Bus and Rail Service

Use Google to determine the actual need for public transit

Google has been using cell phone GPS data to display traffic patterns for a while now. Since the data can distinguish individual cell phones, it would be possible to build a database of actual trip destinations based on the patterns of cell phone usage. The identification of the destinations and the most common routes connecting those destinations would be a powerful method of determining the need for public transit support.


There are clear privacy implications with the use of this data, but since Google already has the data, and VTA only need to know that a distinct device travelled from point A to point B, it seems like the data could be used without violating anyone's privacy.


Idea No. 79