Multimodal Trip Planning

Multimodal trip planning technology has been at the heart of Conveyal’s work since the company’s beginnings, with company principals serving as founding developers of OpenTripPlanner, the leading open source multimodal trip planning platform.

Provide comprehensive, fully multimodal route options

Incorporate real-time data including transit schedule updates

Support all devices via responsive UIs and native mobile apps

Perform bulk analyses of large commuter populations

Comprehensive Routing Options

Conveyal’s trip planning software allows users to plan complex multi-modal routes, including trips using transit, walking, biking, and driving, as well as combinations of one or more modes. OpenTripPlanner-based applications can also consume a variety of real-time data sources, including transit service alerts and trip updates, bikeshare system availability, and roadway traffic conditions. Additionally, the platform is currently being extended to support shared-use mobility options including ride-hailing services.

Beyond traditional itinerary-based planning, an important development in trip planning technology is the emergence of profile routing, in which users are given a “profile” of typical travel options covering a specified time window. Such an approach is useful in applications where users may not have a precise arrival or departure time, such as planning their typical commute to work.  To support such cases, Conveyal has developed R5, an alternative routing engine optimized for profile routing. R5 considers transit schedule variability over the travel window and determines the reliability of different travel options using statistics such as minimum, maximum, and average travel times.

Modern, Flexible User Interfaces

Conveyal’s has developed advanced user interface components, built with modern web technology to support deployment on a full range of platforms and devices. These include a modular and highly customizable Javascript library for building responsive trip planning interfaces, and a native mobile application for Android and iOS devices. Both applications build upon shared codebases and interface designs to provide a seamless user experience across platforms. In addition, the Modeify middleware layer serves as a common gateway between front-end UIs and back-end routing engines such as OTP and R5, and enables additional features such as saved user profiles.

Open-source native apps for iOS and Android

Open-source native apps for iOS and Android


Transportation Demand Management Applications

In addition to public-facing applications, Conveyal’s trip planning software also powers large-scale commuter population analysis for use in Transportation Demand Management (TDM) settings. Conveyal Commute leverages the power of the R5 multimodal router to enable advanced site-specific analysis, providing aggregate statistics of the commute options available for each commuter at a given worksite.

Screenshot of Conveyal Commute

Screenshot of Conveyal Commute

Assessing the potential for multimodal commute options is important to both evaluating new worksites and optimizing the performance of existing ones, but this task can be a painstaking process without appropriate tools. With Conveyal Commute, only a few clicks are needed to quickly compute detailed travel-option profiles for hundreds or even thousands of commuters at a specific location. The application produces powerful visualizations and infographics that clearly convey the commute options for both individuals and the population as a whole. By comparing the commute potential at a worksite against baseline census data, a compelling case can be made for mode-shift opportunities.

Open Source, Open Standards

Conveyal’s trip planning software is built on open data standards including the General Transit Feed Specification and OpenStreetMap, and source code is published under permissive, open source licenses. We believe that open data and open source software have an important role to play in transportation planning and policy work by ensuring reproducibility of results, transparency of public decision-making processes, and reusability of software created through shared public sector investment.