What is ATSIM?

ATSIM is a user-friendly mobile-desktop system designed for the collection, update, and management of standard transit stop inventories for transit agencies in Florida (but can be easily adapted for agencies outside of Florida). The mobile component of ATSIM consists of a PDA application designed for the easy entry of transit stop data in the field. It is specifically designed to run on the HP iPAQ model hw6945 (or hw6925), which comes with a fairly accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) and a 1.3 megapixel built-in digital camera. The system allows collection of 56 standard attributes, in addition to one general comment field, eight user-defined fields, and lat/long GPS locations. The system also has the capability to automatically link and store multiple pictures in the database.

The desktop component of ATSIM provides the following functions:

  • Customization: Allows customization of selected items and user-defined attributes on the PDA interface.
  • Installation: Allows the installation of the ATSIM field data collection component to the PDA.
  • Transfer: Allows the transfer and synchronization of transit stop inventory files (in XML file format) between the desktop computer and the PDA.
  • Conversion: Allows conversion of the XML transit stop inventory file used by the PDA and the shapefiles used by the ATSIM GIS component.
  • Application: Allows the display, querying, and updating of the transit stop inventory using the ATSIM GIS component.


Transit stop inventories are needed for tracking the location of stops, identifying the type and conditions of amenities, determining how well areas of interest are served by transit service, assessing the accessibility for disabled persons and ADA compliance, upgrading the right-of-way appearance, etc. The advent of Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) makes it even more important for transit agencies to keep an up-to-date inventory of transit stop data. To implement APTS projects such as automatic passenger counters (APC), automatic vehicle locators (AVL), computerized trip planners, and automatic voice annunciation systems, an accurate transit stop inventory is essential.


The traditional methods of collecting transit stop inventory using a clipboard, pencil, and paper are time-consuming, inaccurate, and difficult to update. This often culminates in the reluctance of transit agencies to commit resources to such efforts. ATSIM replaces the traditional methods and provides an automated and affordable alternative to collecting, updating, and managing transit stop data. The availability of ATSIM also avoids the duplication of development efforts by multiple agencies and contributes to the standardization of transit stop inventories in Florida.


ATSIM is a completely stand-alone system that does not require the installation of any additional third-party software or data. Version 3.0 of ATSIM provides the following major features:

  • Easy system installations
  • Collection of 56 Florida standard transit stop attributes, GPS locations (in latitude and longitude), digital photos, and additional user-defined fields.
  • Customizable stop attributes and list-box selection items.
  • Easy file transfer between a PDA and desktop computer.
  • Automated synchronization of field data records from multiple data collection sessions.
  • One-touch display of the current map location.
  • Quick entry of street names in the field with pop-up lists.
  • Easy updates of existing stop records in the field.
  • Automated generation of shapefiles (in Florida State Plane East NAD 1983 projection system) for GIS applications.
  • Stand-alone GIS system with customized functions.
  • Bundled Census and network layers.

For more information about ATSIM, please contact:

Fabian Cevallos, Ph.D.
Transit Program Director
Lehman Center for Transportation Research
Florida International University
Email: fabian.cevallos@fiu.edu
Phone: (954) 234-4183