National Academies Press: OpenBook

Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study (2019)

Chapter: Speed + Reliability: Projects

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Page 19
Suggested Citation:"Speed + Reliability: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
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Suggested Citation:"Speed + Reliability: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
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Suggested Citation:"Speed + Reliability: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
×
Page 21
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Suggested Citation:"Speed + Reliability: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
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Page 22

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19 SPEED + RELIABILITY: PROJECTS The projects in this category feature physical and operation elements like dedicated bus lanes, service modifications, bus stop consolidations/optimization, signal adjustments, prepaid boarding, vehicle access restriction, and queue jump lanes and other intersection treatments. 5L FULTON LIMITED PILOT: San Francisco, CA Starting in 2013, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) implemented a multipart pilot project along the Fulton Street corridor. The recom- mendations for this project were derived from a previously conducted planning process called the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). A variety of physical and operational changes were made along the more than 5-mile Fulton Street corridor to improve transit speed and reliability and safety for all roadway users, as follows: • Introduction of limited stop service (5L Fulton Limited) • Bus stop consolidation (18 total stops removed) • Bus zone optimization (stop relocation and lengthening) • A 4-to-3 lane road diet on an approx. .5-mile segment • Parking reconfiguration at several intersections • Signage (where necessary to alert riders of the changes) Outcome(s): 9% improvement in transit travel times BANCROFT WEST PILOT PROJECT: Berkeley, CA In 2018, as a part of a series of pilot projects in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood, the City of Berkeley implemented a .25-mile long, 24-hour dedicated bus lane on Bancroft Way in the westbound curbside lane. In addition to the bus lane (11 feet 6 inches wide), the project included a two-way, protected bike lane in the other curbside lane, leaving two travel lanes available for westbound traffic. The conceptual designs for the permanent iteration of the transit lane were to commence in 2019. Outcome(s): Final data is still being compiled, but compliance with the dedicated lane has been strong. BROADWAY BUS LANE: Everett, MA Following the release of the Everett Transit Action Plan in November 2016, the city wanted to test the most obvious strategy for improving bus transit service that had come out of the planning process: peak-hour bus lanes. A month later, the city used cones to implement a test bus lane 1 mile long and 12 feet wide in the southbound curbside parking lane on Broadway from 4 to 9 a.m. each day. Because the test lane 5L FULTON LIMITED PILOT BANCROFT WEST PILOT PROJECT BROADWAY BUS LANE CTA PREPAID BUS BOARDING DENVER MOVES BROADWAY HENNEPIN AVENUE BUS LANES KING STREET TRANSIT PILOT MAIN STREET BUS LANE MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE BUS LANE MT. AUBURN STREET BUS LANES RHODE ISLAND AVENUE BUS LANE STREETS FOR PEOPLE WASHINGTON STREET BUS LANE 13 projects 13 cities

20 was so successful, the city continued it until the lane was made permanent about 9 months later. Outcome(s): Transit travel time savings of 20%-30%, approximately 6 minutes CTA PREPAID BUS BOARDING: Chicago, IL The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) implemented four prepaid boarding pilots, one of which is ongoing, to test their ability to expedite boarding between June 2016 and June 2017. The pilots employed mobile fare validators, movable barriers and signage, and the reallocation of staff hours to execute. Outcome(s): 54% average reduction in boarding times across the four pilots DENVER MOVES BROADWAY: Denver, CO After several initiatives reinforced the need and opportunity to address low-cost transit improvements on the Broadway–Lincoln one-way pair, the City of Denver implemented a multipart pilot project to try different strategies along portions of the corridor. In 2017, the city did the following: • Transitioned portions of the existing 3-6 p.m. bus lanes to 24 hours, totaling almost 3 miles along Broadway and just under a mile on Lincoln; • Added red paint to a short segment of the existing bus lane on Broadway; • Extended the existing bus lane on Broadway north two blocks; • Executed minor bus stop consolidation and associated service changes; and • Installed signage (where necessary to alert riders of the changes). Outcome(s): 2.2 minutes average transit travel time savings, reduction in non- transit vehicle bus lane violations, 2.8% increase in ridership HENNEPIN AVENUE BUS LANES: Minneapolis, MN After being inspired by Everett’s bus lane test, the transit provider for the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area, Metro Transit, decided to execute a 3-day test with traffic channelizers on Hennepin Avenue to see if congestion could be alleviated and transit travel times improved. Two 10-foot-wide segments of approximately .5 miles (northbound) and .3 miles (southbound) were installed in the curbside parking lanes each morning and afternoon, respectively. Outcome(s): Bus travel speeds slowed overall (likely due to the bus lane width), but transit travel times were a bit more consistent. KING STREET TRANSIT PILOT: Toronto, CAN After years of observing that the streetcar service on King Street was slow and unreliable, the City of Toronto initiated the King Street Pilot Study to develop new “Why take people to see BRT in Mexico City? Why not get people to feel what BRT is like here?” Program Officer, Barr Foundation Denver Moves Broadway Bancroft West Pilot Project NACTO FEHR & PEERS

21 concepts for testing strategies to improve the streetcar’s speed and reliability. In November 2017, the project team implemented a 1.6-mile multipart pilot project on King Street that included the following elements: • Restriction of motor vehicle access along the corridor, prohibiting through movements and left turns, and allowing only right turns onto King Street for curbside access; • Designation of curbside lanes in both directions solely for transit stops, taxi stands, accessible loading, pickup/drop-off/delivery, and public space installations; • Relocation of streetcar stops (18 stops) beyond traffic lights to facilitate right turns and allow for more direct boarding; • Signal timing adjustments; and • Installation of art and street furniture where curb space was not being used for motor vehicle or transit access. In April 2019, the City of Toronto City Council voted to make the project permanent. Outcome(s): 17% improvement in ridership, 4- to 7-minute transit travel time savings MAIN STREET BUS LANE: Cincinnati, OH After advocacy group Better Bus Coalition gained significant political support for a dedicated bus lane pilot on Main Street in downtown Cincinnati to address significant congestion and transit delays during peak hour, the city and transit agency teamed up to execute a morning and afternoon peak-hour dedicated bus lane in November 2018. The bus lane (approximately .42 mile long and 11 feet 6 inches wide) in the curbside parking lane was demarcated with a single, thick thermoplastic stripe and temporary signage. Outcome(s): 20% reduction in transit travel times, overwhelming positive feedback MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE BUS LANE: Arlington, MA To alleviate significant delays on Massachusetts Avenue, a challenge known to the Town of Arlington for years, the town and its project team partners implemented a 1-month, shared bus–bike lane test demarcated with cones and temporary signage from 5:45 to 9:15 a.m. each morning. The .25-mile long, 15-foot-wide lane was implemented in the eastbound curbside parking lane of Massachusetts Avenue. In addition to the lane, the project included the following elements: • Transit Signal Priority (TSP), one bus stop relocation, and a queue jump lane at Lake Street, a major intersection before the start of the bus lane; and • Traffic signal adjustment (to split-phase), a queue jump lane, and a lane assignment change at Alewife Brook Parkway, where the bus lane terminated. Outcome(s): 50% reduction in transit travel times (5-6 minutes), 40% reduction in variability of travel times MT. AUBURN STREET BUS LANES: Cambridge/Watertown, MA Capitalizing on the momentum from multiple local entities to address delay and unreliability on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge, the city formed a team to test some solutions it had been studying. Starting in October 2018, Cambridge and Watertown implemented an eastbound, red-painted shared bus–bike lane on Mt. Auburn Street (.65 mile) and an eastbound segment on Belmont Street where it intersects Mt. Auburn Street (.25 mile). The segments varied in width from 11 to 13 feet and mostly occupied the existing travel lanes. In addition to the bus lanes, the project implemented the following measures: • Westbound, .5-mile conventional bike lane on Mt. Auburn Street/Belmont Street; • Queue jump lanes on Mt. Auburn Street at Walnut Street and School Street, two intersections within a mile west of the start of the bus lane; • Signage where necessary to alert riders of the changes; • TSP and signal timing adjustments at multiple intersections along Mt. Auburn Street; and • Painted curb extensions where the bike lane was implemented to reduce roadway width and pedestrian crossing distances. Outcome(s): Data are still being collected, but 98% of riders said they wanted to make the bus lanes permanent. Rhode Island Ave. Bus Lane DDOT

22 RHODE ISLAND AVENUE BUS LANE: Washington, DC To increase transit capacity during a subway line shutdown, the District DOT (DOT) seized the opportunity to test a priority bus lane on Rhode Island Avenue. In July 2018, the project team installed an approximately 1-mile, 12-hour dedicated bus lane (bikes allowed) in the curbside lane in both directions. The lanes were demarcated with temporary signage and pavement markings. The approximately 11-foot-wide lanes were evaluated for 6 weeks. Outcome(s): Bus travel speeds actually decreased, and there were significant bus lane violations from non-transit vehicles. STREETS FOR PEOPLE: Miami, FL In September 2017, Miami’s Downtown Development Authority initiated a multipart pilot project on Southeast/Southwest 1st Street in downtown to test a Complete Streets configuration. Along an approximately .63-mile-long segment, the project team implemented a 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., red-painted dedicated bus lane (11 feet wide) and a green-backed buffered bike lane. The project also included the installation of leading pedestrian intervals at two intersections within the project segment, other signal timing adjustments along the route, and new signage for the bus lane. Outcome(s): Transit travel speeds did not change significantly, but motor vehicle travel times improved. WASHINGTON STREET BUS LANE: Boston, MA As a part of the Go Boston 2030 mobility planning effort, the city had identified that Washington Street would benefit greatly from improved transit service. To see how a dedicated bus lane could alleviate riders’ complaints of delays and unreliability, the city implemented a 2-day, 1.2-mile, morning peak-hour (5–9 a.m.) shared bus–bike lane demarcated with cones. A few months later, the city repeated the same test, but for 4 weeks, to gather more-robust data. Owing to the success of the pilot, the bus lane was implemented permanently only a month later. Outcome(s): 20-25% improvement in transit travel times Washington Street Bus Lane CITY OF BOSTON CTA Prepaid Bus Boarding CTA

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Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study Get This Book
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As transit agencies, local governments, and citizens look for ways to improve existing, and start new, transit service, many of them are turning to the Quick-Build (Tactical Urbanism) methodology. This approach uses inexpensive, temporary materials and short-term tactics as a way of implementing projects in the short-term, while longer-term planning takes place.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Research Report 207: Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study documents the current state of the practice with regard to what are called Tactical Transit projects, specifically for surface transit (bus and streetcar). These are both physical and operational strategies that improve the delivery of surface transit projects using this methodology. Tactical Transit projects, operational and physical Quick-Build projects that uniquely focus on transit, have evolved as a way for municipal governments to improve the way they respond to rider needs and increased demand for service.

The report highlights Tactical Transit projects happening in cities across North America and how transit agencies and other entities are using innovative methods to improve transit speed, access, and ridership at a fraction of both the cost and time of conventional projects.

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