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Applying Market Research to Airport Ground Access 143 collected and stored in a summarized fashion cannot be broken down into its component parts. Therefore, it is advisable (1) to collect and store data in the most discrete manner needed for any required analysis and (2) to use one of many available statistical software programs to aggregate the information for purposes of summary tables or discussions. Once the data have been stored in database format, they can be processed and analyzed using any of a number of software packages. These packages usually have different modules for specialized, as well as general, analysis. Because of the extent of currently available computing power, most procedures are fairly straightforward for an analyst to complete. An analyst does not need to be a statistical expert to complete many types of analysis; more important is for the analyst to be familiar with the subject population, which will help ensure that the end results are meaningful. Use of Market Research Information Air traveler and airport employee survey data provide valuable information about potential customers for ground access services. Once the survey data processing is completed and responses have been scaled to represent all airport ground access travelers, the findings can be used to support a range of programs. Table 6-4 provides examples of survey data and their poten- tial applications for planning an airport public transportation access service. Market research sets the stage for developing a realistic planning approach to developing airport ground transportation services that respond to traveler needs and support airport ground access objectives. This section provides a geographic approach for analyzing ground access pat- terns at airports by introducing the concept of the primary market. The next section, "Influence of Geography and Demographics on Ground Transportation Markets," discusses applications of a demographic approach for understanding variations in access mode by market segment for travelers accessing a single airport (Reagan Washington National Airport) and at multiple airports serving a single market area (the Washington, D.C., market). Air Traveler Trip-End Densities Associated with Ground Transportation Markets The following analysis uses two types of data that characterize the airport ground trans- portation environment: quantitative (number of ground access trips) and geographic (origin Table 6-4. Uses of airport ground access survey information. Air traveler and airport employee Uses in planning public transportation survey data service to airport Distribution of air traveler and employee arrival Developing public transportation service and departure times schedule Air traveler trip purpose and home residence Identifying the potential for alternative pubic location (market segments) transportation services Geographic location of air traveler and employee Locating public transportation boarding origins sites (station, terminal, stop) Distance and concentration of air traveler and Identifying suitable types of transportation employee origins from the airport access services Air traveler evaluations of public transportation Designing public transportation service service attributes features SOURCE: TCRP Report 62, MarketSense.
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144 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation location of ground access trips). The measure of trip-end density, which combines these two elements, provides a standard way of presenting market characteristics. Trip-end density also provides a means to evaluate the viability of an airport market for a particular ground trans- portation service and compare the service under consideration against similar services at other airports. The purpose of this section is to provide evidence of the combined quantitative and geographic characteristics of airport markets that support public transportation modes cur- rently in operation. Information from air traveler surveys conducted at 13 U.S. airports was used to determine where air travelers began their ground transportation trip to the airport and which modes they selected. These surveys yielded information about trip-end density, defined earlier as the number of air traveler trips per square mile. Not surprisingly, a wide range of trip-end densities is found in the ground transportation markets associated with large U.S. airports. Nevertheless, there is broad similarity in the distribution of trip-end densities for large U.S. airports. Figures 6-2 and 6-3 demonstrate the relationship between trip ends and ground transportation based on the find- ings from the air traveler surveys. Figure 6-2 illustrates that the majority of air travelers start their ground access trip from areas with five or more trip ends per square mile. Figure 6-3 illustrates that the majority of the land area within a ground access market is composed of areas with fewer than five trip ends per square mile. The proportional relationship between trip ends and land area for airport ground trans- portation markets is quite dramatic. The figures illustrate that a relatively small area of land in each ground access market is associated with a very high proportion of air traveler trip ends. In most cases, approximately 60% to 80% of all air traveler trip ends are generated from an area equaling not more than 10% of the total area associated with ground transportation trips to an airport. All airport ground transportation markets exhibit this general pattern to some degree. This observation has implications for designing airport ground transportation services because it suggests that a large proportion of all ground transportation trips to an airport are generated from a relatively small physical area. In planning airport ground transportation services, the area with five or more trip ends per square mile should be the focus for maximizing mode share potential. 100% Percent of Air Passenger Trip 80% 60% Ends 40% 20% 0% SFO DCA LGA JFK BOS LAX IAD SEA DIA TPA EWR BWI PDX < 5 trip ends/sq. mi. 5 or more trip ends/sq. mi. SOURCE: TCRP Report 83, MarketSense. NOTE: SFO = San Francisco; DCA = Reagan National, Washington D.C.; LGA = LaGuardia, NY; JFK = John F. Kennedy, NY; BOS = Boston; LAX = Los Angeles; IAD = Dulles, Washington D.C.; SEA = Seattle-Tacoma; DIA = Denver; TPA = Tampa; EWR = Newark; BWI = Baltimore/Washington; and PDX = Portland, Oregon. Figure 6-2. Air traveler trip ends in ground access market areas for 13 large U.S. airports.