San Diego Metro Transit System

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) serves approximately 3 million people across San Diego County. Between the light rail system and bus routes, they manage 106 miles of track and almost 100 bus routes. In order to understand their routes better, MTS planned to collect information for all of the rail and bus routes in their county. This included getting the routes mapped and compiling a list of all of the assets along the course.

The biggest challenge San Diego MTS faced when trying to collect this data was how to get a mapping unit onto the rail line without interrupting service or affecting travel time for any passengers. In 2017, San Diego MTS asked Mandli to develop a solution to get them their data without disrupting service for the 3 million people they serve.

Mandli’s solution was to use our portable Maverick for 3D imaging and LiDAR collection. Mandli decided to use Maverick because the LiDAR collects a high-definition, 3D representation of the environment. It allows measurements of objects with +/- 2.5 to 5 cm relative accuracy and is capable of recording objects within a 300-foot range. It also collects 1.4 million points per second and each point has an X, Y, and Z coordinate.

When deploying the Maverick, Mandli developed a prototype suction cup mount for the Maverick for San Diego MTS. We also designed the prototype mount to attach to the windshield of any commuter train. This removed a key hurdle and provided a way to collect and map information with no traffic interruption or service delays.

The results emerging from Maverick and the prototype mount meant that Mandli was able to collect all of the data along the 106 miles of track that MTS wanted in less than a day. As part of the solution, San Diego MTS now has the ability to inspect and monitor track conditions from the safety of their offices and receive accurate GIS inventory of all trackside assets, all without disrupting service.

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