After a years hiatus it was great to be back at TRB 2022 in Washington DC. This annual meeting is a great chance to meet existing TRACC customers as well as future clients. TRB itself is a great mix of academia, public and private industry. The conference is split into lectern session, posters session, committee meetings and an exhibition hall where we were showing of TRACC. TRB 2022 was smaller than 2020 and was missing many of the foreign visitors due to issues with COVID and getting VISAS, though the smaller conference still boasted thousands of visitors and was surprisingly busy. Mask wearing was strictly adhered to throughout the conference and in DC generally.
The conference itself was busy, I always find the Poster Sessions really interesting, as you can scrutinize the work that is being presented. Two years ago we were lucky enough to have a poster session on the work done in St Louis using TRACC. This year there were numerous poster sessions all showing how access is becoming really important, this has been my third TRB, each year there seems to be more focusing on accessibility which is great for our TRACC product, something we are seeing with increased license sales in North America. One particular poster session was looking at how access drop off at night for shift workers, it was really noticeable to see how after 8pm that there was a real struggle in Miami for people to get back home after their shifts. It is amazing to see this type of analysis being completed now and the hope is that it will break more out of academia into the real world, allowing transit agencies and metro regions to plan better. An interesting talk on Thursday explored how COVID and travel habits changed, showing how COVID had reduced bus access for those that need it. The prevalence of GTFS allowed the presenter to look at 10 different cities in North America to see how access had reduced.
This sentiment was followed by visitors flocking to our stand, with numerous state wide Department of Transports interested in using TRACC to monitor access at a state level, allowing them to visualize access to key POI’s in their region. The case study from our own DfT proved very popular also the St Louis accessibility scoring previously mentioned was also a hit.
Outside of the conference, Washington DC in January is not a warm place, we had high’s of 2’c and some pretty cold nights – but it was great to be back stateside and we are looking forward to TRB 2023 already.