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18 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation To the extent possible, those crafting new strategies to divert air travelers away from low- occupancy vehicle strategies should familiarize themselves with the experience of others around the world who have created successful airport ground access services. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 were created to help transfer the lessons learned from major airport ground access systems around the world for application by the U.S. airport manager. Best Practices in the United States: Establishing the Process The following practices are some of the many good examples of coordination with the regional transportation planning organizations that exist in the United States: · The role of the San Francisco Bay MTC in the planning of airport access improvements in the Bay Area and in continued management of the ground access surveying process. · The role of the Denver Regional Council of Governments in undertaking a comprehensive Key Challenges in examination of ground access issues for Denver's new airport. · The role of the MWCOG in the analysis of the implications of continued and expected airport Step 2 growth, expressed in terms of projected ground access flows. · Develop the · The role of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in the formulation of aviation policy in the Los Angeles region. data-gathering instrument · Document the Step 2: Undertake the Program of Data Gathering geographic and System Monitoring segmentation In Step 2, the airport manager must create a database upon which to plan and monitor the for the ground services and facilities for improved airport access. This step is critical because the improvements to airport access must be based on a clear understanding of the market behavior of the several access trips submarkets for airport ground access services. The airport ground access survey is the primary · Document the tool used to gain the information needed for a market-driven, traveler-oriented process. demographic Decisions can then be made on a modally unbiased basis stemming from the analysis of the needs of the traveler. This process cannot be commenced without high-quality data describing just who segmentation those travelers are and where they are coming from. for the ground The evaluation of a given service should be examined in terms of its performance in its access trips own logical catchment area, not in terms of mode share for an entire airport. As described in · Commit to an Chapter 6, it is important to establish a market description of that subset of travelers for whom the proposed service is relevant. Targeted market segments should be defined and services ongoing designed for their particular needs; success or failure of those services should be established in program to terms of the capture rate within the targeted market group. A specialized van service from a hos- pital complex to an airport, for example, should be evaluated on the basis of how well it attracts monitor the riders from its specified market area, not on its performance in the entire airport ground access performance of market. For any given service under evaluation, there will be a geographic area where that ser- the system vice makes sense as a logical choice and a geographic area where that service makes no sense at all. · Develop The airport ground access survey is the essential backbone of the market-driven planning process. Such a survey can be expected to cost between $100,000 and $300,000. Without this measures of information, the process of matching services to market needs cannot be undertaken. performance for the airport Data Collection for the Airport Ground Access Survey ground access The application of market research methods to airport ground access, including survey system procedures, is presented in detail in Chapter 6. Key issues for data collection include the exact
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Six Steps in a Market-Based Strategy for Improving Airport Ground Access 19 geographic origin of the ground access trip, time of day, the trip purpose, and the resi- dency status of the traveler. TCRP Report 62 (16) describes the use of additional market research techniques, including focus groups. A comprehensive process of market research can include both survey methods that rely on "stated preference" and methods that rely on "revealed preference." Demographic Elements Categories of Trip Purpose. The survey must be designed to support geographic segmen- tation and demographic segmentation. The point of origin must be defined with enough clarity that it can be integrated with geographic information systems. The origin of the ground access trip can be determined by either the zip code of origin or an address specific enough to support geocoding in the data entry process. The designer of the survey must deal with a basic trade-off between the amount of data desired and the need to keep the survey short. Specific trip purposes such as medical, personal business, school, or vacation are not needed for analyses of airport access. For the airport access survey, the most important trip purpose differentiation is simply "business" versus "non-business." Categories of Residential Status. The second element of the demographic segmentation concerns the residential status of the traveler. As documented in Chapter 2, the mode choice decision of the traveler at the non-home end of the full trip is fundamentally different than the mode choice decision in the geographic area in which the traveler resides. The level of automo- bile availability (whether for the drop-off mode or the drivepark mode) is substantially higher at the home end than at the non-home end of the trip. In addition, the level of familiarity with the details of the public transportation system is usually much lower at the non-home end of the trip. For these reasons, the survey must be designed to properly differentiate between the trav- eler commencing the ground access trip in his/her own residential area and the traveler com- mencing the trip in the non-home end of the journey. With these two elements of information, all travelers can be easily categorized into four clearly defined market segments, sometimes referred to as "the four-cell matrix." The market research process recommended in this project requires the creation of these demographic market segments: · Resident business · Resident non-business · Non-resident business · Non-resident non-business Why Look at Separate Market Segments? These four separate market segments can be applied to a wide cross section of U.S. and European/ Asian airport ground access markets. Importantly, none of these categories can be applied as a "cookie cutter" approach to predicting behavior. The four market segments allow several subsets of the market to be observed separately. Successful strategies offer a variety of public mode services, at a variety of prices. At a given airport, a multistop bus service at less than $2 will appeal to a different market than a door-to-door shared-ride service for $15. At Baltimore/Washington International Airport during peak hours, travelers are offered multistop MARC commuter rail services to Union Station for $5 or Amtrak Acela service for more than $30. Some travelers will choose the first train out (at the higher cost), while others will wait for the lower priced rail service. Their choice is influ- enced by their demographic market segment. Danger Areas in Data Collection The designers of the survey should be aware of the particular data collection pitfalls that exist for airport access. For the analysis of traffic flow, a category called "bus/limousine/van" may be