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48 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation modes and a variety of operational strategies. Modal technologies from multiparty taxi sharing to regional rapid transit have all been found to be relevant to the U.S. experience. For each of these services, the transportation planner must match the characteristics of the supporting mar- ket with the characteristics of the candidate mode. In many cases, the capacity of a given mode, such as express bus service, has been described as a limiting factor in a long-term role of airport ground transportation. However, in virtually all cases under consideration, the capacity of bus, light rail, rapid transit, or commuter rail service is vastly higher than that required for airport- related services. Finding an exclusive dependable right-of-way--such as the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane between the Braintree Logan Express terminal and Boston airport--is a key issue in providing high-quality public mode access. Thus, the choice of airport access mode has more to do with policy decisions made for the rest of the regional transportation system than with any capacity limitations inherent to any given mode. In the United States, the market for public transportation (rail, bus, and shared-ride vans) at airports appears to be finite. Chapter 4 presents descriptions of 27 airport ground access systems in the United States and 19 ground access systems in Europe and Asia. Simply summarized, all of the reported international systems attract a public mode share of more 20%, while none of the U.S. systems attract a public mode share of more than 20%. The question then turns to the most effective way to raise higher occupancy vehicle shares at U.S. airports. Why are Airports Concerned with Ground Access by Public Modes? Seen from the vantage point of the airport manager, key decisions to utilize existing airport assets, and expand upon those assets, are often interrelated with approvals through the envi- ronmental and the local political processes. Airport managers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston, like managers in London, Zurich, or Amsterdam, understand that key environmental and political approval processes for more airport airside capacity require a planning process that specifically addresses the impacts of airport ground access. Seen from the vantage point of the regional transportation manager, travel demand manage- ment strategies are being implemented to deal with VMT from major activity centers. A large airport, of greater than 45 MAP, can be associated with the generation of 5 million vehicle miles of ground access travel per day, while a smaller airport of 5 MAP can be associated with 500,000 VMT per day. A public official charged with the creation of a CMS or an air quality control strat- egy cannot help but note the rate of traffic growth of major airports and their role in the regional growth of VMT. Ground Access Issues and the Regional Planning Process The need to acknowledge, and deal with, the problems of ground access have become an accepted part of the process of gaining environmental approvals for major growth in airports. Environmental regulations deal with the air quality implications of transportation facilities, both on and off of the airport. Issues that at one point seemed separate are now seen in an integrated intermodal systems perspective. Throughout the United States, the provision of improved ground transportation strategies is seen as an integral component of plans to increase capacity and efficiency at major airports. Over the last few years, ground access strategies have been advanced at San Francisco; Los Angeles; Miami; Portland, Oregon; MinneapolisSt. Paul; Newark; and New York JFK airports. New combinations of services are being explored in Chicago (both O'Hare and Midway), Dallas/Fort Worth, Baltimore/Washington, Seattle, and Dulles airports.
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The Context for Public Transportation to Major Airports 49 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments A good example of the coordination that should exist between airport managers and the met- ropolitan transportation planning process is the Continuous Airport System Planning program of the MWCOG. MWCOG notes: "The transportation linkage between airports and local activities is a critical and often overlooked com- ponent of the airport system. Choice of airport and even the decision to fly are clearly linked to the qual- ity, cost and travel time associated with the ground journey to the airport. The goal of the Continuous Airport System Planning (CASP) program is to provide a process and products that support the planning, development and operation of airport and airport-serving facilities in a systematic framework for the Washington-Baltimore region." (6) Keeping the aviation system supported by the ground transportation system is a stated goal of the long-range plan of the metropolitan Washington region. "Goal 8 of the [Transportation Planning Board's] Vision reads: The Washington metropolitan region will support options for international and inter-regional travel and commerce. Goal 8 has three objec- tives: (1) The Washington region will be among the most accessible in the nation for international and inter-regional passenger and goods movements. (2) Continued growth in passenger and goods movement between the Washington region and other nearby regions in the mid-Atlantic area. (3) Connectivity to and between Washington Dulles International, National, and Baltimore/ Washington International Airports." (6) The New England Regional Aviation System Plan The concept of a continuous regional planning process for three airports together, in the MWCOG program, has been taken one step further in an ambitious plan encouraged and spon- sored by the FAA in New England, where the interaction between all commercial airports in six states was examined in the New England Regional Aviation System Plan (NERASP), which con- cluded in October 2006. According to its managers, the main objective of the study was to identify strategies for opti- mizing New England's regional airport system: "The objectives of the forecast task are to assess how future air travel demand may be distributed across the region's network of commercial service airports and how that distribution might vary depending on the level of regional demand or changes in key parameters such as airport access times or airline service develop- ment decision." (1, emphasis added) The technical forecasting process was unique in that forecasts were developed from a regional perspective first, "rather than from the perspective of an individual airport or a state system of airports. Thus the NERASP forecasts for individual airports in the regional system reflect the fact that many of the region's passengers have multiple airport options and often choose from among several airports when making travel plans." Applying the process described in this report, the NERASP study was widened to include a free-standing ground access report, which was unique in its simultaneous examination of many airports and their competition--in many cases--for a common and overlapping market. Los Angeles: Cooperation with the Regional Planning Organization In Los Angeles, work is continuing to ensure the coordination of aviation planning with the other components of the region's transportation strategy. At SCAG, a professional staff dedicated to aviation issues works closely with other modal specialists in the development of the Regional Transportation Plan. According to SCAG: