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17 · Parking Cost or Scarcity · Trip density in a given area is not a consistent factor in Average cost of parking, metered parking, structures attracting more riders per hour. · Land use with mixed development appears to perform better Much of the transit service data were available from the than land use of one type (e.g., residential or commercial). transit agencies. To obtain data on land use, the research team typically had to work with multiple agencies at city, county, Clearly, in many instances, land use dictated the types of and regional levels. In general, there was a considerable lack services provided. For example, on the job access routes in of consistency among the data available at the various suburban Detroit serving the industrial areas, circulators with detailed case study sites. However, the need remained to direct connections to the worksites were the best fit. develop analyses that could consider the range of planning However, sometimes land use did not dictate the type of and land-use information available to the broader transit services provided. For example, in Minneapolis, in choosing community, such that guidance could be developed even with between route deviation and point deviation, the most a range of specificity of data available. important factor was the high number of attractors that needed to be served. Minneapolis thus chose the strict sched- uling of route deviation instead of the flexibility of point Overview of Results deviation because route deviation could serve more attractors Land-use data are becoming more readily available in than point deviation could serve. The productivity of route- many areas, but the lead agency for maintaining the data and deviation service was significantly higher than that of point- the types of data maintained can vary from one locale to deviation service. another. Further, although some transit operators are very As will be discussed further in the detailed case study familiar with these data, others do not use the land-use data, analysis, the preliminary case study analysis demonstrates especially in the specific ways developed in the research plan. several key findings. First, there is a wide range of perspec- As a result, no single method can be prescribed to access sim- tives regarding the role of suburban services, with evidence ilar land-use data across the country. that coverage is more important than productivity. This per- However, the general methodology employing the "four spective on suburban services differs from the general per- D's" can provide comparative information at the local level spective on fixed-route services. Productivity, in general, has that will assist in understanding the comparative potential been the main factor for evaluating fixed-route services. of various land-use factors to better support suburban tran- Thus, there sometimes are competing perspectives when sit options. Further, the terminology and analysis of peaks, evaluating suburban services. Second, recognizing the bene- ridges, points, and plains accurately describe the best service fits of some of the coverage-oriented programs has resulted delivery options for a given disaggregated land-use area. in better working relationships between transit agencies and The majority of the effort being expended by transit agen- communities, including passage of funding resources legis- cies, as reflected by the types of services included in the case lation, as evidenced by the SMART service in suburban studies, involves trying to serve lower-density areas with mul- Detroit. Conversely, in other areas locales have opted out of tiple land uses (residential, schools, commercial, and health- the transit district to make their own policy decisions and care). The range of solutions, from fixed route to route even provide funding for those services, like has happened deviation, has some interesting land-use correlations: for the Met Council area. Obviously, the ability to fund ser- vices that have much lower productivity than many fixed · Most services are operating in areas of less than 20,000 trip route systems is critical to maintaining sustainability, ends per square mile. This metric appears to be relatively whether this ability is based on policies to provide area cov- new, and perhaps it will be a new threshold for transit erage, local participation in funding the transit agency, or agencies to consider in planning activities. directly funding the services.