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8 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW INTRODUCTION SPECIFIC CIRCULATORS This chapter summarizes findings from a literature review Several studies and articles reported on the details of specific related to downtown circulators. A TRIS search was con- downtown circulators. The LINK downtown circulator in Ann ducted to aid the review, using keywords such as "circulator," Arbor, Michigan, has been the subject of two detailed articles. "downtown circulator," "downtown shuttle," "downtown trol- White and Malloy (2008) examined design, implementation, ley," and "downtown and transit." and evaluation of the LINK service (3). This paper detailed the efforts of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) in planning and operating the route, from an inclusive plan- OVERVIEW OF DOWNTOWN CIRCULATORS ning process to an innovative marketing campaign to survey research used to bring service more in line with riders' trans- The most detailed review of multiple downtown circulators is portation needs. In August 2003, AATA introduced the a 2005 study by Perk et al. (1). This report reviewed five down- 3.2-mile LINK route, which connected downtown districts town circulators from around the country and reported on three case studies in Florida. Several conclusions were drawn from and the University of Michigan campus. For the first year of the analysis, including: operation ridership remained low, peaking at 282 riders per weekday and 9 passengers per service hour. During this time, There is no one-size-fits-all approach; circulator sys- AATA conducted two onboard rider surveys. The results of tems are designed for a variety of purposes. Each circu- these surveys inspired several service changes introduced in lator reviewed has unique aspects, making comparisons June and August 2004, which lead to a near doubling in rider- difficult. ship. By March 2005, ridership had hit 821 average weekday Frequency, reliability, and good connections with riders and 23 passengers per service hour. The success of the other transit modes are service elements associated service enabled the LINK to continue a modified route with with successful circulators. Relatively high levels funding shared between the AATA, University of Michigan, of population and/or employment density are also and Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. important. The circulator rider is likely to be unfamiliar with tran- Cornillie (2006) examined the funding and planning evolu- sit; therefore, simplicity in routing and ample signage is tion of the LINK service in Ann Arbor (4). The paper notes the necessary. use of a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant in service Ideally the circulator service is customized for the pur- implementation and stresses the importance of an ongoing pose it is serving. Downtown employees have no inter- planning process that continued to engage stakeholders and led est in a tour of local attractions. to the successful redesign of the route. Nominal or no fares encourage ridership. A strong customer perspective and customer-service In an article describing changes in ABQ Ride, the transit orientation tends to lead to success. agency serving Albuquerque, New Mexico, Martinez (2008) It is important for the circulator to have its own reported on the launch of a free downtown circulator in 2007 identity. (5). The circulator was designed to connect the Rail Runner Marketing for the circulator may need to be different commuter rail station (also the location of the ABQ Ride from marketing for the transit system as a whole. Transit Center) to shopping and employment destinations in Local partnerships are important. the heart of downtown Albuquerque. It is likely that a mixture of funding sources will be used for a downtown circulator. Two examples of downtown circulators in Arkansas have been described in the literature. Bell (2009) discusses the Ohland (2004) summarized streetcars and trolleys in rela- impacts of Central Arkansas Transit's streetcar line on the tion to their role in urban revitalization projects (2). This arti- Little Rock metropolitan area (6). The streetcar line provides cle focused on the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon, and a new image for transit as well as a new mobility option in also discussed successful implementations in San Diego and Little Rock. Simpson (2004) described how the trolley sys- Tampa. tem that Eureka Springs Transit operates meets the needs of