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Focusing our efforts on scaling up Conveyal Analysis

Sample of multi-modal transportation networks built and evaluated in the cloud-hosted deployment of Conveyal Analysis (basemap: Carto)

In the last few years, we have worked hard to scale up Conveyal Analysis, our cloud-based platform for rapidly modeling multi-modal transportation networks and assessing them with accessibility indicators. Key components of this platform, such as the web-based public transit scenario editor, began as experimental tools for our internal use. After successive stability and usability enhancements, we built these tools into Conveyal Analysis and started offering subscription plans to partner organizations.

Given the growing number of partners now using Conveyal Analysis around the world, and the growing adoption of accessibility indicators in planning practice more generally, we have decided to focus Conveyal’s efforts on this platform.

To date, Conveyal Analysis users have evaluated hundreds of transportation systems in almost 40 countries around the world. OSM and GTFS import capabilities allow building multi-modal networks for new regions in seconds. When users request region-wide results, the latest version of our cloud-hosted platform starts a cluster of hundreds of servers automatically, completing accessibility calculations for millions of origins within minutes.

Scholars have long recommended that urban planning make better use of accessibility indicators. While planning practice lagged for decades, in part due to data and computation barriers, recent research suggests “the gap between theory and practice may be closing when it comes to accessibility” and shows “a trend toward a greater integration of accessibility objectives in transport plans.” We consider Conveyal Analysis, and the interactive accessibility-based planning it enables, to be part of this trend.

Conveyal Analysis showing area and number of jobs reachable from Oakland (CA) in 2 hours without a car

We are working to make Conveyal Analysis the leading solution for rigorous, rapid-turnaround multi-modal accessibility analysis worldwide. We know that achieving this goal requires “active and continued engagement… with planning practitioners,” and we are grateful to the partner organizations who have invested in its development so far. Our growing base of users, working with national and state transportation departments, metropolitan planning organizations, local transit agencies, international development organizations, nonprofit foundations, and academic research groups, is essential for this platform’s ongoing evolution. We look forward to continuing to advance the state of practice, playing a role in the broader transition toward accessibility-based planning.

Our redoubled focus on Conveyal Analysis will enable us to work more closely with key partners and accelerate the development of features to evaluate emerging mobility options. Our next posts preview these cutting-edge features. Stay tuned!

The decision to focus entirely on Conveyal Analysis is part of a broader set of changes at Conveyal over the last year. Co-founder David Emory is now Director of IT Strategy and Innovation at MARTA in Atlanta. Kate Chanba helps run Route, a cartography and design collaborative in New York City. And as of earlier this month, Landon Reed and Evan Siroky are continuing their GTFS Data Tools and OpenTripPlanner (OTP) work at IBI Group. We look forward to staying in touch with these newest Conveyal alumni through the OTP community and other venues related to open transportation data, and we wish them the best in their new work.




We enable people and institutions to make smarter decisions by applying technical expertise in open source software and open data to create improved transportation systems, more livable cities, and a better world.

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Anson Stewart

Anson Stewart

Analysis and Research, @conveyal | PhD in Transportation, @MIT | '10 TJ Watson Fellow + @SwatAlum | Californian in exile on East Coast

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