Blog Feature

Big Data | Smart Cities | Transportation

How Does Gig Driving Interact with Congestion? A Road-by-road Analysis.

December 13, 2018

Many of our clients are concerned with new modes of travel and how they interact with existing transportation. Composed of services like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and Instacart, “Gig Driving” for riders and delivery has been a persistent concern. And its impact on congestion is hotly debated topic at conferences, in the press and among friends. Some claim it makes congestion better (less parking or less personal car driving), and others claim it makes congestion worse. The biggest challenge to finding the answer is a deep lack of available data about this mode of transportation.

Our own data team at StreetLight suspects the answer is “it depends.” We hypothesize that the interaction between Gig Driving and Congestion depends heavily on what we call “context,” i.e. location, existing transit, urban density, land use, time of day, etc. We also believe that Gig Driving is here to stay and that we can arm policy makers with data to avoid the desire to “undo” what is a mobility megatrend — and instead try to harness and accelerate positive effects on the community and transportation networks, while mitigating the negative ones.

To test our hypothesis about granular variation, we used our access to billions of transportation data points, and a lot of expertise in data science and transportation. We measured the interaction between Gig Driving and congestion road-by-road throughout the Greater Miami region.

read more

Blog Feature

Events

StreetLight Data CEO to speak at National League of Cities Annual Conference

November 6, 2018

With traffic a top-of-mind issue across the country, city streets are ripe for innovation: Our roadways, curbs and sidewalks have become proving grounds for exciting technologies such as autonomous transit, dockless bike and scooter sharesand, of course, new forms of data collection.

That's a lot of innovation to squeeze into a few city blocks. How can private companies and local governments work together to accommodate it all? Find out at "Making Room for Innovation on City Streets," a session at this week's “City Summit” conference in Los Angeles, hosted by the National League of Cities. 

read more

Subscribe to the StreetLight Data Blog.

Get the latest news about Big Data for transportation.

Blog Feature

Case Studies

Nantucket Uses StreetLight Data to Estimate Population

October 5, 2018

Seasonal population peaks are difficult to measure - especially in popular destinations like Nantucket Island. But population size is a critical metric for transportation planning, federal funding allocation, and more.

The Wall Street Journal cites a StreetLight Data client, the Nantucket Open Data Platform, who uses StreetLight's innovative mobility analytics to estimate the island's population around the year. This data is helping public agencies and local businesses in Nantucket build better plans for the future.

read more

Blog Feature

Big Data

Measuring Travel Behavior at Walt Disney World

September 6, 2018

This blog article was written by an Antonia Cheatham, a StreetLight Data summer intern. Antonia lives in the Richmond, Virginia area. She is a rising high school senior at Huguenot High School who is also pursuing an Associates Degree in Social Studies at J. Sargeant Reynolds College via the Early College Academy program. In her free time, Antonia enjoys dancing, reading and Robotics. Her long-term career goal is to become a lawyer.

read more

Subscribe to the StreetLight Data Blog.

Get the latest news about Big Data for transportation.

Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Traffic

The Waze Effect: 4 Steps for Cities to Fight Back

August 28, 2018

Thanks to navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps, GPS-enabled smartphones are changing the way we drive. It’s much easier to avoid a traffic jam or to find the closest gas station than it used to be. However, as many urban and transportation planners know, these apps have negative consequences.

When navigation apps route drivers through local roads in residential areas, they introduce congestion, air pollution, noise, and safety issues to streets that are designed for much low traffic volumes. The so-called “Waze Effect” is wreaking havoc on residential neighborhoods in all types of cities, especially during rush hour. It’s not only major metropolises such as Los Angeles, CA and Boston, MA that are impacted, but also smaller communities such as Fremont, CA and Takoma Park, MD.

So, what can transportation planners do about it? One way is to use the very data that smartphone apps create to your advantage. In this article, I’ll share four steps for cities to fight the Waze Effect with Big Data.

read more

Blog Feature

Big Data | Software Updates | Transportation | Validation

New 2017 AADT Metrics: It’s Time to Ditch Temporary Counts for Big Data Analytics

August 15, 2018

To quote Shawn Turner of the Texas Transportation Institute, “Using road tubes to collect traffic volume data is a proven method, but it’s an old practice and puts people in harm’s way.” Well, what if you could get high quality annual average daily traffic (AADT) counts for any roadway in just a few minutes – without leaving your office? What if those estimates were as good or better than your typical two-day tube or modeled count?

We think on-demand AADT could improve the way public agencies allocate roadway maintenance funding. Your staff could spend less time installing and monitoring sensors on dangerous roadsides – and more time improving infrastructure. StreetLight Data is making this possible with the launch of our 2017 AADT Metrics in StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand transportation analytics platform. We believe they are the most accurate Big Data derived AADT to hit the industry to date. (And we’re happy to show you why.)

read more

Subscribe to the StreetLight Data Blog.

Get the latest news about Big Data for transportation.

Blog Feature

Company News

The Next Phase of Growth at StreetLight Data

August 7, 2018

I’m excited to share that StreetLight Data has closed a $10 million Series C funding round. This is a major accomplishment for our entire team, and it marks the beginning of an exciting new phase of growth at StreetLight Data. As CEO, I’m grateful to our advisers, investors, and StreetLight Data’s employees. Their passion, dedication, and commitment to our mission have been the key ingredients to our success.

Of course, I’m just as grateful to our clients who helped us prove that innovative transportation data is a smart, strategic investment. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and we’re excited for our next steps as a company.
read more

Blog Feature

Big Data | Software Updates

5 Inspirational Chord Diagrams: Visualizing Data

August 3, 2018

Data visualization is one of our favorite topics here at StreetLight Data. Since we first got started in 2011, our team has iterated on countless visualization options for our transportation analytics. Bar graphs and heat maps have long served as our trusty standbys – but these days, we’re thinking bigger. In our latest software release, we added two brand-new visualization types to StreetLight InSight®: the “heat matrix” and the “chord diagram.” You can join our upcoming training session to find out how these new visualizations work.  In this blog article, I’ll share five fascinating chord diagrams to show you why they’re becoming my #1 go-to StreetLight InSight visualization. (New to StreetLight Data? StreetLight InSight is our on-demand transportation analytics platform.)

So, why get so excited about a new type of diagram? Well, chord diagrams are a particularly powerful tool for analyzing complex, interconnected data streams. Unlike travel pattern heat maps, our chord diagrams allow you to quickly comprehend the magnitude of different flows, and compare the flow of traffic between several areas at once. The thickness is more intuitive for comparing total trip volume and scale than colors on a heat map. As you’ll see in the examples that follow, chord diagrams are useful not only for transportation but for all types of data analysis.

read more

Subscribe to the StreetLight Data Blog.

Get the latest news about Big Data for transportation.

Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Location-Based Services | Transportation | Uncategorized

The Best I-95 Rest Stops (According to Big Data)

July 27, 2018

Now that we’re in the full swing of summer here on the East Coast, my friends and family have been taking road trips along I-95 – and for better or for worse, rest stops are an inevitable part of those trips. A few weekends ago, my parents’ car broke down on their way back home from New York, but fortunately they were able to make it to a rest stop. As my mom texted me from the rest stop parking lot, waiting for a tow truck at 11pm, I started to wonder: How many other people were at rest stops at such a late hour? Who else might be there with my parents? Was this rest stop typically a busy one?

It wasn’t long before I realized that, as a StreetLight Data employee, I had the answers at my fingertips – it was just a matter of running a study with StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand transportation analytics platform. In this post, I’ll show you what I found out and share a few tips to help you plan your own road trip this summer.

read more

Blog Feature

Big Data | public transit | Smart Cities | Transportation

From Multimodal to Omnimodal: Living Today’s Transportation Reality

July 20, 2018

After nearly 6 years at StreetLight Data, my transportation nerdiness is firmly cemented. Every time I take a trip, I research the various modes of transportation available to reach my destination, then carefully plan my itinerary. Frankly, I enjoy the challenge of combining modes in the most efficient way possible. Trip-planning smartphone apps like GoogleMaps are simplifying this process for non-transportation nerds, too. For me, the most efficient mode of travel generally means the fastest, but carbon emissions contributions and cost are always important considerations as well.

My personal multimodal challenge was elevated to a new level on a recent trip that combined business travel for a customer training with personal travel for a family wedding. Not only were these two locations in different states (neither of which I live in), but the wedding was somewhat of a destination, and it was not terribly accessible for visitors from far away. In this article, I’ll use my travel experience to illustrate how today’s journeys can quickly become so multimodal that you might even call them “omnimodal.”

read more

Subscribe to the StreetLight Data Blog.

Get the latest news about Big Data for transportation.