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T R A N S :[ T C O O P E R A T ~ V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M Synthesis of Transit Practice 14 Innovative Suburb-to-Suburb Transit Practices KATHERINE S. HOOPER Falmouth, Maine TOPIC PANE1 PAMELA J. BF,LCHAMBER, Vallejo Transit WAYNE BERMAN, Federal Highway Administration DAVID F. BONE, Montgomery County Division off Transit Services TERRANCE BRANNON, PACE Suburbs Bus D~wion of the RTA JOSF,PH M. GOODMAN, Federal Transit Administration ALAN E. PISA~KI, Falls Circe ~rgi':ia LAUREL J. RADOW, Amencan Public Transit Association DANIEL RUDGE, University of South Florida JAMES A. SCOTT, Transportation Research Board FRANK SPIELBERG, SO Associates, Inc. JON WILLIAMS, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Research Board National Research Council Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Dee elopment Corporation NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1995
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nation s growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- mental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is nec- 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- gran~ (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to Sleet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213 Research for Public Transit: New Directions, pub- lished in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transit Association (APIA), Transportation 2000, also recog- nized the need tor local, problem-solving research. TCRP, mod- eled after the longstanding and successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit service providers. The scope of vice configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and adminis- ~ative practices. TCRP was established under ETA sponsorship in July 1992. Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. TCRP was authorized as part of tile Intermodal Surface Transportation ED f~ciency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooperating organizations: ETA, the National Acad- emy of Sciences, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization estab- lished by APIA. TDC is responsible for foraging the i~depend- ent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodi- cally but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at anytime. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the re- search program by identifying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to all expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select con- ~actors, 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 research 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 research: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit prac- tice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. APIA will arrange for workshops, Gaining aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can coop- eratively address common operational problems. TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and Paining programs. TCRP SYNTHESIS 14 Project SB-2 ISSN 1073~880 ISBN 0-309-05862-7 Libraly of Congress Catalog Card No. 95-61367 Price $14.00 NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was ~ part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Re- search Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the Na- tional Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the purposes arid resources of the National Research Council. The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for recognize scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions 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 necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Council, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the techni- cal panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Govern- ing Board of the National Research Council. Special Notice The Transportation Research Board, the Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Council. and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative Re- searc~h Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project report. Published reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in He United States of America
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PREFACE A vast storehouse of information exists on many subjects of concern to the transit in dustry. This information has resulted from research and from the successful application of solutions to problems by individuals or organizations. There is a continuing need to provide a systematic means for compiling this information and making it available to the entire transit community in a usable format. The Transit Cooperative Research Pro gram includes a synthesis series designed to search for and synthesize useful knowledge from all available sources and to prepare documented reports on current practices in subject areas of concern to the transit industry. This synthesis series reports on various practices, making specific recommendations where appropriate but without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or de sign manuals. Nonetheless, these documents can serve similar purposes, for each is a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be successful in resolving specific problems. The extent to which these reports are useful will be tem pered by the user's knowledge and experience in the particular problem area. FOREWORD This synthesis win be of interest to transit agency general managers and their market By Stay ing and planning staffs. It will also be of interest to state departments of transportation, Transportation metropolitan planning organizations, and other professionals in the private sector con- Research Board corned with the provision of suburban transportation services. This synthesis provides information about the suburban shift from the more traditional central business district- oriented service patterns of selected transit agencies. Transit agencies with limited mar- keting successes in this area are being challenged to address these non-aaditional mar- kets anew. Administrators, practitioners, and researchers are continually faced with issues or problems on which there is much information, either in the form of reports or in terms of undocumented experience and practice. Unfortunately, this information often is scat- tered or not readily available in the literature, and, as a consequence, in seeking solu- tions, full information on what has been learned about an issue or problem is not as- sembled. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and full consideration may not be given to the available methods of solving or alleviating the issue or problem. In an effort to correct this situation, the Transit Co- operative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis Project, carried out by the Transportation Research Board as the research agency, has the objective of reporting on common transit issues and problems and synthesizing available information. The synthesis reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP publication series in which various forms of relevant information are assembled into single, concise documents pertaining to a specific or closely related issue or problem. This report of the Transportation Research Board describes some common elements of success among transit agencies with services that have suburban origins and destina- tions and that serve largely suburban travel needs. This synthesis documents current transit agency practice regarding targeted marketing, partnerships with the private
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sector, site design and land use issues, and transit's role both as "mobility manager" and in taking corrective actions to attain national air quality standards. Selected case study examples representing the wide diversity of suburb-to-suburb transit services being of- fered in the United States and Canada describe in more detail where innovative ap- proaches are being used to meet increased travel demands. To develop this synthesis in a comprehensive manner and to ensure inclusion of significant knowledge, available information was assembled from numerous sources, including a number of public transportation agencies. A topic panel of experts in the subject area was established to guide the researchers in organizing and evaluating the collected data, and to review the final synthesis report. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records practices that were ac- ceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at flee time of its preparation. As the processes of advancement continue, new knowledge can be expected to be added to that now at hand.