GIS Helps Philadelphia Manage the SEPTA Strike

Our work for the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has been put into action again this week as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) workers strike is impacting the City’s mass transit service. While the City uses shuttle busses to transport city employees to and from work during the strike, officials are using EBA’s custom Android application to track shuttle bus locations in real-time.

The Android application integrates directly with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff’s GIS system, so that field users and EOC users share the same information, providing a common, real-time operating picture of unfolding events. The cloud-hosted ArcGIS platform gives access to shared, real-time information wherever staff are deployed, providing valuable situational awareness. OEM has been able to deploy new application configurations quickly to manage activity related to the SEPTA strike.

It’s exciting to see our efforts continue to support emergency operations! Philadelphia residents can learn more about services and disruptions here.

The OEM recently deployed Esri’s ArcGIS platform as part of a multipart project with geographIT, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc., to enhance the OEM’s operations and capabilities. Using Amazon Web Services for 24/7 uptime, the system pulls together live data from many sources. Users interface through applications built using Esri’s web application builder. geographIT has also built custom widgets for additional functions.

EOC staff now uses the system continuously, including to support situational awareness during the recent 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Our previous blog post gives all the details of how this technology worked around the clock to help organizers keep events on track and convention-goers safe.

Andrew Smart, GISP, is a senior GIS analyst for geographIT, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc. He can be reached at 717.399.7007 or at


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Andrew Smart