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31 While TNCs are still evolving in many markets, public transit agencies may benefit from proactively engaging with these services in ways that align with their goals, including through partnerships, pilots, and other measures to encourage complementary usage and promote multiÂ modal lifestyles. This section presents a series of guidance for transit agencies that draw from the reportâs findÂ ings as well as from emerging best practices from areas that have the longest experience engaging with TNCs and new forms of shared mobility. Because the opportunities and challenges are different in each market, researchers developed distinct guidance for transit agencies in large, midsized, and smaller urban areas, although readers may find that some are applicable regardless of metro size. Note that the guidance are keyed to the size of the urban area, not to the size of the transit agency, as urban form and extent appear to be key to determining how TNCs work in a region. These are intended to be broad guidelines that can be tailored to the specific conditions of a given agency, with the general goal of helping to maintain and support transit and increase affordable, environmentally sound transportation options for a wide range of users. Transit Agencies in Large Urban Areas Transit agencies in large urban areas should, above all, continue to prioritize rail, bus rapid transit, busÂonly lanes, and other transitÂcentered approaches that help mitigate urban congestion and move large numbers of people efficiently and effectively. The TNC travel data shows that the greatest volumes of TNC trips are concentrated in urban cores, where the most transit service is available and many transit modes and routes converge. While there are opportunities to engage with TNCs, priority in core areas should be placed on the efficient use of highÂcapacity transit vehicles over other motorized modes of travel, regardless of whether those are operated commercially or by private individuals. Partnerships and policies should focus on fostering structures where transit agenciesâ and TNCsâ incentives are aligned, while continuing to meet the public interest. Central to such efforts are policies that encourage and prioritize TNC trips that are concurrently shared, thus reducing possible congestion and VMT impacts from additional private vehicles on the street. Designate specific curb space near transit stops and stations for for-hire vehicle pick- ups and dropoffs. â¢ Define specific areas for taxi and TNC pickups to help support riders making transit connecÂ tions, while helping to keep vehicles providing these services out of the way of transit vehicles and out of areas dedicated to bicycles and other modes. C H A P T E R 5 Conclusion
32 Broadening Understanding of the Interplay Among Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles â¢ Collaborate with local transportation departments to determine effective allocation of scarce street space. Because siloed management can make this more difficult, transit agencies and local governments can benefit from crossÂagency working groups and other collaborations to help manage street space around transit stations and in other ways that prioritize the efficient movement of transit vehicles. Pursue opportunities for cost savings through call-n-ride, paratransit, and late-night partnerships. â¢ Explore partnerships with TNCs to provide paratransit, callÂnÂride, and lateÂnight services, which are often among a transit agencyâs most expensive services to operate. However, since TNCs have had difficulty reliably making wheelchairÂaccessible vehicles (WAVs) available through their basic platforms, it may be necessary for them to include other partners to supply WAVs, to satisfy the ADA requirements that are central to the public transit service provision. Move to a mobility broker/manager model. â¢ Explore opportunities for the integration of modes and services through mobile apps and unified platforms for payment, scheduling, and routing. â¢ Ensure that the public good is being served. If there is no explicit connection to larger public goals such as broadening transportation access, congestion mitigation, or building underÂ standing of evolving travel patterns, transit agencies should consider whether a partnership is actually worth pursuing, or if it is merely innovation for innovationâs sake. Track and understand TNC usage. â¢ Collaborate to develop common survey questions. Following the lead of the Four Agency Survey described in this report, more transit agencies should collaborate to develop and incorÂ porate a common set of questions into marketing surveys to track changes in transit ridership (and reasons for them) over time. Surveys should be at the regional level or at least not focused specifically on the services of the administering transit agency, so that impacts on all transit modes and across service providers in a region can be understood. â¢ Make data sharing mandatory as part of any partnership. TNCs must demonstrate they are good partners by providing detailed data that can help transit agencies and local governments understand transportation demand and plan effectively for the future. As they are located in the largest TNC markets, larger transit agencies and their local government counterparts generally have the most leverage over TNCs. â¢ Transportation departments and transit agencies should be part of policymaking about what types of data are collected and provided for analysis. While some data is already routinely collected from TNCs by public agencies, it is often related to licensing or other business inforÂ mation that, while important, does little to help inform the urban mobility picture. Robust protections against disclosure of personally identifiable information should be central to data sharing agreements with TNCs. Transit Agencies in Midsized Urban Areas Transit agencies in midsized (and often expanding) urban areas, especially those characterÂ ized by extensive, lowÂdensity development patterns that are less conducive to transit access, might explore firstÂmile/lastÂmile partnership opportunities with TNCs that can help attract new transit riders and increase the utility of public transit for trips starting or ending away from highÂfrequency transit routes. These transit agencies must work to broaden their utility for a variety of usersâincluding TNC users, who the surveys find to be less carÂreliant even at higher
Conclusion 33 income levels, and thus a prime transit constituency. As with public transit agencies in larger urban areas, transit agencies in midsized regions should start with their broader goals in mind and ask how TNCs fit into that vision, not the other way around. Pursue first-mile/last-mile partnerships to expand transitâs reach. â¢ Explore opportunities for TNC partnerships that can help more transit riders reach buses and trains. These partnerships may feature wholly or partly subsidized trips within a certain geoÂfenced area or at certain transit stops. â¢ Ensure that new partnerships with TNCs are supported with strong marketing and local outÂ reach efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the services, boosting the chances of uptake and success. Use co-marketing to reach new transit riders. â¢ Take advantage of the visibility of TNCs and other new services by conducting coÂmarketing campaigns that can bring new transit riders into the system. In many midsized cities, TNCs and transit agencies face a common challenge in the relative ease of traveling by private autoÂ mobiles. Joint marketing efforts can help to promote the advantages and flexibility of using TNCs and transit together. â¢ Leverage large events such as concerts, festivals, conferences, and sporting events as opporÂ tunities to promote firstÂmile/lastÂmile TNC trips to transit (in concurrently shared services wherever possible) and reduce private automobile congestion and parking needs at both ends of the journey. Support multimodal lifestyles through mobile app integration. â¢ Encourage multimodal trips and lifestyles by integrating TNCs and transitâand promoting linked tripsâin available multimodal trip planning and fare payment apps. Partner with large employers and institutions on transportation demand management strategies. â¢ Work with companies and large local institutions to drive behavior change by encouraging employees, patrons, and students to leave cars at home and travel by transit and other nonÂ auto modes. Such measures can help ensure that urban growth does not inevitably lead to gridlock. TNCs can be part of the menu of travel options that help make carÂfree/carÂlight, transitÂcentered lifestyles possible even in places where a car is still needed for many trips. â¢ Encourage employers to avoid providing free or subsidized parking, which encourages more SOV trips. Priority parking should be offered to employees that carpool to work. â¢ Include TNCs among âguaranteed ride homeâ options for transit commuter, vanpool, or carpooling programs, helping to remove some of the uncertainty that discourages particiÂ pation in these programs. For instance, employees who miss their regular bus, carpool, or vanpool could be eligible to take a reimbursed TNC trip home a certain number of times per month or quarter. Transit Agencies in Smaller Urban Areas Public transit agencies in smaller urban areas, or those with a smaller service footprint, typically rely on a different mix of operating revenue sources than larger transit agencies and often face challenges to providing frequent service across widespread areas. They may therefore be most interested in partnering with TNCs to provide alternatives to underused or unproductive routes and help expand their base of regular users. These efforts should focus on allowing transit agencies to concentrate their resources on key highÂfrequency routes while also attracting new
34 Broadening Understanding of the Interplay Among Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and Personal Automobiles transit riders through explicit linkages to filling service gaps in time or geography, such as late nights, weekends, and in unserved areas. Pursue partnerships to fill service gaps. â¢ Explore opportunities for TNC partnerships that can help augment fixed route service in areas with poor transit coverage as well as to help provide extended options for hardÂtoÂserve populations such as service industry employees and thirdÂshift workers. Use TNCs to support demand responsive transit services. â¢ Leverage TNCs to support demand responsive transit service outside of the highest use hours. Small transit agencies that already contract some or all of their services can add TNCs as part of a smallÂvehicle, demand responsive option in some areas to further reduce costs while retaining transit ridership.