Crowdsourced real-time vehicle information.
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A webapp to crowdsource vehicle arrivals for a transit system.

There are 3 main components to this project:

  1. Web
  • A jQuery Mobile front-end compiled using browserify, jade and stylus.
  1. Server
  • An express.js server utilizing gtfs-sequelize for communicating with a PostGIS database.
  1. Deployer
  • A bunch of python scripts to deploy the server to an EC2 instance (targeted OS: CentOS 6).

Table of Contents


The deployer part of the project consists of scripts to start a new CentOS 6 instance using Amazon Web Services and then install the OnTransit app.


The project is based of off python 2.7, but is best used with the virtualenv development scheme.

  1. Install Python 2.7
  2. Install virtualenv: $ [sudo] pip install virtualenv
  3. Clone the github project: $ git clone
  4. Instantiate the virtual python environment for the project using python 2.7:
  • Windows: virtualenv --python=C:\Python27\python.exe oba_rvtd_deployer
  • Linux: virtualenv -p /path/to/python27 oba_rvtd_deployer
  1. Browse to project folder cd oba_rvtd_deployer
  2. Activate the virtualenv:
  • Windows: .\Scripts\activate
  • Linux: bin/activate
  1. (Windows only) Manually install the pycrypto library. The followin command assumes you have 32 bit python 2.7 installed: pip install If 64 bit python 2.7 is installed, run the following command instaed: pip install
  2. Install the python project using develop mode: python develop

EC2 Setup

You will need to do the following for automatically launching Amazon EC2 instances using the scripts:

  • Create AWS account
  • Get the access key
  • Get the secret access key
  • Create security group
  • Add your IP to list of allowed inbound traffic (see aws docs).
  • Create key pair (see aws docs).
  • Download .pem file to computer
  • (Windows only) instally PuTTY and PuTTYgen
  • Download from here.
  • Create .ppk file (see aws docs).

Config Files

You'll need to create a bunch of config files before running the deployment scripts. Run the script setup_config to be prompted for each setting, or create a new folder called config and add the files manually. All config files are .ini files and have a single section called 'DEFAULT'.


Setting Name Description
ami_id The base ami to start from. Suggested value: ami-81d092b1 (CentOS 6).
aws_access_key_id Access key for account.
aws_secret_access_key Secret access key for account.
block_device_map The hard drive? to use when creating a volume. Suggested value: /dev/sda1.
cron_email An email address to send cron output to.
delete_volumes_on_tear_down When tearing down instance, also delete volumes. Volumes are set to auto-delete on instance termination, so you should set this to false.
elasitc_ip An elastic IP to use. This isn't used yet in project.
key_filename The path of your .pem file.
key_name The name of the secret key for the EC2 instance to use.
instance_name The name to tag the instance with.
instance_type The EC2 instance type. (See instance types).
region The AWS region to connect to.
regular_user_name Name of user that will get created on CentOS to run app.
regular_user_password Password of user.
root_user The name of the root user. Suggested value: root.
security_groups Security groups to grant to the instance. If more than one, seperate with commas.
timezone The linux timezone to set the machine to. Use a path on the machine such as /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Los_Angeles.
volume_size Size of the AWS Volume for the new instance in GB.


Setting Name Description
gtfs_static_url The url where the gtfs static file can be found.


Setting Name Description
agency_timezone Timezone to display result on website. In format America/Los_Angeles.
database_name Name of db.
google_analytics_tracking_key Client side Google Analytics Tracking key.
google_maps_api_key Google Maps Javascript Browser API Key
ontransit_base_folder Parent folder. Usually title of repo.
ontransit_git_repo Git repo to use.
pg_worker_username Username of worker to use to load in gtfs data.
pg_worker_password ...
pg_web_username Username of web user for pg.
pg_web_password ...

Running Scripts

If using linux, the executable files to run scripts will be in the bin folder instead of Scripts. In the remainder of the docs, whenever it says "run script script_name", you'll run the script by doing bin/script_name or .\Scripts\script_name on linux and windows respectively.

Script Name Description
clean_config Deletes the "config" folder.
setup_config Helper script to create configuration files for AWS, OnTransit and updating and validating GTFS.
launch_new_ec2 Launches a new Amazon EC2 instance and creates new regular use.
install_dependencies Installs the essential software to run OnTransit.
install_ontransit Installs OnTransit on server by cloning it and then installing with npm.
validate_gtfs Downloads and validates the static GTFS.
update_gtfs Loads new data into PostGIS db. Validate the GTFS before doing this.
start_ontransit Starts OnTransit Server.
install_ontransit_crons Installs various cron jobs to maintain data quality of OnTransit app.
stop_ontransit Stops OnTransit Server.
tear_down_ec2 Terminates an Amazon EC2 instance.
deploy_master Combines following scripts in order: launch_new_ec2, install_dependencies, install_ontransit, update_gtfs, start_ontransit, install_ontransit_crons.

EC2 Instance Notes

Here is a complete list of stuff that this script install/does on the instance:

  • Launches a new EC2 instance
  • Creates new user with sudo privileges
  • Updates system using yum update.
  • Installs wget, unzip
  • Installs AWS Cloudwatch Monitoring Scripts. (starts via cron)
  • Changes the timezone of the machine.
  • Installs PostgreSQL
  • Installs PostGIS
  • Installs git
  • Installs node
  • Installs npm
  • Muks with iptables to forward port 80 traffic to port 3000.
  • Clones this repo.
  • Builds the web static files.
  • Loads in gtfs data.
  • Starts server
  • Installs a cron to refresh the data nightly