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Research at the Transit Analytics Lab: Leveraging Twitter Data to Support Transit Planning & Operations Webinar

March 4 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

ITS Canada presents:

Research at the Transit Analytics Lab: Leveraging Twitter Data to Support Transit Planning & Operations Webinar

Thu, Mar 4, 2021 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

The webinar, hosted by the APTS Technical Committee, will provide an overview of the activities of the Transit Analytics Lab (TAL) of the University of Toronto, launched in May 2020. This will be followed by a presentation on some cutting-edge work on the use of social media data.

The growing use of Twitter as a communication channel between transit agencies and riders has opened new prospects for monitoring feedback from riders. In general, transit users tweet to complain about the service, get information directly from the agency, notify the public and the agency of any incidents, share their experiences, and discuss transit–related news. This webinar explores methods that enable transit agencies to gauge rider satisfaction and to crowdsource incident detection using Twitter data.

Through combining social network analysis, sentiment analysis, and semantic analysis, we present a web-based tool that extracts and analyzes tweets that mention a transit agency. This integrated analysis goes beyond examining topics and sentiments as it also explains how opinions evolve across groups. Under the same framework, we present a methodology that employs natural language processing and neural networks to flag tweets that report an ongoing transit incident. These flags alert agency staff of time sensitive incidents such as accidents, disruptive riders, unsafe driving, or damage to facilities. This method of systematically crowdsourcing incident reports aims to improve ride quality by ensuring a quick response to these incidents; many of which are difficult to detect by the agency’s staff.


  • Professor Amer Shalaby, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, and Director of the Transit Analytics Lab (TAL)
  • Omar Kabbani, Transit Analytics Lab, University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute


  • Dr. Brendon Hemily, Hemily & Associates


  • ITS Canada and CUTRIC members: free
  • Non-members: $30 (incl. taxes)

Register here.

Presented by ITS Canada.


March 4
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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