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Enhancing Short Range Transit Planning in Replica

Replica's transit agency partners are leveraging Replica’s rich composite of data to understand not just where their transit ridership went, but how they might restructure service to appeal to those once-transit riders.

May 3, 2023
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By: Claudia Preciado 
May 1, 2023

Transit agencies are at a watershed moment: Never has there been this dramatic an impact on transit ridership AND such a monumental opportunity to reshift public transit away from commuter-only focused service. As an industry, we have a chance to rebrand transit service for everyday, lifestyle trips and are seeing Metrolink, SEPTA, and others leading the charge. 

Transit agencies across the United States are required to update their Short Range Transit Plans every 5-10 years in order to meet federal reporting requirements for funding. The plans typically outline how a transit agency will allocate funding based on the current needs, goals, and agency priorities – oftentimes incorporating loftier goals for mode split, equity, and ridership in these future scenarios. 

With COVID-19, agencies have had to redo SRTPs conducted in 2019 and 2020, given how dramatically the pandemic upended transit ridership and needs. In some regions, like the San Francisco Bay Area, MTC is also requiring a shorter outlook (5 years) given the impacts to its regional agencies. 

While typical SRTPs include a state of the service update that is often an evaluation of one agency’s ridership and service, leveraging big data as part of this process allows agencies to incorporate an understanding of: 

  • Regional travel patterns across all modes (transit, walking, biking, car, carpool, taxi/TNC)
  • Time of day changes in transit ridership from season to season 
  • Trip purpose changes from season to season 
  • Rider profiles across all transit users in your communities 
  • Community profiles of your entire region, regardless of mode 

Our transit agency partners like SEPTA (Philadelphia, PA), COTA (Columbus, OH),  CTA (Chicago, IL), MTA (New York, NY), RTCSNV (Las Vegas, NV) and NCTD (Oceanside, CA) are leveraging Replica’s rich composite of data to understand not just where their transit ridership went, but how they might restructure service to appeal to those once-transit riders. These insights, when coupled with your agency’s ridership changes in recent seasons, provide a much more nuanced and robust analysis of transit competitiveness. 

A corridor analysis of transit along Broadway in Oakland, CA demonstrates only 17.9% of the total transit trips are destined for work locations, whereas shopping, eating, and recreational trips represent 32.5%. 
When framed a different way, Replica can highlight where auto, carpool, and TNC trips of 2-8 miles are destined; showing potential for transit to play a greater role in the same corridor and block groups.  

With Replica, questions of serving and prioritizing the most vulnerable communities in your region never come second to understanding the broader travel patterns. Beyond insights into the trip-based characteristics, transit agencies are leveraging Replica data to uncover insights about people’s income, race and ethnicity, work from home status, employment status, cars available in household, and origin/destination land uses to enrich their service analyses. 

Every query in Replica highlights socioeconomic insights and metrics, allowing you to understand your communities’ travel patterns based on a number of different demographic factors.

If your agency is in the midst of short range transit planning analysis, reach out to the Replica team at or click here to get in touch with us. 

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