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OCR for page 149
Applying Market Research to Airport Ground Access 149 Variation in Public Transportation Use by Market At Washington National, the Segment: Washington National Resident Non-business segment has the highest level of rail use. 30% 25% Mode Share 20% Bus/limo 15% Rail 10% The Non-resident Non-business 5% segment has the highest overall public transportation use, with 0% more using van than rail. Biz NonBiz Biz NonBiz Resident Non Resident Market Segment: Total Airport SOURCE: TCRP Report 83. Figure 6-4. Public transit variations by market segment at Reagan Washington National Airport (1998). Variations among mode-choice patterns by market segment for the total airport market have been examined at several major U.S. airports. In most airports where variation was found, non-business segments had a higher public transportation share than did business travelers, with resident business travelers usually having the lowest. In several areas such as New York City, analysis of patterns for the airport as a whole revealed little variation in public mode shares. The following section examines the influence of geography on the variation by demo- graphic segmentation. To better understand the variation by segments that are attributable to demographic factors, a specifically defined geographic area, not the airport as a whole, should be examined. Variation by Demographic Segment: Washington, D.C. In the analysis of factors that encourage or discourage the use of public modes in airport access, those factors that stem from inherent differences in demographic makeup should be iso- lated from those factors that reflect the service availability by geographic area. This section will examine ground access service to major market areas, where trip-end densities can support pub- lic transportation services. Airport ground access patterns are examined for the three airports serving Washington, D.C.: Reagan Washington National, Washington Dulles International, and Baltimore/Washington International Airports. The market area is the common origin zone for the three separate air- ports. The analysis will examine the extent to which demographic segmentation does and does not reveal differences between the subgroups for a specific market area. In all cases, good public transportation services do exist. These services are defined as rail, scheduled bus, and limousine/ van services (including private limousine services) operated for the purpose of shared rides. Specifically excluded are charter buses and hotel courtesy buses. Many U.S. airports offer services that perform quite strongly in their target markets. Washington, D.C., is the premier example. For this analysis, a 39-square-mile area was defined around Washington, D.C., called "inner Washington" or "central DC." This area included major activity centers in the District of Columbia and northern Virginia and had significant concen- trations of trip-end clusters for all three airports.
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150 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation 60% 50% Mode Share 40% Bus/limo 30% Rail 20% 10% 0% Res Biz Res Non- Non-res Biz Non-res biz Non-biz Segment: Central DC Market SOURCE: TCRP Report 83. Figure 6-5. Variation by market segment: Inner Washington to Baltimore/Washington airport (1998). The total public transportation market share attained in each of the airports seems to reflect distance as much as any other factor, including service quality. Airports close to the CBD offer low taxi fares, which compete favorably with public transportation options. From this high- density Washington, D.C., market area, 39% of those bound for Baltimore/Washington airport take public transportation; 28% of those going to Dulles take public transportation, and 19% of those going to Reagan National take public transportation. In other words, the transit share increased with distance from the airport. Washington, D.C., to Baltimore/Washington Airport Between Baltimore/Washington airport and inner Washington, 39% of air travelers choose public transportation services. As shown in Figure 6-5, air travelers between Baltimore/ Washington airport and downtown Washington, D.C., select the bus and van services over the rail option for this 30-mile journey. Most variation among the segments occurs in the selection of the bus/van modes, with the train capturing about 10% of the market for most segments. The resident non-business travelers select the bus/van service over the trains by a factor of about four to one; for the resident business traveler, it is about two to one in favor of the bus/van option. Consistent with most of the patterns examined in this chapter, the highest overall market for public transportation comes from the resident non-business traveler. Inner Washington to Washington Dulles Airport For the 26-mile journey from Dulles to inner Washington, the system of buses and vans in the Washington Flyer program captures about 28% of the air traveler trips. In the survey data, the option of MetroRail to West Falls Church, with a connecting bus to Dulles, does not manage to achieve a full percentage for any segment, as shown in Figure 6-6. The meaning of the variation by market segment is somewhat unclear, as resident business appears in the data with a higher mode share than resident non-business, which is a pattern usually only associated with the use of high-cost options, such as the Heathrow Express. Inner Washington to Reagan Washington National Airport With powerful competition from taxis, which capture 53% of the market to immediately adja- cent inner Washington, public transportation gets about 19% of this market. As shown in Figure 6-7, rail gets the majority of the public transportation mode share and non-resident non-business travelers are the most likely to select bus/van services from Reagan Washington National Airport. Consistent with the most common pattern revealed in this chapter, the strongest demographic