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Applications of Big Data In Transit Planning and Operations (CM | 1.5)

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

Transit agencies are swimming in a wealth of data. As the backbone of a modern urban transportation system, transit agencies are at the forefront of accessing and harnessing that data for smarter decision-making in planning and operations to enable more efficient service delivery. At the Chicago Transit Authority and at Pace Suburban Bus, strategic uses of data enable decision makers to streamline operations, tackle problems sooner, and provide better service to customers. In this joint program, with Transport Chicago, we will discuss how transit in Chicago is using larger datasets in the areas of market research, operations, and long range planning.

Harnessing increasingly large datasets creates a unique challenge for planners. New advances in analysis have enabled better processing, but many of them are out of the reach of typical skillset available to many planners. Identifying key skills in data analysis provides an interesting challenge to the transportation community to ensure that the ethos behind planning is respected in developing next generation models and decision support tools. We will discuss how professional planners and graduate programs can rise to this challenge to ensure the profession fosters the skills needed to optimize the use of new data sources.

  • DATE: Tue, February 20, 2018

  • LOCATION: Chicago Transit Authority Headquarters, 567 W Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60661

  • TIME: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM CST

  • COST: $15 Regular, $5 Student

  • CM: 1.5 CM Credits Approved

  • RSVP:

  • For program questions, please email:


  • Raymond Chan is the Project Manager, Transportation Analytics within the Planning group at CTA, where he is responsible for maintaining both technical and strategic uses of ridership information. He focuses on big data problems at CTA and communicating information effectively for decision makers at various levels. He received his PhD in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University, where he focused on strategic decision making and resilience in regards to public transit systems under threat from severe weather and climate change.

  • Bonnie Fan works as a Data Scientist in Performance Management at CTA. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in economics in 2014 and joined the CTA Performance Management department, focusing on improving reliability and efficiency while working with upper management. She has since worked to integrate different systems for new analytics solutions within the agency, targeting efficiency and service impact.

  • Moyin Li works as the Project Manager Transportation Analytics at Pace Suburban Bus. She received a Ph.D. degree in transportation planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017 and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. With 11 years of planning education, Moyin has many research experiences dealing with different transportation data for planning recommendations. Recently, her work has transitioned from traditional survey data analysis to big data in transit analysis.

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