Features

  • GTFS Export – Select all routes or a route subset to export to GTFS.      
  • Route Operational Variables – Route specific annual service day variables were added for Weekday, Saturday and Sunday.  The new variables improve TBEST accuracy in annualizing service, performance and cost reporting to include route-specific service variations over the course of a year.
  • Network Accessibility Time of Day Builds – to reduce run times and data storage requirements, a Network Accessibility Build can now be constructed for individual TBEST time periods.
  • New View menu to Segments toolbar to toggle visibility of IVTT values and Vehicle Speed values.  Speed is now directly visible\editable in the Segments table.
  • Modify the default Map Route Selection Render Width to customize route highlighting.
  • Switch Route Selection tool to switch the currently selected routes to those that are not selected.
  • Added a Append Prefix to Route Name option to the Route Import from Scenarios tool.  Enables users to easily identify new routes that have been imported into a scenario or distinguish between transit service providers in a regional TBEST network.
  • Added an Imagery with Labels Base Map option.
  • Updated Title VI Analysis to support new LEP Variables.
  • Added Total Population, Total Households and Total Employment Density Maps to the Socio-Economic Market Analysis.
  • Added Copy Map to Clipboard all TBEST map displays.
  • The Route Schedule Export to Excel option now creates a formatted time table.
  • Improved label rendering for selected routes.
  • Added Clear Selection buttons on the Routes, Segments and Stops toolbars.