National Academies Press: OpenBook

Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns (2019)

Chapter: Appendix A - Reviews of National Reports

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Page 83
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Reviews of National Reports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25487.
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Page 84
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Reviews of National Reports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25487.
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Page 84
Page 85
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Reviews of National Reports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25487.
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Page 85
Page 86
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Reviews of National Reports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25487.
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Page 86
Page 87
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Reviews of National Reports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25487.
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Page 87

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

83 A.1 Overview Within each topic area, articles are sorted chronologically. Some secondary, additional sources were added as references in the literature review text because they were needed for the narrative, however these secondary sources are not listed below but are included as references in the body of this report, where appropriate. A.2 Case Study Research Inclusive Planning Process for Citywide Bus Network Restructuring: Experience and Impacts (Currie and Tivendale 2010) This study portrayed the steps behind an inclusive planning and network design process in Melbourne, Australia. Rather than use complex transportation demand modeling, the authors combined route- and stop-level data analysis and visualization tools with public and bus opera- tor feedback using an iterative engagement process to identify the most critical network changes needed and to build consensus on the final network design and areas for transit service growth. The authors report that the process has led to stakeholder buy-in to the degree that additional revenues have come from the government to improve services. Redesigning an Existing Transit Network from Scratch (Boyle and Rey 2012) In this study, the authors discuss their work redesigning the bus network in Greensboro, North Carolina. The authors guided Greensboro through a bus network redesign study that sought to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the bus network, resulting in a recommen- dation to convert from a centralized, radial system to a multiple-hub-and-spoke system. They discuss the planning process, the resulting network plan, and the challenges they faced during the project. Analyzing the Effects of Transit Network Change on Agency Performance and Riders in a Decentralized, Small-to-Midsized U.S. Metropolitan Area: A Case Study of Tallahassee, Florida (Brown et al. 2013) The study investigated the effects of the Tallahassee network redesign, looking for changes in ridership patterns, variations in the use of transit by different populations or geographies, and rider and community perceptions of the network redesign. The Effects of Perception vs. “Reality” on Travel Behavior after a Major Transit Service Change: The Case of Tallahassee, Florida (Bhattacharya et al. 2014) This study was also based on the network redesign in Tallahassee. The authors investigated the perceptions of riders in a low-income community and a student community regarding the A P P E N D I X A Reviews of National Reports

84 Synthesis on Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns outcomes of the network redesign. The authors compared those perceptions with objective outcome measures of the redesign. The authors found that under the new network both com- munities had better service; however, low-income riders perceived the service changes as nega- tive while student riders perceived the changes as positive. These differences in perception also generated changes in transit use—student ridership increased while ridership from the low- income community decreased. Bus Network Modification Problem: A New Approach to Bus Network Design (Kalantari et al. 2014) In this article, the authors present an alternative to the blank slate approach for bus net- work planning, which they call a modification approach. In their approach, the authors aim to improve the overall performance of the network by making minimal changes to the network. The authors developed an algorithm that optimizes transit network performance metrics while keeping the new network as similar as possible to the current network based on a calculated “similarity index.” How Network Structure Can Boost and Shape the Demand for Bus Transit (Badia et al. 2017) This study examines the transit demand that resulted after a grid-type transfer-based bus network was implemented in Barcelona, Spain. The authors found that the new network has attracted more ridership than the previous network, suggesting that an appropriately-designed grid network can increase ridership. Learnings from Urban Bus Network Change (Trapote-Barreira et al. 2016) The paper presents the strategies used to improve bus service in Lleida, Spain while also saving resources by implementing a bus network redesign. The authors discuss the objectives of the network redesign, the public engagement process, network evaluation criteria, and the phases of implementation. Untangling Transit: Bus Network Redesign Workshop Proceedings (TransitCenter, 2017) This workshop proceedings document from the July 13, 2017 workshop shares lessons learned based on the input of more than 30 transit agencies at varying stages of system redesigns, from fully implemented to those considering significant changes to their bus networks. The report summarizes discussions from the event into a guide of best practices for transit agencies and others to use as they consider whether and how to update their bus route networks. A.3 Industry Resources and Overviews TCRP Synthesis 10: Bus Route Evaluation Standards (Benn 1995) This synthesis report discusses the prevalence and contents of documented bus route stan- dards by transit agencies, including standards for route, corridor, and bus stop spacing; limi- tations on route deviations and branches; route proximity to residences and non-residences, and requirements for population and employment density, among other factors. The research did not specifically address network design standards as a concept; however, transit agencies did have standards for network connectivity, limitations on the number of passenger transfers, and service area coverage—all of which influence a bus network’s overall design. Continuing Examination of Successful Transit Ridership Initiatives (Stanley 1998) The author held interviews with more than 50 transit agency managers and drew conclusions about factors that contributed to ridership increases between 1994 and 1996. Even in this period

Reviews of National Reports 85 of time, the author found that service restructuring was prevalent and in some cases helped with ridership growth. Keeping up with the Joneses: Radial vs. Multidestinational Transit in Decentralizing Regions (Thompson and Matoff 2003) The authors examined ridership data from 1983 through 1998 for nine urban regions and compared the service effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of radial (focused on a single central business district) and multi-destinational (serving many regional destinations) transit networks. The authors found that, after controlling for population, multi-destinational networks were more effective and equally efficient as radial networks. TCRP Report 95: Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes Handbook (3rd ed.), Chapter 10, Bus Routing and Coverage (Pratt and Evans 2004) Chapter 10 of TCRP Report 95 provides an overview of how riders tend to react, on average, to different types of bus routing and coverage changes. The authors discuss many different types of service changes, including “service restructuring,” which is the closest type of change to what this report considers a comprehensive bus network redesign. The handbook provides transit managers some guidance on how riders might react to a service restructuring based on several case studies. Bus Network Redesigns are the ‘Hottest Trend in Transit’ (Vock 2017) This non-academic article from Governing Magazine suggests that bus network redesigns have become increasingly popular as a strategy to both counter ridership losses and to realign bus networks with the demographic and land-use changes in cities. The author suggests that typical route changes, new routes, or service level changes are not enough to address the big challenges facing cities and their transit agencies. A.4 Self-Published Documents from Transit Agencies Heartland Regional Transit Vision: Metro Fixed-Route Operations Analysis—Network Evolu- tion Plan (Transportation Management & Design 2013) Omaha Metro in Omaha, Nebraska undertook a network redesign effort entitled the Network Evolution Plan, which resulted in a phased bus network reconfiguration that was implemented in 2015 (Jaffe 2015). The document describes the goals and background for the study, reports on existing conditions, and discusses service change recommendations across three implemen- tation phases. Reimagined Five-Year Transit Service Plan (Houston METRO 2014) The self-published document is a comprehensive overview which describes the goals, objectives, process, and service recommendations for the Harris County Transit Authority’s (Houston METRO) System Reimaging, which was implemented in August of 2015 (Houston METRO n.d.). CARTS Redesign Draft Plan (Cherriots 2016) Cherriots, the transit operator in the Salem Area Mass Transit District in Salem, Oregon, launched a network redesign initiative in 2016 to evaluate the eight-route regional bus system, known at the time as CARTS but rebranded as Cherriots Regional when the network changes were implemented in 2017. The draft network redesign document highlights the rationale

86 Synthesis on Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns behind the network redesign, the steps taken (including public outreach), and the proposed recommendations. Moving Forward Together Plan (Halifax Transit 2016a) Halifax Transit, the transit provider in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, launched its network redesign project by establishing a set of board-approved “principles” in 2014, which, among other things, sought to increase the proportion of resources allocated toward high-ridership services. This self-published document discusses the principles, public outreach, service recom- mendations, and implementation plan. Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA): Draft Bus Service Plan Recommendations (Dallas Area Rapid Transit 2016) This document is the executive summary of Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) COA, which was phase one of developing DART’s 2040 Transit System Plan. The document sum- marizes the goals and recommendations from DART’s COA, which began in 2014 and was completed in 2016. The service recommendations represent a 42% increase in operating costs and will require a long-term, phased approach that prioritizes implementation of changes as resources allow. Some of the changes are planned for implementation in 2018 (Dallas Area Rapid Transit 2017). Route Optimization Initiative: Case Study (Jacksonville Transportation Authority 2016) The Jacksonville Transportation Authority implemented its restructuring in December of 2014 under the moniker of the Route Optimization Initiative (or ROI). The document contains the play-by-play account of Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s ROI, including the ratio- nale for the change, the process of data analysis and engagement, strategies for implementation day, and lessons learned. 2016–2040 Long-Range Transit Plan (Central Ohio Transit Authority 2016) The Central Ohio Transit Authority’s (COTA) 2016–2040 Long-Range Transit Plan has con- tents typical of a long-range transit plan except that it also has the details of COTA’s short-range (through 2019) network redesign project known as the Transit System Redesign (TSR), which began in 2013. The document describes steps of the TSR, including the evaluation of the existing transit system, public outreach, service change recommendations, and implementation plans. Like Houston METRO, COTA decided to set an explicit goal for the use of resources: 70% of resources was allocated to high-ridership lines and 30% to coverage lines. Launching the Network Redesign (Maryland Transit Administration 2017) This document is a presentation to the Baltimore Metropolitan Council by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) about its BaltimoreLink bus service redesign project. The pre- sentation highlights the goals of the network redesign and provides an overview of the major changes including service, technology, and infrastructure improvements. The network redesign was implemented in one day in 2017 and MTA continues evaluation and implementation of additional changes as needed. BaltimoreLink Final Report (DRAFT) (Maryland Transit Administration 2018) This document is a comprehensive summary document that describes the original network and its performance, the redesign goals and parameters, and the methodology followed for plan- ning the redesigned network. It also covers the other key elements of the program including system rebranding, infrastructure investments, public outreach and education, and internal communications. It also discusses key elements of implementation for a systemwide launch conducted in one day.

Reviews of National Reports 87 Staten Island Bus Study—Reimagining Express Buses (NYCT 2017) New York City Transit (NYCT) of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City launched the Staten Island Bus Study to improve Staten Island bus service, using a network perspective rather than just looking at individual routes. The study resulted in two phases of recommendations of which restructuring the express bus network is the first. The document highlights NYCT’s express bus network redesign data analysis, public engagement, and draft recommendations. As of February 2018, the final, approved express bus recommendations had not yet been released. Recommendations for improving local bus service will be released at a later date.

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TCRP Synthesis 140: Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns provides an overview of the current state of practice regarding comprehensive bus network redesign. The study examines practices among agencies of different sizes, geographic locations, and modes.

The report captures the many components that are needed to successfully plan and implement a redesign and carefully considers the goals and objectives that agencies set forth when they began that process, helping them determine whether a redesign even made sense for the agency at that point in time.

Comprehensive bus network redesigns, in which transit agencies fundamentally alter the structure and organization of their bus networks, are not completely novel in transit. However, redesigns have become seemingly more common in recent years. The motivations for embarking on network redesigns vary across transit agencies, but, given the prevalence of redesigns in recent history and with more redesigns likely to come, the transit industry will benefit from improved documentation of network redesign rationales, outcomes, best practices, and challenges.

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