I've been trying to limit myself to writing about just one thing I learned per day, but I can't do that today. I refuse. One of the highlights of my day was the project demos from this year's transportation hackathon. (This one is particularly cool to look at - it's a visualization of SEPTA transit.)
But then, I got a very special SEPTA control center tour. It looks very much like what NASA looks like in any 90s action movie. I loved it.
Here are a few things I learned there:
- The only time that a SEPTA bus is allowed to drive past people waiting at a bus stop is when it is completely full.
- This is called a "pass-by".
- In the case of a pass-by, the bus driver must report how many passengers it passed by. This data is used to plan bus routes.
- This data is not, however, used to dispatch additional buses to pick up those passengers. This is because SEPTA has about 1100 out of a total 1200 buses running at any given time, and they need those extra 100 in case of mechanical failures, etc.
- In-the-know SEPTA people refer to the non-bus transit as "steel wheels", which is a really snazzy term.
- SEPTA is PECO's biggest customer. (PECO is our local electric company.)
I understand what transit nerds get so excited about now.