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 25
25 CHAPTER FOUL ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS An examination of the survey responses in Chapter 2 and a more in-depth look at the case studies in Chapter 3 indicate that transit agencies providing suburb-to-suburb services have some common elements that work to make their suburb-to- suburb transit more successful. These elements include the following: targeted marketing to the business community, partnerships with the private sector, involvement in site de- sigr~/land use issues, and transit's role in mobility management. The elements of success are briefly outlined next and spe- cific examples from individual transit agencies are provided. Success was defined by the agencies involved in suburb-to- suburb transit. Agencies selected were enthusiastic about their approaches to meeting suburb to-suburb travel. Perhaps the overriding key to success among all transit agencies was a willingness to aggressively pursue this new and expanding marI;et and to try new and different methods of marketing services to employers and employees. TARGETED MARKETING TO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY Two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that they con- duct specific outreach to the business community, such as sending direct mail to employers and employees. In addition, PACE and Seattle Metro have designated staff to market transit services in specific geographic areas. On an annual basis, PACE deals with approximately 2,200 employers. PACE's marketing development staff acts as a sales force with employers and municipalities because they feel that direct marketing through personal contact with employers is essen- tial to the success of suburb-to-suburb services. Seattle Metro provides schedule and route information tar- geted to specific employment sites such as the Bus to Boeing service. The agency's route and schedule brochure includes information targeted directly to Boeing employees, including information on Boeing's $15/month transportation subsidy for employees. Seattle Metro also provides limited overtime serv- ice for Boeing employees who are required to work late. PARTNERSHIPS U/ITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR More than one-half of the agencies surveyed have transpor- tation management associations/transportation management organizations (TMAs/TMOs) in their suburban service areas; comments regarding the usefulness of these agencies in re- gards to promotion of transit service were mixed. However, a large number of comments were positive and where the rela- tionships between an agency and TMA/TMO were strong, for example in Seattle and New Jersey, these partnerships were deemed to be quite beneficial. Seattle Metro has had particular success in financing and producing marketing information. The Overtake TMA pro- duces a guide in cooperation with Seattle Metro to riding the bus for commuters in Redmond, Washington. a suburb of Seattle. This guide (see Appendix F) provides information on 18 transit routes that serve Overtake area commuters as well as information on how to purchase transit passes; the guide also lists phone numbers of all transit operators in the area in- cluding Seattle Metro, Community Transit, and Pierce Transit. Seattle Metro also provides a service [or employers known as Riderlink, which is accessible through employee transpor- tation coordinators and at touch-screen kiosks at selected em- ployer sites. Riderlink provides ridesharing and transit infor- mation that includes how to fond a carpool or vanpool; road condition updates; and bus and ferry schedules, routes, and fares. At NJ Transit, a staff member sits on the Board of Direc- tors of the state's seven TMAs. NJ Transit staff regularly communicate with all of the TMAs that assist in marketing NJ Transit routes in their respective service areas. NJ Transit sends weekly ridership reports on the services operating in the TMA regions to inform the TMAs of how the routes are doing. INVOLVEMENT IN SITE DESIGN AND LAND USE ISSUES Fourteen out of 23 agencies responded that they are rou- tinely involved in site design and land use issues. As illus- trated by the case study in Chapter 3, OC Transpo is clearly the most involved of the survey respondents due to the re- gional policies in place that treat transit on an equal basis with all other utilities prior to subdivision approval. Another Ca- nadian agency, BC Transit in Vancouver, British Columbia, has a regional growth management strategy in place designed to develop six regional town centers with sufficient mass to support high-quality transit services. Similar to OC Transpo, BC Transit is pursuing a rapid bus strategy to shape future ur- ban development by replicating the attributes of rapid rail transit using low cost, successful bus technology. In addition, many agencies, including OC Transpo, PACE, NJ Transit, Mass Transit Administration of Maryland (MTA) in Baltimore, and Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority (C-TRAN) in Vancouver, Washington. have developed guidelines for transit friendly development, which are shared with the development community and local officials. MTA initiated its Access by Design program in 1988 to explain the significant benefits of transit accessibility to the development community and to provide operational and de- sign standards for specific transit facilities. The Access by' Design report presents threshold criteria for new services, ve- hicle specifications, operational standards, passenger ameni- ties, and geometric design standards. Included is a "transit
OCR for page 25
26 accessibility checklist' to help developers determine whether projects meet transit accessibility standards. In December 1989, PACE published a manual, PACE De- 'elopment Guidelines, to encourage development designs that incorporate public transportation considerations and the use of demand management techniques for controlling traffic con- gestion, improving job accessibility, and conserving public and private resources. PACE offers complimentary in-house development plait reviews through its market development program. The agency's staff work to identify ways in which transportation considerations can be incorporated into individ- ual development plans and suggest design options to make those developments more transit serviceable. In addition to distributing more than 2,000 copies of its development guide- lines, PACE has held workshops for developers, engineers, and community planners. In June 1994, NJ Transit published Planning for Transit Friendly Land Use A Handbook for New Jersey Communi- ties. This handbook was prepared as a guide to New Jersey communities that wish to consider the implementation of transit friendly land use plans around their transit stations, along their major transit corridors, and for proposed new areas of development. The NJ Transit handbook also contains a transit friendly checklist (Appendix E) to assist municipal representatives in deciding how transit friendly their current land use ordi- nances and master plans are. The document also provides model zoning, site plan, and redevelopment zoning ordi- nance language. TRANSIT'S ROLE IN MOBILITY MANAGEMENT In follow-up conversations, a number of survey respon- dents indicated an interest in operating multiple services to provide customers with a variety of nobility options including vanpooling. carpooling, demand response. flexible routes, and other nontraditional services. One factor of success noted in the PACE case study (Chapter 3) was "having more than one service option to offer to meet as many trip needs as possible in order to maximize transit share." In its Transit 2000 effort, the American Public Transit As- sociation (APTA) noted that "The direct operation of public transportation services represents only one response to provid- ing greater mobility and pursuing broader community and na- tional goals.'. APTA encouraged the transit industry to take on a broadened role in the overall 'management of mobility" (6). Many of the transit agencies surveyed have done just that. For example. the Corridor Transportation Corporation (CTC) in Laurel, Maryland (between Baltimore and Washing- ton, D.C.) incorporates the following language in its corporate missions "to create programs which will help mitigate vehicle trips, facilitate traffic circulation, reduce parking requirements, improve environmental conditions, and lower the cost of transportation services to the public in the mid Corridor." This mission goes far beyond just the operation of traditional fixed route transit service. Ridership on the CTC has increased an average of 20 percent each year since the service was initiated in 1990. The Westchester Coullty Department of Transportation (WCDOT) noted its ongoing marketing campaign to highlight its family of services concept. The agency actively promotes carpooling in the county in cooperation with Metropool. Inc. It also provides a guaranteed ride home service and is currently developing a preferential parking program for carpoolers and vanpoolers. Similar to many other U.S. transit agencies, Seattle Metro has fully embraced ca~pooling and vanpooling as integral to operation of the transit system. In Seattle, commuters need only call Seattle Metro's free regional ridematch system to be put in touch with other commuters who want to share a ride. Commuters receive a list of names and phone numbers of possible car and vanpool partners, plus tips on how to start a successful ridesharing arrangement. The agency provides its own vans for vanpoolers and markets its service as ;'Go First Class." PROGRAMS DEVELOPED TO MEET THE CLEAN AIR ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1990 The case studies for NJ Transit and GRATA (Chapter 3) are examples of how agencies used federal transportation funds (for highways and transit) to assist in the start-up of new suburb-to-suburb services for the purpose of meeting Clean Air Act requirements. Federal and state funds are avail- able to agencies to support the development, implementation, and operation of public transit projects and transportation management activities, such as employer-based trip reduction programs, ridesharing activities, and other demand manage- ment actions. In the counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara, California, employers can receive public subsidies of up to 75 percent of the estimated annual operating costs for shuttle services from San Francisco-Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BARI) and CALTRAIN rail stations. The program is limited to work trips from regional rail facilities to places of employment, and no fares will be collected on the shuttles as employer subsidies of 25 percent will replace the fares. Employers are encouraged to work together to develop routing proposals that serve multiple employers. This program, which is being offered to assist employers in meeting their trip reduction requirements under the 1990 CAAA, is funded by the Air District through the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB). The JPB is a joint power agency that operates CALTRAW services and is composed of San Mateo County Transit District, and the counties of San Francisco and Santa Clara. The JPB initiated rail shuttle services in 1989 and currently operates 27 shuttle buses to and from office and industrial parks. Although clean air requirements are currently being chal- lenged at both the state and federal levels, it is clear that in the United States, these requirements have served as the impetus for many new transit services. Should these requirements be overturned, the willingness of the private sector to help fund operation of these services may be diminished.