TCRP report 135 provides a primer on the transit scheduling process. Intended for training those who have to schedule service or manage the process, It is well written and easy to follow. Whether you are a critic, nerd, foamer, or enthusiast, it is a worthwhile read that might illuminate some of the oddities you see in schedules.
This post on the current trend towards ubiquitous technology in transit.
This is all well and good, but the article only alludes to how long-term successful systems are implemented. There is a history of bad technology design decisions in the industry that either result in monolithic systems that prove unmaintainable and non-expandable. There is also a recent trend by certain vendors to sell an intentionally-crippled system by intentionally unbundling data ownership and the license to re-use it from their standard product, requiring extra payment to own their data. This makes additional applications or analysis more difficult than necessary.
The tech-industry buzzword for a system that avoids this by exposing all of its informationwave of is “platform.” The term was vaulted to legendary status in this essay (http://steverant.pen.io/). A platform is, put simply, accessible by other platforms, modular and extensible, well-documented and well-tested, stable, maintainable, robust, and not redundant. Platforms ensure that the owner of the project not only owns the data, but the interfaces as well.
If you’re in a role to evaluate proposals, ask your vendors: show me the data!