01/07/2019

Metropia’s platform, powered by AI-based algorithms, data analytics and behavioral economics, provides a multidimensional demand management framework (route, departure time and mode) to support transportation system congestion-management strategies and policies.

If you would like additional details on any of the following stories, please contact vassilis.papayannoulis@metropia.com.

 Product Announcements 

Metropia's new TOTAL MOBILITY platform launches in 2019
With the new year comes the launch of Metropia’s new platform: TOTAL MOBILITY. The release of our updated app in Q1 of 2019 provides a platform for agencies to implement expanded Active Demand Management (ADM) strategies through a wealth of new and enhanced tools, better assess and understand system-wide benefits through robust analytics, and deploy an integrated ADM and Transportation Systems Operations & Management (TSM&O) framework. Here’s a glimpse of the features that are just around the corner for Total Mobility:

Navigation in 175 cities across North America
With the release of the TOTAL MOBILITY platform, Metropia will be adding driver navigation support in nearly all cities in North America. This will enable users to travel freely from city to city all the while using Metropia’s turn-by-turn navigation or by linking transit services through regional corridors. TOTAL MOBILITY’s AI also learns a user’s travel patterns to predict and present their upcoming travel plans in-app, eliminating the need for the user to input their origin, destination, and departure time

Full multi-modal support
Additionally, the Metropia app will provide dynamic step-by-step navigation to commuters taking buses and trains, biking, ride-hailing and carpooling as well as intermodal transit support, combining modes such as carpooling to a park-and-ride lot. Complete travel times and costs will help commuters better weigh their options to make well-informed decisions.

Introduction of suggestion tiles informing the user of alternate modes of transportation
Using AI and predictive algorithms, our new app will recommend convenient, cost-effective alternative modes of transportation which compliment a user’s known travel patterns and preferences. In addition, information tiles are periodically and strategically shown to inform a user of how they might benefit from switching to an alternative mode. This same AI capability also serves as the backbone of our DUO social carpooling mode, which helps introduce passengers and drivers who share common routes and schedules for a potential shared ride.

New Transit-Hailing platform
Working in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration and Regional Transportation Authority in Tucson, Metropia has enhanced its Transit-Hailing platform to address first-and-last-mile transit connections, work with employers and educators to provide new commute options, and deliver ADA compliant paratransit services. Transit-Hailing supports multi-pickup and drop-off capabilities to increase vehicle utilization and efficiency while being sensitive to passengers’ arrival time requirements. By Q2 of 2019, Transit-Hailing will be actively serving 4 metropolitan areas with trips exceeding 1,500 per day.

For the latest news on TOTAL MOBILITY, visit Metropia.info.

 New Developments 

AMORE program and Metropia's Transit-Hailing platform officially launch to the public
After a successful pilot program that delivered in excess of 1,000 trips from a diverse group of active participants, the AMORE program, funded by an FTA Mobility on Demand grant, officially opened to the public in December 2018. AMORE, which is powered by Metropia’s Transit-Hailing platform, has received the support of local employers, the school district, and a wealth of community pillars who embrace the program as a sustainable new commuting option in the region.

Passengers in the Tucson, AZ suburbs of Rita Ranch, Civano, and Vail have utilized the Transit-Hailing service to connect to the Regional Transportation Authority’s larger public transit system as well as travel to work, school, errands, and more.

Metropia selected as SANDAG pre-competitive partner for ATDM projects
Metropia was selected as a pre-competitive partner in the category of Active Transportation & Demand Management (ATDM) in response to the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) competitively-selected “Emerging Transportation Technology Solutions” RFI.

SANDAG’s Intelligent Transportation team intends to apply for upcoming federal, state, and other emerging technology grants to fund the projects it has planned. Metropia’s TOTAL MOBILITY platform was proposed to integrate system performance through its Mobility-as-a-Service & Tool solutions in support of SANDAG’s planned projects.

Metropia's INDUCE behavior platform is helping BART reduce system congestion
With the launch of the BART Perks 2 program on December 13th, 2018, Metropia’s INDUCE behavior platform is actively working to incentivize BART commuters to adjust their departure time in the Bay Area. Perks 2 is using INDUCE’s predictive analytics and personalized incentives to identify, incentivize and reward individuals for adjusting their departure times outside of BART’s peak congestion periods. Commuter interest in Perks is high, with the program reaching the desired level of participants in a matter of hours.

“It has been a great pleasure working with the Metropia team. Their unique traffic prediction and behavior-changing technology, coupled with their efficient project delivery team, were critical in getting the Perks program off the ground.”  said Ryan Greene-Roesel, BART Perks program manager. INDUCE’s technology enables agencies like BART to improve their system congestion while enhancing their user experience.

The Perks 2 project expects to continue until the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Metropia selected to support FHWA's Smartphone Travel Incentive study
In partnership with ICF International, Metropia has been selected to support Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Smartphone Travel Incentive study. This study seeks to leverage the latest mobile technologies to develop a deeper understanding of traveler behavior, how incentives influence travel choices, and how these findings can inform policy scenarios.

The study will utilize JOURNEY and INDUCE, the multi-modal trip planner and behavior modification components of Metropia’s Total Mobility platform. Based on data captured from JOURNEY (observed travel behaviors, information captured from micro-surveys, and inferred activity type determined from destination and time of day) and Metropia’s Mobility Options Discovery and Engagement (MODE)® behavior approach incorporated in INDUCE, the system will identify and micro-target a set of users most likely switch to more sustainable modes of transportation and apply the minimal incentives and resources necessary to actively establish those new, long-term behaviors.

 Going International 

Metropia partners with CECI to reduce Taiwan congestion
Holiday traffic in Taiwan--which can create delays of up to ten hours--is particularly difficult to predict and manage. The exact dates of the holidays and their proximity to the weekend changes year to year, just as have efforts and strategies to reduce traffic. Previous attempts such as toll-or-no-toll strategies have altered temporal demand patterns, but their ad-hoc implementation and the shifting holiday schedule doesn’t allow for a proper analysis of their results.

Through funding provided by China Engineering Consultants Inc. (CECI) and in collaboration with FarEasTone (FET), Metropia is developing a framework to mitigate inter-city holiday travel congestion by implementing Active Demand Management (ADM) methodologies.  The Metropia Massive Mobility Management (M4) project framework will leverage Metropia's DynusT simulation-based dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) software in evaluating alternative approaches to maximizing network utilization.

The initial phase of the project, which commenced in October 2018, will include building a simulation and optimization environment to study various coordination schemes. A future phase will include pilot testing a selected scenario using a smartphone app in a real-time operational environment.

Metropia’s Dr. Yi-Chang Chiu delivers keynote speech at the ITS-Taiwan Expo and Conference
Metropia’s President and CEO Dr. Yi-Chang Chiu was invited by Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication to deliver a keynote speech at the 20th anniversary of the ITS Taiwan Expo and Conference. The talk, titled “Re-Thinking the Tragedy of the Common Solutions in Urban Transportation through Smarter Technologies, Wiser Commuters, and Accountable Governments,” focused on improving network efficiency through advanced supply/demand strategies and tactics at a much lower cost than traditional methods.

Most transportation system management strategies to date have focused on increasing roadway capacity and technological solutions (such as traffic light calibration) to address roadway efficiency and supply. While offering short-term benefit, these approaches often lead to further congestion once additional vehicles flood the network.

Only by engaging commuters through advanced Active Demand Management strategies can we turn the underlying cause of traffic--drivers--into the solution as well. Dr. Chiu shared how TOTAL MOBILITY’s INDUCE behavior engine works to actively shift motorists towards convenient and cost-effective alternative modes of transportation which reduce demand and provide congestion relief to the network.

 Join us at TRB 

(Washington, D.C.) Several members of the Metropia team will be sharing their expertise and discussing an array of emerging transportation topics at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), January 13-17, 2019. If you're heading to TRB, please join us at the following panels:

Smart and Connected Community Detection Using Travelers Point of Interest
Ali Arian, Metropia
Alireza Ermagun, Northwestern University
Yi-Chang Chiu, University of Arizona/Metropia
Monday 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM, Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications (ABJ70)

Studying the Behavioral Transition of Navigation App Users Using Longitudinal Observation Data
Melrose Pan, University of Arizona
Yi-Chang Chiu, University of Arizona/Metropia
Ali Arian, Metropia
Wednesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Travel Choices (ADB20)

Destination Prediction from Mobile App Data Using Ensemble Bayesian Network
Ali Arian, Metropia
Kuo-Shiuan Peng, University of Arizona
Yi-Chang Chiu, University of Arizona/Metropia
Chih-Wei Hsieh, University of Arizona
Wednesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Travel Choices (ADB20)

Examining the Effectiveness of App-based Incentive Systems for Peak Spreading
Jason Soria, Northwestern University
Alireza Ermagun, Northwestern University
Ali Arian, Metropia
Yi-Chang Chiu, University of Arizona/Metropia
Wednesday 2:30 PM- 4:00 PM, Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Revenue and Finance (ABE10)

An Online Interactive Experiment to Evaluate Tradable Mobility Credit Schemes
Ye Tian, Tongji University
Yi-Chang Chiu, University of Arizona/Metropia
Wednesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Metropolitan Policy, Planning, and Processes (ADA20)

Traffic Density Estimation Based on Vehicle Speed Profile Data
Kang AN, Shanghai SH Intelligent Automotive Technology Co., Ltd.
Zirui Huang, University of Arizona
Yi-Chang Chiu, University of Arizona/Metropia
Xiao-Hong Chen, Tongji University
Monday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Monitoring (ABJ35)

Attend this panel to learn more about how Metropia's Transit-Hailing platform is powering the MOD-funded AMORE program from our partners at the Regional Transportation Authority:

From Technology to Policy: Lessons Learned from MOD Pilot Projects
Rik Opstelten, Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
James McGinnis, Regional Transportation Authority
Jeffrey Ericson
Jonathan Steketee, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority
Steven Mortensen, Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Sharon Feigon, Shared-Use Mobility Center
Paul Davis
Sunday 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM, Convention Center, 150A