Interviewee: Rachel Zack, former Director of Policy
Remix is a paid web-based software that displays spatial data, models scenarios, and explores equity implications of changes to transportation networks. With high usability and few skill requirements, Remix boasts analysis “with the click of a button” for its transit agency clients. The software features neighborhood demographics, import of any data source merged with a shapefile, an editor for existing GTFS feeds to reflect potential transit systems, and rapid computation.
Jane is a mapping feature that measures access to destinations on transit (and other modes). Using Jane, one can see how many destinations a transit rider can reach in an amount of time starting from an origin, and how long it takes to travel between two points. The user can modify the destination type (e.g. jobs, hospitals, schools, parks, etc.), the trip duration, and the network itself to evaluate how changing a transit stop, line, or network shifts access from neighborhoods.
Remix’s Title VI engine automates the required Title VI Service Equity Analysis. Users input proposed changes, and the engine estimates impacts on low-income and neighborhoods of color, in required report format. Going beyond Title VI, the engine weighs the potential change by how it shifts service frequency and by the number of people impacted by the change. The Title VI Engine simplifies what can be a days’ long analysis into a manageable, hours’ long task. In doing so, it benefits agencies, who won’t hesitate to change service for lack of capacity to complete the associated FTA requirement, and it can benefit riders if the changes improve service and are equitable.
Remix does not advise users on how to interpret results from its software analysis. But it notes that the Title VI Engine analysis should only be a final check on equitable service — multiple equity measures and robust public engagement are necessary for an equitable system. As additional resources for that work, Remix proffers its Jane access to destinations metric and Explore, its spatial data layering tool. It also notes that software can be used to present tradeoffs of potential service changes, as a way to make community meetings more productive and interactive.