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TRANSIT TCRP SYNTHESIS 87 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by Practices in the Development the Federal and Deployment of Transit Administration Downtown Circulators A Synthesis of Transit Practice
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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2010 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS ANN AUGUST Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Chair: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Authority Governments, Arlington Vice Chair: Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore MEMBERS Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board JOHN BARTOSIEWICZ McDonald Transit Associates MEMBERS MICHAEL BLAYLOCK Jacksonville Transportation Authority J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY LINDA J. BOHLINGER ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg HNTB Corp. LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson RAUL BRAVO DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Raul V. Bravo & Associates Corporation, Norfolk, VA GREGORY COOK WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Veolia Transportation Los Angeles TERRY GARCIA CREWS EUGENE A. CONTI, JR., Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina DOT, Raleigh StarTran NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and ANGELA IANNUZZIELLO Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville ENTRA Consultants JOHN INGLISH JEFFREY W. HAMIEL, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Utah Transit Authority PAULA J. HAMMOND, Secretary, Washington State DOT, Olympia SHERRY LITTLE EDWARD A. (NED) HELME, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Spartan Solutions, LLC ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley JONATHAN H. MCDONALD SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City HNTB Corporation DEBRA L. MILLER, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka GARY W. MCNEIL SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson GO Transit TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA MICHAEL P. MELANIPHY STEVEN T. SCALZO, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA Motor Coach Industries HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., BRADFORD MILLER Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority St. Louis, MO FRANK OTERO BEVERLY A. SCOTT, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid PACO Technologies Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA KEITH PARKER DAVID SELTZER, Principal, Mercator Advisors LLC, Philadelphia, PA VIA Metropolitan Transit DANIEL SPERLING, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; PETER ROGOFF Director, Institute of Transportation Studies; and Interim Director, Energy Efficiency Center, FTA University of California, Davis JEFFREY ROSENBERG KIRK T. STEUDLE, Director, Michigan DOT, Lansing Amalgamated Transit Union DOUGLAS W. STOTLAR, President and CEO, Con-Way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI RICHARD SARLES C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority MICHAEL SCANLON Texas, Austin San Mateo County Transit District JAMES STEM EX OFFICIO MEMBERS United Transportation Union PETER H. APPEL, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT GARY THOMAS J. RANDOLPH BABBITT, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Dallas Area Rapid Transit REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, FRANK TOBEY Smyrna, GA First Transit MATTHEW O. TUCKER GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute North County Transit District of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, PAM WARD Washington, DC Ottumwa Transit Authority ANNE S. FERRO, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT ALICE WIGGINS-TOLBERT LEROY GISHI, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Parsons Brinckerhoff the Interior, Washington, DC EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC EX OFFICIO MEMBERS JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and WILLIAM W. MILLAR APTA Transportation Officials, Washington, DC ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR. DAVID T. MATSUDA, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT TRB VICTOR M. MENDEZ, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT JOHN C. HORSLEY WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC AASHTO TARA O'TOOLE, Under Secretary for Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Homeland VICTOR MENDEZ Security, Washington, DC FHWA ROBERT J. PAPP (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CYNTHIA L. QUARTERMAN, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety LOUIS SANDERS APTA Administration, U.S.DOT PETER M. ROGOFF, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT SECRETARY DAVID L. STRICKLAND, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS U.S.DOT TRB JOSEPH C. SZABO, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT POLLY TROTTENBERG, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of December 2010. *Membership as of October 2010.
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 87 Practices in the Development and Deployment of Downtown Circulators A Synthesis of Transit Practice CONSULTANT DAN BOYLE Dan Boyle & Associates, Inc. San Diego, California S UBSCRIBER C ATEGORIES Public Transit · Administration and Management · Planning and Forecasting Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2011 www.TRB.org
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 87 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- Project J-7, Topic SA-23 mental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit ISSN 1073-4880 systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of ISBN 978-0-309-14328-8 upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, Library of Congress Control Number 2010943181 and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is nec- © 2011 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. essary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Pro- COPYRIGHT INFORMATION gram (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for meet demands placed on it. obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce Report 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, pub- material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. lished in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Federal Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or recognized the need for local, problem-solving research. TCRP, practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document modeled after the longstanding and successful National Coopera- for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment tive Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the technical activities in response to the needs of transit service provid- material, request permission from CRP. ers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, fa- cilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and ad- NOTICE ministrative practices. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Co- TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. operative Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Effi- Council. ciency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with the three cooperating organizations: FTA, the National Academy of regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical Sciences, acting through the Transportation Research Board panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Gov- erning Board of the National Research Council. nonprofit educational and research organization established by The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent govern- of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those ing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selec- of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the tion (TOPS) Committee. program sponsors. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodi- cally but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the re- The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National search program by identifying the highest priority projects. As Research Council, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' levels and expected products. names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, ap- object of the report. pointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical 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 re- search programs 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 disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the re- Published reports of the search: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. are available from: APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and Transportation Research Board other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban Business Office and rural transit industry practitioners. 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can coop- eratively address common operational problems. The TCRP results and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore support and complement other ongoing transit research and train- ing programs. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academys í p urposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transporta- tion, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research DWIGHT A. FERRELL Programs Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA GWEN CHISHOLM SMITH, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS DEBRA W. ALEXANDER TCRP SYNTHESIS STAFF Capital Area Transportation Authority, Lansing, MI STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs DONNA DeMARTINO JON M. WILLIAMS, Program Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer MARK W. FUHRMANN DON TIPPMAN, Senior Editor Metro Transit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN DEMISHA WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant ROBERT H. IRWIN DEBBIE IRVIN, Program Associate Consultant, Calgary, AB, Canada PAUL J. LARROUSSE TOPIC PANEL Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ MEI CHEN, University of Kentucky DAVID A. LEE PHILIP L. FRY, CT Transit Connecticut Transit, Hartford, CT NANCY A. GOLDENBERG, Central City District, Philadelphia FRANK T. MARTIN TODD HEMINGSON, Capital Metropolitan Transportation PBS&J Tallahassee, FL Authority, Austin, TX BRADFORD J. MILLER JAMIE KENDRICK, Baltimore City Department of Transportation Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Wallingford, CT HAYWARD M. SEYMORE, III DAVID RZEPINSKI, Marin Transit, San Rafael, CA Kitsap Transit, Bremerton, WA PETER SHAW, Transportation Research Board PAM WARD FRANK T. MARTIN, PBS&J, Tallahassee, FL (Liaison) Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA SHARON PUGH, Federal Transit Administration (Liaison) FTA LIAISON MICHAEL BALTES Federal Transit Administration LISA COLBERT Federal Transit Administration TRB LIAISON JENNIFER A. ROSALES Transportation Research Board PETER SHAW Transportation Research Board Cover figure: The Charm City Circulator complements pedestrian activity in downtown Baltimore. Credit: http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/content/schedule.
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FOREWORD Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and prac- tice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviat- ing the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day- to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Coopera- tive Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP report series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE The purpose of this synthesis was to document the state of the practice for transit agen- By Donna L. Vlasak cies in terms of development, deployment, and sustainability of downtown circulator sys- Senior Program Officer tems. It was accomplished through a literature review, transportation/transit agency survey, Transportation and case studies. Seven case studies across a geographic range of locations offer additional Research Board details on innovative and successful practices, as well as other related issues. These circu- lator locations include downtowns in Baltimore, Maryland; Hartford, Connecticut; Louisville, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, Cali- fornia; and Austin, Texas. Thirty-seven completed surveys were received from 42 agencies, yielding an 88% re- sponse rate. Results included transit agency assessments of the success of downtown circu- lators, benefits and drawbacks, desired changes, and lessons learned. Agencies that have discontinued or never implemented downtown circulators were also surveyed to gain an un- derstanding of or the reasoning behind their decisions. Dan Boyle, Dan Boyle & Associates, San Diego, collected and synthesized the informa- tion and wrote the report, under the guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the lim- itations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Project Background and Objectives, 5 Technical Approach, 5 Organization of This Report, 6 8 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction, 8 Overview of Downtown Circulators, 8 Specific Circulators, 8 Summary, 9 10 CHAPTER THREE SURVEY RESULTS: DOWNTOWN CIRCULATORS Introduction, 10 Downtown Circulators, Now and in the Past, 10 Beginnings, 10 Market for the Circulator, 11 Design of the Downtown Circulator, 13 Administration, 13 Operation, 14 Marketing, 17 Ridership and Productivity, 19 Summary, 19 22 CHAPTER FOUR AGENCY ASSESSMENT OF DOWNTOWN CIRCULATORS Introduction, 22 Ratings of Downtown Circulator, 22 Lessons Learned, 22 Summary, 26 28 CHAPTER FIVE CASE STUDIES Introduction, 28 Baltimore City Department of Transportation--Baltimore, MD, 28 CTTRANSIT--Hartford, CT, 32 City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation--Los Angeles, CA, 35 Transit Authority of River City--Louisville, KY, 39 Center City District--Philadelphia, PA, 41 District Department of Transportation--Washington, DC, 43 Capital Metro--Austin, TX, 46 50 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS Introduction, 50 Circulator Design and Implementation, 50
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Agency Assessments of Downtown Circulators, 51 Lessons Learned--Survey Respondents, 51 Lessons Learned--Case Studies, 52 Conclusions and Areas of Future Study, 53 55 ACRONYMS 56 REFERENCES 57 APPENDIX A TCRP SYNTHESIS SURVEY: DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF DOWNTOWN CIRCULATORS 75 APPENDIX B SUMMARY OF SURVEY RESULTS 112 APPENDIX C PARTICIPATING TRANSIT AGENCIES