Transit agencies and DOTs are increasingly tasked with tackling citywide goals of improving the community’s safety, sustainability, and equity outcomes. With such lofty goals, transportation planning has become very interdisciplinary, making a planner’s role dependent on widespread and timely collaboration.
Despite this trend, there hasn’t been a collaboration tool specifically designed for transportation planning. That is why we are proud to announce the launch of Remix Commenting. With Remix Commenting, you can collect and manage feedback from colleagues and stakeholders, in the same platform where you conduct analysis and create plans.
Transportation plans are complex, making them difficult to explain and contextualize. Let’s consider a relatively simple plan: a transit route detour. Say you, as a transit planner, are emailing a colleague in the transit operations team to propose a route detour. Simple, right? Not quite.
Either through a written description or various screen-shots of a map, your email will have to describe a series of rather complicated ideas: the route identification, the specific area in which the route will have the detour, the existing and proposed route structure as it relates to the street network, the bus schedule, and much more.
Once you are successful at providing the context, the conversation does not end with your colleague’s response. Even simple projects require a back-and-forth, and other stakeholders often get involved midway through, multiplying the complexity of the conversational thread.
What you end up with are lengthy conversations, often scattered across different tools (like email, Microsoft Teams, Slack, annotated screenshots, and Excel) - and this fragmentation is only exacerbated when more stakeholders get looped in. Keeping track of it all is difficult.
These challenges persist because there hasn’t been a tool specifically designed for collaboration on transportation projects, at least not one that is map-based and provides easy-to-understand visuals for communicating complex ideas. This is where Remix Commenting comes in.
Remix Commenting is designed for anyone’s participation. Whether you are an engineer, council member, or a civically-engaged community member, you can provide your feedback, regardless of your transportation expertise.
Once these stakeholders provide their feedback, project owners can easily understand the context of their input with geo-located comments that can also be pinned to a specific transit route or a street plan for added clarity. When a comment is clicked on, the map automatically pans to the same area and zoom-level that the commenter saw when they left the comment. It is the virtual version of a colleague sitting in the same room with you, pointing at a map while relaying their feedback.
Having stakeholder input all in one place makes collecting input easier to manage. But in order to achieve true collaboration, you need to facilitate conversation. That’s why Remix Commenting provides threading on comments.
So whether you are a transit planner looking to understand potential bus-bike conflicts from your counterpart at the city DOT office, or a transit operations manager wanting to remind a BRT planner of right-of-way constraints, you can have those continually updating conversations in a single place.
Say goodbye to hours spent drafting expository messages or sifting through lengthy email chains. Instead, save time and money - and sanity - with Remix Commenting. Are you interested in learning more about Remix Commenting functionality? Reach out! We’re at remix.com/demo.
When planned well, flexible mobility programs, like paratransit, demand response, shared on-demand, or microtransit services, can support broader city goals of increasing access and decreasing congestion.