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Waukesha Internet Trip Planner
The Internet trip planner is an easy and efficient system for transit riders to use a web
page on the internet to get directions for planning a trip between an origin and
destination. It provides the user with specific instructions of which routes to take and
where and when they may need to transfer. Suggested routes are time sensitive and
are changed based on the requested time of day of the trip.
The planner was implemented by Waukesha
Metro Transit (Metro) in December 2001 as the
first internet trip planner in the state of
Wisconsin. It was developed through a
collaborative effort between Dr. Zhong-Ren
Peng and a team of students at the University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dixon Nuber at the
UWM-Center for Transportation Education
(CTED), Waukesha Metro Transit (Metro), and
the City of Waukesha. Metro bus riders can
obtain information about trip directions, bus
stop locations, transfer points, schedule
information, length of travel time, and a map of
the trip. Metro’s Internet Trip Planner is the
first one in the U.S. to be based on the Internet
Geographical Information System (GIS)
A prototype of an internet trip planner existed
on the northwest side of Milwaukee, for the usage by persons on Temporary Assistance
for Needy Family (TANF) program. This prototype was based on a grant and consisted
of 3-4 routes. After this prototype, in collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-
Milwaukee Graduate School and the UWM-CTED, an application for a WETAP grant
was made to the state to further the prototype into a larger transit area. The City of
Waukesha was chosen first to institute and implement an internet based trip planner for
its transit riders. One of the main reasons for choosing the City of Waukesha over other
cities was its size (not as complicated nor enormous in size compared to for example,
City of Milwaukee), and its reception to change. The Waukesha Metro Transit’s staff
was most interested at the time, and its management structure is such that it is
receptive to new technological advancements for the betterment of its constituents.
Metro staff had little knowledge about internet trip planner technology at the start of the
project, but gained considerable knowledge after its completion. There are similar
internet trip planners in other cities in the U.S., but the Metro’s Internet Trip Planner is
the first one to be based on the Internet GIS technology.
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