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TRANSIT TCRP REPORT 116 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Guidebook for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Suburban Transit Services
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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2006 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE (Membership as of June 2006) (as of June 2006) CHAIR OFFICERS David A. Lee CHAIR: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute Connecticut Transit of Technology MEMBERS VICE CHAIR: Linda S. Watson, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Ann August Authority Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority Linda J. Bohlinger EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board HNTB Corp. Robert I. Brownstein MEMBERS PB Consult, Inc. Sandra K. Bushue Michael W. Behrens, Executive Director, Texas DOT FTA Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT Peter Cannito John D. Bowe, Regional President, APL Americas, Oakland, CA Metropolitan Transportation Authority--Metro North Railroad Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT Gregory Cook Deborah H. Butler, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Atlanta, GA Nathaniel P. Ford San Francisco MUNI Anne P. Canby, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC Ronald L. Freeland Douglas G. Duncan, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Fred M. Gilliam Charlottesville Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Kim R. Green Angela Gittens, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL GFI GENFARE Genevieve Giuliano, Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Research and Technology, Jill A. Hough School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and Director, METRANS National Center North Dakota State University John Inglish for Metropolitan Transportation Research, USC, Los Angeles Utah Transit Authority Susan Hanson, Landry University Prof. of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University Jeanne W. Krieg James R. Hertwig, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Gloria J. Jeff, General Manager, City of Los Angeles DOT Celia G. Kupersmith Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley District Harold E. Linnenkohl, Commissioner, Georgia DOT Clarence W. Marsella Sue McNeil, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware Denver Regional Transportation District Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT Faye L. M. Moore Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments Authority Carol A. Murray, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT Michael H. Mulhern John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Retirement Fund Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Stephanie L. Pinson Henry Gerard Schwartz, Jr., Senior Professor, Washington University Gilbert Tweed Associates, Inc. Michael S. Townes, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA Robert H. Prince, Jr. C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin DMJM+Harris Jeffrey M. Rosenberg Amalgamated Transit Union EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Michael Scanlon San Mateo County Transit District Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard Beverly Scott Thomas J. Barrett (Vice Adm., U.S. Coast Guard, ret.), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Sacramento Regional Transit District Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Frank Tobey Marion C. Blakey, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT First Transit Kathryn D. Waters Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Dallas Area Rapid Transit Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Frank Wilson George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, and Foreign Secretary, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County National Academy of Engineering EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Sandra K. Bushue, Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar J. Richard Capka, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA Robert E. Skinner, Jr. Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads TRB John C. Horsley, Exec. Dir., American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials John C. Horsley David H. Hugel, Acting Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT AASHTO J. Richard Capka J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration FHWA Ashok G. Kaveeshwar, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Louis Sanders Nicole R. Nason, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA Julie A. Nelson, Acting Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT Jeffrey N. Shane, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT SECRETARY Robert J. Reilly Carl A. Strock (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps TRB of Engineers
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 116 Guidebook for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Suburban Transit Services URBITRAN ASSOCIATES, INC. New York, NY IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAMBRIDGE SYSTEMATICS Chicago, IL KITTELSON & ASSOCIATES Portland, OR PITTMAN & ASSOCIATES San Francisco, CA CENTER FOR URBAN TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH Tampa, FL Subject Areas Public Transit Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2006 www.TRB.org
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 116 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, Price $30.00 and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current Project B-25 systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand ISSN 1073-4872 service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve ISBN-13: 978-0-309-09864-9 these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to ISBN-10: 0-309-09864-5 adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to intro- Library of Congress Control Number 2006934473 duce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by © 2006 Transportation Research Board which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report COPYRIGHT PERMISSION 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously Administration--now the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A published or copyrighted material used herein. report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- NOTICE posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooper- purposes and resources of the National Research Council. ating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research orga- for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions nization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. the Transit Development Corporation, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but Department of Transportation. may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Committee defines funding levels and expected products. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed Council, the Transit Development Corporation, and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- Published reports of the nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- are available from: ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for Transportation Research Board workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure Business Office that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively and can be ordered through the Internet at address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Printed in the United States of America
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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 116 Robert J. Reilly, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Christopher W. Jenks, TCRP Manager Gwen Chisholm, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Beth Hatch, Editor TCRP PROJECT B-25 PANEL FIELD OF SERVICE CONFIGURATION Will Scott, Will Scott and Company, LLC, Cincinnati, OH (Chair) Manjiri G. Akalkotkar, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX Wilfred L. Beal, Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services, Saginaw, MI Jerome Beasley, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA Murthy V. A. Bondada, Atlantic Transportation Engineers, Inc., Winter Garden, FL Edmond Chin-Ping Chang, EDCPC, Inc., Potomac, MD Steven R. D'Antonio, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA Catherine C. Dennis, Delaware Transit Corporation, Wilmington, DE Ronald Downing, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District, San Rafael, CA Mark I. Pritchard, Dutchess County Loop, Poughkeepsie, NY William Wiggins, FTA Liaison Peter Shaw, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed under TCRP Project B-25 by Urbitran Associates, Inc., in association with Cambridge Systematics, Kittelson & Associates, Pittman & Associates, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida. Marlene Connor, Senior Vice President Transit Services, Urbitran Associates, Inc., was the principal investigator. The other authors of this report are Jim McLaughlin of Urbitran Associates, Chris Kopp of Cambridge Systematics, Paul Ryus of Kittelson & Associates, Donna Pittman of Pittman & Associates, and Joel Volinski of CUTR.
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FOREWORD By Gwen Chisholm Staff Officer Transportation Research Board TCRP Report 116: Guidebook for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Suburban Tran- sit Services examines the current status of suburban transit services and land-use environ- ments and the relationship between the two. Types of suburban transit services include commuter, route deviation, demand response, circulators, shuttles, and vanpools. Also, the guidebook describes the emerging trends that significantly influence the availability and operation of suburban transit services. This report updates information presented in TCRP Report 55: Guidelines for Enhancing Suburban Mobility Using Public Transportation and presents the latest research results and issues related to suburban transit services. This information will be useful to transit profes- sionals and policy makers in planning and implementing suburban transit services. The companion document to the guidebook is a final report that includes eight detailed case studies: Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (Detroit, Mich- igan); Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Valley (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota); Tri-Met (Portland, Oregon); South Metro Area Rapid Transit (Wilsonville, Oregon); King County Metro (Seattle, Washington); Capital District Transportation Authority (Albany, New York); Broward County Transit (Broward County, Florida); and Regional Transit District (Denver, Colorado). The case studies describe the types of suburban transit services offered; the types of operational issues; the funding arrangements; the marketing program; the performance-measurement program; and the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from introducing suburban transit services. The companion report also includes quantita- tive and qualitative decision matrixes. The companion report is available online as TCRP Web-Only Document 34 at http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=6526. During the past 30 years, new suburbs have emerged at greater distances from central business districts. These suburban land-use environments have not generally been con- ducive to provision of transit services. However, suburban areas are changing dramatically: the suburban population is becoming more economically diverse, the aging population is increasing, and the transit-dependent community is growing. Consequently, the need for suburban transit services has grown. In past years, transit districts have introduced a variety of transit services in suburban neighborhoods, including vanpools, dial-a-ride, shared-ride taxi, flex service, neighbor- hood circulators connecting with fixed-route service, and extended fixed-route service. The success of these services has varied. Information on the most effective methods of serving suburban needs can be used by the transit industry to improve market share and produc- tivity in the biggest potential market area--the suburbs.
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In the years since publication of TCRP Report 55, land use and its relationship to transit services has changed as contemporary suburbia has extended beyond the older suburbs. The research confirmed that the land-use connection with suburban transit services is primar- ily based on local policies, which are substantially influenced by the availability of local funding. This report provides updated information and guidance on the latest developments in suburban service options and attributes. Urbitran Associates, Inc., in association with Cambridge Systematics, Kittelson & Asso- ciates, Pittman & Associates, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research, reviewed trends and developments of suburban transit services and recent land development. The research team identified and described suburban land-use environments and appropriate transit service strategies; established a methodology with evaluation criteria to determine best practices in providing suburban transit services; conducted the approved case studies; and documented the success and the lessons learned regarding the provision of suburban transit services.
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CONTENTS 1 Chapter 1 Introduction to Suburban Transit Services 1 Overview 1 Summary of Findings 3 Chapter 2 Tools, Techniques, and Technology for Suburban Service Development 3 Understanding Regional Activity Patterns 4 Features of Suburban Transit Services 4 Established Suburban Transit Services 4 Fixed Route 4 Deviated Fixed Route 5 Demand-Responsive Service 5 Subscription Service 5 Innovative Suburban Transit Service 5 Transit Services and the Activity Space 6 Land-Use Assessment 6 Density 6 Diversity 6 Design 7 Deterrents to Driving 8 Chapter 3 Preliminary Case Study Findings 9 Key Issues and Trends 10 Assessment of Practices 15 Chapter 4 Detailed Case Study Findings 15 Case Study Research Methodology 17 Overview of Results 18 Chapter 5 Results and Performance Evaluation 18 Analysis of Land Use versus Transit Service and Operating Performance 23 Analysis of Performance Measurement versus Demographics, Service Delivery, and Pedestrian Network 23 Demographics 23 Service Delivery 23 Pedestrian Network 23 Findings 26 Relating the Land-Use Analysis to the Transit Performance Measurement Analysis 26 Activity Surface Example 29 Analysis of Passengers per Revenue-Hour versus Transit Use Factors 30 Establishing Performance Measurement Programs
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32 Chapter 6 Lessons and Conclusions 32 Operating Environments 32 Measurement and Evaluation Processes 32 Innovations 33 Future Research