North American municipal and regional planning authorities are pursuing urban growth management strategies that preserve or improve urban “livability”. In the Lower Mainland, concerns about air quality and traffic congestion are central themes in regional planning, such as the GVRD Creating Our Future program, and the Transport 2021 project. Growing communities throughout BC share similar concerns. These studies identify a larger role for public transit as a key strategy for achieving a reduction in the number of automobile trips and an improved urban environment. Achieving higher transit ridership is a challenge in an automobile oriented society, and transit agencies should not bear this responsibility alone.
This paper compiles, in concise form, descriptions of the transportation modes and families in use today, particularly those classified as public transportation. Moreover, an emphasis is placed on the fit between forms of public transportation and forms of urban development.
This project reviews policies and legislative programs that can be adopted at all levels of government to encourage transit-based development. The focus of the study is on local government implementation because cities and counties have the land use responsibility of planning and zoning. The study also investigates how higher levels of government (regional, state, and federal) can encourage development through legislative powers and policy incentives. The study recommends additional land use, legislative, and fiscal powers that are needed by local jurisdictions so that they can carry out these incentives.
The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University assigned a project team to design a planning template for transit-oriented development (TOD) that incorporates an understanding of nonwork travel, that is, trips for shopping, eating out, and engaging in recreational and cultural activities. Nonwork trips are growing in signifigance and now account for four of every five trips. At the same time, TOD has become a popular planning response to the impacts of metropolitan growth.
A good transit system provides a hig h level of access to work and other activities for households and to customers and employees for businesses. The monetary value of this access will be reflected in the value of a home or a business, in addition to the value of other features such as the specific physical attributes of the building and neighborhood characteristics. This paper reviews recent studies on rail transit’s effect on property values. A matrix with the key findings of the major studies carried out over the last ten years can be found in the last section.
This report was prepared for policy makers searching for ways to boost public transit use in U.S. urban areas and wishing to know what can be learned from the experiences of Canada and Western Europe. With few exceptions, public transit has a more prominent role in Canada and Western Europe than in the United States. This is true not only in large cities, but also in many smaller communities and throughout entire metropolitan areas. Transit is used for about 10 percent of urban trips in Western Europe, compared with about 2 percent in the United States. Canadians use public transit about twice as much as Americans, although there is considerable variation across Canada, just as there is in Western Europe and the United States.
As its surname indicates, Light Rail Transit (LRT) is a transit mode. Its middle name reflects that fact that it runs on rails. Why is it called “light”? That depends on who and where you ask. In Britain the term “light railway” is applied to any rail mode that is scaled down from the common size of mainline railroads. In previous years, even some of the lines that operated short freight trains pulled by diminutive steam locomotives were classified as light railways. It was not until the 1970s that the term “light rail transit” came into use in the United States. There was no formal definition of LRT at that time, but it was generally understood to mean an urban rail transit form that was leaner and less costly thanother rail modes.
The City of Portland, Oregon, is supplementing the existing Tri-Met Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) regional light rail system with a 2.5-mile streetcar line designed to serve the neighborhoods in the central city core. This application required a vehicle considerably different than the standard light rail vehicle (LRV) – one designed to operate exclusively on urban streets in mixed traffic. The operational requirements mandated a narrower vehicle capable of operating in 3 m wide traffic lanes with high adhesion for stopping and grades. The neighborhood requirements mandated a shorter vehicle which “fit the neighborhood environment”. Cost constraints precluded the development of a new custom vehicle. The solution was importing an “off-the-shelf” European streetcar and upgrading it to meet United States safety standards, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, and passenger comfort. The selected streetcar was manufactured in the Czech Republic using…
The development of effective transit systems requires investments of millions or even billions of dollars in public money. Controversies often rage over whether such investments are efficient or whether the money would be better spent on other public projects or even returned to the taxpayer. Public servants charged with allocating investment dollars therefore need ways of assessing the economic benefits that arise from transit projects to see whether they are sufficient to justify the cost. This paper seeks to provide an overview to the issues and methods related to the assessment of economic impacts from transit projects
The paper reports on the implementation of parking cash-out in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Region in 1999 and 2000. Since parking costs in a downtown setting are typically a substantial portion of commuting costs, cashing-out parking subsidies can provide a strong incentive for commuters to choice an alternative to driving alone.