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OCR for page 197
Further Research 197 transportation choices made by the long-distance traveler are fundamentally different from those made by the same person in day-to-day metropolitan travel. The researchers strongly recommend that the subject matter originally covered by the American Travel Survey be recom- menced by some agency of the U.S. DOT. Step 3: Understand the Markets Revealed and Their Relationship to Candidate Solutions This report has suggested that there are three categories of demand for airport ground access. First, there is the traditional, high-density market that gets attention when capital-intensive solu- tions such as rail are discussed. This report has presented a significant amount of information about such services between airports and traditional downtowns. Another category of market demand is that of the lowest density category, in which trips often start by automobile to major park-and-ride facilities served by dedicated airport buses; this category of market demand is being extensively documented in ACRP Project 10-02, "Planning Guide for Offsite Terminals." By contrast, comparatively little analysis exists about the third market category described in this report, the middle-density market often served by shared-ride vehicles. Some airports, such as Los Angeles International Airport, have provided a disciplined program to limit the number of shuttle van companies competing for this market, while other airports have failed to provide this essential direction. More research should be undertaken to help airport managers understand what powers they do and do not have over these important operations. New hybrid service can offer scheduled services to specific destinations (such as hotels) and continue on with pre-arranged on-demand ser- vices to other destinations. For most U.S. airports, this market category is often the largest segment of the full market with comparatively little known about the nature of demand therein. In addition, the researchers recommend that the study of airport ground access alternatives be widened to include the smaller U.S. airports. In many cases, the managers of smaller airports are willing to participate in programs to encourage high-occupancy solutions, but very little guidance is available. Options such as shared-ride taxis need to be explored for their application at the mid-sized and smaller U.S. airports. Step 4: Design a Program of Services and Strategies for Airport Ground Access Without question, rubber-tired public transportation vehicles will remain the dominant pub- lic transportation access mode in the United States. It is surprising, then, to see so little attention paid to either the fully developed program of bus rapid transit or even the smaller steps of HOV planning for major U.S. airports. At present, only one such airport program exists, the Silver Line to Boston's airport. Similarly, the number of airport buses successfully utilizing HOV lanes is small; major positive examples are at Los Angeles International Airport and, to a lesser extent, Boston's airport. For some reason, bus rapid transit options do not survive in the planning process for airport ground access, where rail solutions are almost always recommended. The researchers recommend that more attention be paid to advanced bus design options, including low-floor entry for ease of travelers carrying baggage. Such systems are commonplace around the world but have rarely been applied at major airports. Step 5: Manage the Airport to Encourage Higher Occupancy At present, the ACRP has under way an innovative study of alternative terminal configurations (ACRP Project 07-01), which marks a major change from the traditional approach to airport