Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 54
54 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation (smaller). In general, while airports need a certain size to support public transportation services, size alone does not explain high ridership. Distance traveled to the airport is worthy of more attention. Does Distance from Downtown Explain Ridership? Most airports serve one dominant downtown (e.g., Boston), or at least a set of dominant downtowns (San Francisco and Oakland/Berkeley). What is the influence of line-haul distance to the downtown mode share? Some trades-offs are clear: with close-in service, the taxi provides a cost-effective alternative to the public transportation trip, whereas with a distant airport it does not. For example, the sheer distance involved in a trip to Narita airport (located approximately 37 miles from downtown Tokyo) or Oslo airport (located approximately 30 miles outside Oslo) makes the taxi a weak competitor. Thus, airports that are relatively close to downtown, such as Reagan Washington National, tend to have a high taxi share to the airport. At the same time, the close-in airport can offer many destinations by public transportation with only a moderate amount of transferring (e.g., in Washington, D.C.). However there are some complexities to consider. High rail mode shares exist when the dis- tance is long, the taxi fare is high, and travel time can be gained on the line-haul segment to com- pensate for the non-directness of access at the non-airport end of the trip. At first glance, the high rail mode shares for Zurich and Copenhagen may seem to be an exception to this rule, as they are relatively close to the downtown. In fact, each of these airports is tied into an unusual nation- wide (and sometimes multi-country) feeder system. For example, the mode share to distant Swiss regions is very high, while that to the center of Zurich is low, because the taxi is a feasible alternative. But such programs as that in Copenhagen, with its new tunnel/bridge directly from Copenhagen airport to Sweden, are a part of a longer distance national feeder system, not just a local one. As a general rule, the longer the ground access trip, the less competitive is the taxi, and the less attractive is the casual kiss-ride drop-off trip. Does the Quality of the Airport Connection Explain Ridership? Looking at the connections on the airport, most of the public transportation services included in the sample of European/Asian airports have direct rail service to the airline terminals on the airport grounds. A major exception to this is Paris Orly airport, which operates a people mover over a 3-mile guideway to transfer travelers to the regional rail line that also serves Paris de Gaulle airport to the north. Thus, with both the quality of the line-haul service and the connectivity with the rest of the system constant, the Paris airport with the direct connection can be seen to have a higher market share to rail than the airport without the direct connection. At face value, a service with no change of vehicle at the airport should be expected to capture a higher market share than a service with a transfer at/near the airport, all other things being equal. For example, a traveler using rail from either downtown Dallas or Fort Worth would have to transfer once at the rail station, and a second time at a remote parking lot before getting a bus to any one of the five airline terminals. A low market share would be expected when compared with a bus or van that goes directly from major hotels in those two downtowns to the airports. However, in the United States, airports with direct rail service to the terminal area do not nec- essarily attain a higher share to public modes than those that do not. Of the ten U.S. airports with the highest mode shares to public transportation shown in Table 2-1, only two airports (Atlanta and Reagan Washington National) have rail service direct to the terminal complex; seven airports do not have rail service direct to the terminal; and San Francisco has direct rail service only to one terminal. In the latter category, the exceptionally high mode share attained by the 3-mile bus con- nection at Oakland International Airport needs some explanation other than minimization of