National Academies Press: OpenBook

Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study (2019)

Chapter: Methodology

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Page 15
Suggested Citation:"Methodology." 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 15
Page 16
Suggested Citation:"Methodology." 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 16
Page 17
Suggested Citation:"Methodology." 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 17
Page 18
Suggested Citation:"Methodology." 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 18

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1 METHODOLOGY

10 ONLINE INVESTIGATION The research team received suggestions from the panel for projects to include in the final report, and supplemented these initial suggestions with online investigation to identify projects that seemed to have created enough impact to have an online presence, and that spanned a number of different characteristics (to the best of the research team’s ability), like: • Infrastructure type (dedicated lane, boarding platform, signalization adjustments, shared bus-bike lanes, wayfinding, etc.) • Project team (city department of transportation, transit operator, nonprofit, grassroots initiative, etc.) • Duration (demonstration, pilot, etc.) • Geographic location (at least one project per region of the country, etc.) The research team used the following search terms to discover projects that had yet to be identified online: “bus tactical urbanism”, “transit pilot project”, “pop-up bus lane”, and “quick build bus project”. The initial interview list consisted of 31 projects, which was narrowed to 20 projects to be included in the final report due to inability to connect with the project teams, redundancy in the types of projects featured, or a lack of sufficient available information. The list of projects included in the final report were those that the research team deemed as having the most value in terms of lessons learned and insight, and that comprised the strongest set of projects that characterize the application of Quick-Build methods to surface transit at this time. INTERVIEWS A total of 36 interviews contributed to the final report. The research team found contacts for the projects either through the panel or online investigation, and invited these individuals to participate in a one-hour interview. Through the responses to these invitations, the team was connected with either additional team members who could provide valuable insight into the project planning and/or execution, or the “project manager” that most closely worked on the project. Interviews were also added by the research team as they were conducted, if the interviewees suggested that additional project team members could provide additional information, or if the research team felt an additional perspective would substantially inform the project’s summaries. Interview follow-ups consisted of requesting items discussed in the conversations, like final reports, images, striping plans, and any other documents that helped deepen the research team’s understanding of the projects. The project teams were also given the opportunity to provide feedback on the project summaries included, all but one of which took advantage of this opportunity. “The reality is that we bypassed a lot of the process. The pilot is the process.” Transportation Planner, City of Everett

INTERVIEW PROTOCOL The interview protocol was refined following its initial submission to the research panel. Some of the interview questions were derived directly from discussion with the panel members, and reflected aspects of the projects they and their colleagues wanted to make a focus of the investigation. The interview protocol informed the sub-headers in the Project Summaries, supplemented where possible with other sources of investigation (plans, evaluation reports, grant reports, press articles, etc.). The following questions were asked of each interviewees, or project team: 1. What, or who, instigated the project? What was the specific challenge the project sought to address? 2. Why did you choose the Quick-Build methodology? 3. What was the length of time between project conception and implementation? 4. Please describe the nature of the collaboration between the major entities involved. 5. Please describe the design process. 6. How were the materials decided upon? What factors went into this decision? 7. Has the process created more public buy-in, was it a trust building process? 8. Was any other data, aside from public feedback, collected? Is there any evidence that the project improved access, safety, ridership, or rider comfort? 9. Can you say at this point whether or not the project has been successful in improving speed and reliability? If not, how do you think the pilot methodology is accomplishing your goals thus far? What are the advantages to this process? 10. How do you see this initiative evolving? Future iterations? Permanent projects? 11. What were the biggest challenges to implementation, or things you’d do differently? 12. How was it funded? The protocol was tweaked per project, but the questions were either asked exactly as is, or the topics alluded to in the questions were discussed where applicable. CITY OF TORONTOKING ST TRANSIT PILOT 11

CITY OF EVERETTBROADWAY BUS LANE

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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 pre-publication draft of Transit Cooperative Research Program (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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