As light rail transit (LRT) systems mature and expand, outlying passengers are faced with increasingly longer trip times to reach the urban core. Providing service to these customers by conventional means can be disproportionately expensive for the transit carrier in terms of operating and capital expense. Innovative operational practices to expedite train movements, however, are often confounded by current LRT design and deployment methods. This is partly attributable to design methods that follow a “stovepipe” approach to individual engineering disciplines and components, rather than directing focus on optimizing railway functionality and flexibility as a comprehensive entity. It is also attributable, in part, to a failure to address the ultimate potential of a railway at the definition/developmental stage and to subsequently articulate and document the operational requirements that are necessary to support the stated mission.
It is recognized that hard factors such as travel time, cost, availability of public transport services, and car ownership have a major impact when people consider the choice between using an automobile or public transport. Nevertheless, there is evidence from the literature that rail-based public transport often is considered superior to bus systems, even in cases where quantitative hard factors are equal. This attraction of passengers is known as a psychological rail factor, and it is used to express a higher attraction in terms of higher ridership of rail-based public transport in contrast to bus services (Axhausen et al. 2001; Megel 2001b; Ben-Akiva and Morikawa 2002; Vuchic 2005; Scherer 2010a). The existence of this rail factor is widely accepted among experts, but little evidence exists about the reasons for this phenomena.
The idea of a rail factor is consistent with statements that the image of a transport system has an impact on demand. Furthermore, research…
The 2011-2012 Sacramento Regional Transit Comprehensive Operational Analysis, commonly known as “TransitRenewal”, includes a review of existing market conditions and transit service and aims to position the RT network to sustainably meet future transit demand within the service area. Sustainability is the method of using a resource without depleting or damaging it for future use. Sustainable transit planning focuses on meeting transit needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet such needs1. TransitRenewal responds to changing economic circumstances and RT’s new financial realities. In 2010, RT implemented substantial service reductions which included discontinuing several bus routes, reducing service levels, and reducing spans. TransitRenewal responds to RT’s plan to regain previous FY 2010 service levels and intends to identify core areas of the RT system where investment will have a maximum benefit, and will guide RT to…
Social media provide transit agencies with an unparalleled opportunity to connect with their customers. These connections may take many forms, but they all can help agencies personalize what can otherwise appear like a faceless bureaucracy. “Social media,” also called social networking or Web 2.0, refers to a group of web-based applications that encourage users to interact with one another. Examples include blogs, social and professional networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, micro-blogging site Twitter, media-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, and location-based sites such as Foursquare. Transit agencies have begun to adopt these networking tools, and their reasons for doing so typically fall into five broad categories.
Timely updates—Social media enable agencies to share real-time service information and advisories with their riders.
Public information—Many transit organizations use social media to provide the public with information about services,…
One-half mile has become the accepted distance for gauging a transit station’s catchment area in the U.S. It is the de facto standard for planning TODs (transit oriented developments) in America. Planners and researchers use transit catchment areas not only to make predictions about transit ridership and the land use and socioeconomic impacts of transit, but also to prescribe regulations, such as the relaxation of restrictive zoning, or carve out TOD financial plans. This radius is loosely based on the distance that people are willing to walk to transit, but this same reasoning has been used to justify other transit catchment areas. Using station-level variables from 1,449 high-capacity American transit stations in 21 cities, we aim to identify whether there is clear benchmark between distance and ridership that provides a norm for station-area planning and prediction. For the purposes of predicting station-level transit ridership, we find that different catchment areas…
Many metropolitan areas are struggling with how to accommodate future population growth—and are looking to transit-oriented development (TOD) as a potential solution. TODs, in which densely-built, mixedincome housing is placed near transit to create walkable neighborhoods complete with amenities and retail, could house as many as a quarter of the country’s new households in coming years.1 Yet one barrier to building a significant amount of TOD housing is the unwillingness of many local residents to support some of the components of TOD, particularly higher-density construction and mixed-income housing. Often called NIMBYs (short for Not-In-My-Backyard), opposing residents can stop such developments in their tracks.
Recent increases in fuel prices, combined with the deep downturn in the economy, have raised concerns among policymakers and advocates about the burdens of transportation costs on the poor. Moreover, low-income travelers have been at the center of recent debates over the fairness of proposed transportation finance instruments such as congestion pricing and gas-tax increases. Despite these concerns, relatively little is known about how low-income households manage their transportation costs while also preserving their desired level and quality of mobility. This study begins to fill that gap by exploring the challenges low-income residents face in covering their transportation costs.
The analysis is based on in-depth interviews with 73 low-income adults living in or near the City of San José, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The sample was diverse by many criteria, but overrepresented individuals who had extremely low incomes. (Some were…
When the first edition of Cities of Opportunity was developed, we made a decision to rank cities only in their 10 indicator categories and to forego showing overall rankings to avoid the misperception of a contest. That risk seemed especially significant in 2007, when the media cast New York and London in a death match for global capital market kingship.
The City and County of Honolulu (City) has initiated preparation of the Kalihi Neighborhood Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan for three stations along the planned new elevated transit line in Honolulu - Middle Street, Kalihi, and Kapalama. The purpose of the overall assignment is to promote transit oriented land uses and improve neighborhood quality and character of the areas around the transit stations.
This Recommended Practice introduces guidelines for designing and operating sustainable transit that both reduces a community’s environmental footprint from transportation and enhances its quality of life by making travel more enjoyable, affordable and timely.