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How Uber affects public transit ridership is a relevant policy question facing cities worldwide. Theoretically, Uber’s effect on transit is ambiguous: while Uber is an alternative mode of travel, it can also increase the reach and flexibility of public transit’s fixed-route, fixed-schedule service. We estimate the effect of Uber on public transit ridership using a difference-in-differences design that exploits variation across U.S. metropolitan areas in both the intensity of Uber penetration and the timing of Uber entry. We find that Uber is a complement for the average transit agency, increasing ridership by five percent after two years. This average effect masks considerable heterogeneity, with Uber increasing ridership more in larger cities and for smaller transit agencies.
This paper identifies major aspects of ridesourcing services provided by Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) which influence vehicles miles traveled (VMT) and energy use. Using detailed data on approximately 1.5 million individual rides provided by RideAustin in Austin Texas, we quantify the additional miles TNC drivers travel: before beginning and after ending their shifts, to reach a passenger once a ride has been requested, and between consecutive rides (all of which is referred to as deadheading); and the relative fuel efficiency of the vehicles that RideAustin drivers use compared to the average vehicle registered in Austin.
Transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, have been hypothesized to both complement and compete with public transit. Existing research on the topic is limited by a lack of detailed data on the timing and location of TNC trips. This study overcomes that limitation by using data scraped from the Application Programming Interfaces of two TNCs, combined with Automated Passenger Count data on transit use and other supporting data. Using a panel data model of the change in bus ridership in San Francisco between 2010 and 2015, and confirming the result with a separate time-series model, we find that TNCs are responsible for a net ridership decline of about 10%, offsetting net gains from other factors such as service increases and population growth. We do not find a statistically significant effect on light rail ridership. Cities and transit agencies should recognize the transit-competitive nature of TNCs as they plan, regulate and operate their transportation systems.
In 2020, the microtransit company. “Via” partnered with Jersey City to provide on-demand car rides to underserved communities whose mass public transit routes had been canceled due to low ridership during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. The company aims to complement existing transit which operates comprehensively and frequently in the central areas of Jersey City. Via offers rides outside of this well-served district but not within to minimize competition with public transit. The same company launched in Arlington, Texas in 2017. Arlington, which was the largest city in America without a public transit system, opted to contract Via to provide an alternative transportation mode to driving in a personal vehicle. The on-demand service offers point-to-point rides within Arlington and connections to intercity train stations to Dallas-Fort Worth.
Technology-enhanced bikeshare features a dockless system with GPS-tracked electric bikes and a mobile app. As an additional transportation mode, it offers users greater accessibility and more flexibility compared to traditional bikeshare. This paper examines the causal impact of a tech-enhanced bikeshare program on public transit ridership, using evidence from a mid-sized metropolitan area in the Midwest of the United States.
"In this paper we put together a list of the basic instincts that drive and contain travelers' behavior, showing how they mesh with technological progress and economic constraints."
"Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) has adopted a groundbreaking micromobility strategy to address the “first mile/last mile problem.” The agency has partnered with JUMP, an electric micromobility provider, to offer on-demand access to and from light rail stations."
This article studies the relationship between gasoline consumption and urban design patterns by comparing 32 principal cities from around the world. The purpose is to evaluate physical planning policies for conserving transportation energy in urban areas.
"Sacramento Regional Transit will offer free light rail rides starting December 9 — but only for JUMP bike users."
There is a growing market for pedestrian- and transit-oreinted development. This article outlines existing literature in order to assess how increased demand for these types of developments is impacting land value. It also includes suggestions for further research on the topic.
Automation of personal and transit vehicles will change the vehicles themselves, but also the right-of-way that governs their use. These changes bring an opportunity to improve transit systems. High capacity transit must become a more attractive mode of transit in order to remain competitive with personal and shared vehicles.
Portland announced an expansion of its Transportation wallet, now offering the pass to people who live or work in the NW parking district. The pass is intended to encourage walking, taking transit, and bicycling, and to address parking demand and congestion in dense areas of Portland.
This article discusses regulations around land use and why careful implementation is important. The author studied how two areas of Los Angeles near rail stations developed housing under baseline land use regulations and found that developers were most sensitive to density restrictions and parking requirements.
This paper provides a review of recent studies of rail transit's impact on property values and discusses the types of impacts rail transit can have on properties. It also outlines the reasons for contradictions between results of different studies.
Despite national averages of shrinking transit ridership, seven United States cities have seen increased ridership. These cities have seen growth because of their efforts to improve or expand their bus services.
The relationship between transit success and density is one that should be considered when planning transportation. Transit lines need to consider cost per passenger-mile in order to ensure financial feasibility. Some scholars suggest minimum density thresholds for successful transit of different types, but these rules do not always represent accurate ridership numbers. However, higher density in cities generally makes transit more feasible.
This article studies how emerging “smart mobility” systems will affect equity issues in Portland, Oregon. It suggests that affordable and improved public transit, ridesharing and active transportation could address many transportation challenges.
"Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions provides an overview and taxonomy of private transit services in the United States, reviews their present scope and operating characteristics, presents three case studies, and discusses ways private transit services may affect the communities in which they operate. This report is intended to help inform public transit agencies, local governments, potential service operators and sponsors, and other stakeholders about private transit services and ways these services address transportation needs in a variety of operating environments."
"Private Mobility, Public Interest is a report for public-sector leaders committed to making it easy for their citizens to get where they want to go. We identify actionable short-term opportunities for today’s transit agencies and municipalities to work with emerging mobility providers. This report is an independent analysis built on a foundation of more than 100 interviews with industry representatives from the public and private sectors."
The purpose of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide (part of the Cities for Cycling initiative) is to provide cities with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists.
The Transit Street Design Guide provides design guidance for the development of transit facilities on city streets, and for the design and engineering of city streets to prioritize transit, improve transit service quality, and support other goals related to transit.
Open-access scenario planning package that allows users to analyze how their community's current growth pattern and future decisions impacting growth will impact a range of measures from public health, fiscal resiliency and environmental sustainability.
CoAXs uses open data and free software to enable users to test new transportation scenarios in real time. Users can activate and deactivate selected hypothetical and existing transit routes; examine effects of changes such as in bus speeds or frequencies; and explore the impact of these changes on different locations in a region. Great example of work done in Boston.
Guidelines for cities to implement sustainable and environmental mobility strategies for people and goods.
This report summarizes the user survey findings during the half-way point of a year-long microtransit pilot project in West Sacramento, California. A final evaluation of the pilot will be published by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley in 2019.
In partnership with Via, Marin County Transit District (Marin Transit) launched a microtransit pilot program in May 2018. This report created by Marin Transit contains lots of insights into the design and outcome of the pilot project. In particular, the survey results and data analysis in the report is very colorful.
"In 2017, the City of Arlington contracted with the autonomous shuttle company EasyMile to begin the first self-driving shuttle program open to the public in the United States. From August 2017 to August 2018, the Milo vehicles operated on off-street trails that connect major entertainment venues with remote parking areas. The program’s name represents mile zero - the point at which guest arrive at their destination. Milo operated at over 110 events during the program with a perfect safety record."
The Go Centennial pilot was the first pilot project in the country where a government or transit agency fully subsidized first and last-mile rides provided by a transportation network company (in this case Lyft). The Go Centennial pilot was launched in Centennial, Colorado on August 2016 and ran for six months until February 2017. This final report is one of the most comprehensive evaluations of a TNC partnership pilot, and details the goals, preexisting conditions, and procurement and design of the pilot. The report concludes with a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the pilot and a set of lessons learned and key takeaways.
This report evaluates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's "The RIDE" pilot project. The pilot project, which is still in operation today, is an example of a public-private partnership, where the MBTA subsidizes ADA paratransit rides provided by Uber, Lyft, and Curb their traditional ADA paratransit customers. The analysis and modeling in the report is based off of data provided by the MBTA stretching from the pilot's start date in October 2016 through March 2018.
"The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), in Pinellas County, FL, was the first transit agency in the US to sign a service provision agreement with a transportation network company (TNC) to offer joint first/last-mile service subsidized by public dollars. PSTA’s “Direct Connect” pilot allows riders to get to and from bus stops in a taxi, wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV), or Uber TNC vehicle at a subsidized rate. PSTA’s overall experience developing, managing, and adapting the Direct Connect pilot provides insight into what transit agencies can expect when working with on-demand service providers. While operating on a larger scale, in a denser environment, or with a different ridership base may have offered different lessons in implementation, the Direct Connect pilot’s service design shows what is necessary for a successful launch of a pilot program: good data and transparency from all parties, as well as concrete plans for outreach and evaluation."
This report categorizes and summarizes efforts that are already underway in cities across the world to rethink curb management, to outline the key takeaways from the one-day workshop that involved city staff from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and to identify major research gaps.
"This research explored how these new options could be synergistic with public transit models and detailed the experiences of two transit operators that entered into service delivery partnerships with a transportation network company and a micro- transit operator. Based on a series of interviews and the experiences of these two public agencies, this research provides a set of key takeaways and recommendations for transit operators exploring the potential of partnering with new mobility services such as transportation network companies (e.g., Uber or Lyft) and microtransit (e.g., Bridj or Via)."
The New Mobility Playbook is a set of plays, policies, and strategies that will position Seattle to foster new mobility options while prioritizing safety, equity, affordability, and sustainability in the transportation system.
The Mobility Hub Reader’s Guide is meant to provide guidance and inspiration for city staff, property owners, developers, designers, transit agencies, and community members for enhancing project developments and public right-of-way improvements in proximity to existing or new transit stations with amenities, activities, and programs to support multi-modal connectivity and access.
"This Future of Mobility White Paper is intended to inform and guide policymakers and modelers developing the next iteration of the CTP –CTP 2050 –by presenting updated descriptions and analyses of developments impacting California’s transportation system."
One of the public policy goals for livable and sustainable communities is to minimize the use of automobiles. This paper focuses on introducing and justifying an important new policy principle. Even when car travel is minimized with smart growth land development policies, transportation demand management, and increased public transit, a significant level of automobile use will remain. As a result, reducing the environmental, economic and safety impacts of those remaining automobiles should be an essential element of a livable, sustainable community. Fortunately, fundamental and disruptive technological advances in new vehicles—automation, connectivity, and electrification as described in this paper are fast emerging to make this new priority feasible.
This report summarizes the major assumptions, predictions and forecasts that have been made for autonomous vehicles. It emphasizes their impact and takes focus on the effects it will have on previously immobile people and what it will take to integrate them legislatively.
This Blueprint outlines a vision for cities in a future where automated transportation is both accepted and widespread as part of the built environment. It is a human oriented vision for the potential of city streets, intersections, and networks-one in which automation can serve the goals of safety, equity, public health, and sustainability.
"Mobility Plan 2035 (Plan) provides the policy foundation for achieving a transportation system that balances the needs of all road users. As an update to the City’s General Plan Transportation Element (last adopted in 1999), Mobility Plan 2035 incorporates “complete streets” principles and lays the policy foundation for how future generations of Angelenos interact with their streets."
This report, BCG's latest on autonomous vehicles, examines the case for AVs as a cornerstone of the urban mobility revolution, as seen through experience of Boston. It describes transportation challenges, strategic considerations, scenario modeling and simulations, field testing. We hope that leaders in the public and private sectors who are considering nuw urban mobiliy models will benefit from these reflections and recommendations on Boston's experience thus far.
"Transit ridership fell in 31 of 35 major metropolitan areas in the United States last year, including the seven cities that serve the majority of riders, with losses largely stemming from buses but punctuated by reliability issues on systems such as Metro, according to an annual overview of public transit usage."
"This paper assesses alternative fuel options for transit buses. We find that all alternative fuel options lead to higher life cycle ownership and external costs than conventional diesel. When external funding is available to pay for 80% of vehicle purchase expenditures (which is usually the case for U.S. transit agencies), BEBs yield large reductions (17–23%) in terms of ownership and external costs compared to diesel."
Uber has partnered with transit agencies in various cities all over the world to bring users options to buy train tickets on their app as well. This article gives us the run-down on the newly launched program and how its working.
"This report summarizes the status of twenty-nine partnerships between TNCs and public bodies around the United States designed to improve mobility." The analysis explains when the programs were or are active, if they were modified, the financial structure and performance audits.
This document provides guidance to transit agencies for quantifying their greenhouse gas emissions, including both emissions generated by transit and the potential reduction of emissions through efficiency and displacement. It lays out a standard methodology for transit agencies to report their greenhouse gas emissions in a transparent, consistent and cost-effective manner. It ensures that agencies can provide an accurate public record of their emissions; may help them comply with future state and federal legal requirements; and may help them gain credit for their―early actions to reduce emissions.
This report presents findings from a detailed analysis of the growth of app-based ride services in New York City, their impacts on traffic, travel patterns and vehicle mileage since 2013, and implications for policy makers. The analysis utilizes trip and mileage data that are uniquely available in New York City, providing a detailed and comprehensive look at the expansion of app-based ride services and their impact on critical City goals for mobility, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
It is no secret that transit systems are chronically short in funding and increases to their budgets are tough to nail down. This article describes the common way that this funding is being sourced and why it may not be the best way.
A study was done to see how location to transit impacts the amount you spend on transportation in a year - this article explains the findings.
This article briefly outline the success of upgrades made to a bus line in the Twin Cities. So far ridership has increased 30%.
Transit bus automation could deliver many potential benefits, but transit agencies need additional research and policy guidance to make informed deployment decisions. Although funding and policy constraints may play a role, there is also a reasonable unwillingness to risk public funding or to undertake new operational models without a full understanding of the approach or without federal leadership and guidance. The purpose of this report is to define a five-year Strategic Transit Automation Research Plan that will establish a research and demonstration framework to move the transit industry forward. Key components of the Plan include conducting enabling research, identifying and resolving barriers to deployment, leveraging technologies from other sectors, demonstrating market-ready technologies, and transferring knowledge to the transit stakeholder community.
"This report’s findings, draw on a thorough investigation of active and inactive partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs, designed to enhance understanding of project development and structure and how those were achieved. While partnerships between transit agencies and private mobility providers are not new, partnerships with TNCs create unique opportunities and challenges as both parties work toward mutually beneficial program models. This research is informed by dozens of transit agency surveys and follow-up interviews, past literature, and interviews with TNC policy staff and industry experts as well as FTA representatives, and provides a Partnership Playbook so that the transit industry can be more deliberate in its approach to working with TNCs."
This article examines the burgeoning future of electric buses and the possible impacts it may have on society.
This year’s report builds on that same contextual foundation with updated travel trend charts and speed maps. Since 2015, the number of residents, jobs, and annual tourists have continued to grow. Even as the City encourages and facilitates the use of high performance modes, we recognize that the demands on our ?nite street network are only growing and our roadways are frequently functioning at capacity.
The article discusses how new technology in transportation can achieve equity by leveraging technology. Strategies include defining boundaries, eligibility, and subsidies.
"This paper identifies three promising applications of new mobility services by public transit agencies, and presents economic, social, and environmental modeling that illustrate the value of such partnerships to mass transit systems."
As public transit stagnates in most U.S. cities, central Seattle continued its rapid growth by adding roughly 10,000 morning transit commuters last year, new local data show.
NYC Transit and MTA bus have a combined fleet of about 5,700 buses for public transportation in New York City. The fleet currently consists of a mix of diesel, hybrid diesel and CNG (compressed natural gas) buses. Electric buses have vastly lower greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions than the current fleet. The MTA will have challenges associated with a changeover to electric buses, but effective planning can make the change nearly invisible to customers. The recommendation of this analysis is that New York City should begin taking steps to convert the bus fleet to all electric.
This paper models the market potential of a fleet of shared, autonomous, electric vehicles (SAEVs) 20 by employing a multinomial logic mode choice model in an agent-based framework and different 21 fare settings.
"This Mobility Hub Features Catalog is a resource for regional agencies, local jurisdictions, transit operators, and private service providers as they collaborate to design and implement mobility hubs around the region. It describes the kinds of services, amenities, and technologies that can work together to make it easier for people to connect to transit, while also providing them with more transportation options overall. These mobility hub features may include various transit station improvements such as enhanced waiting areas with landscaping and lighting, complimentary WiFi and real-time travel information; wider sidewalks, pedestrian lighting and trees for shade; bike paths, designated bike lanes, and bike parking options; dedicated bus lanes and supporting signal improvements; service facilities for shared cars, scooters, and electric vehicles; smart parking technology; and more. Each feature can be tailored to the unique needs of an individual community."
Chicago’s pilot electronic-scooter program is proving to be a hit with low-income residents who have few transit choices in their far-flung neighborhoods.
In this study, we present exploratory evidence of how “ridesourcing” services (app-based, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft) are used in San Francisco. We explore who uses ridesourcing and for what reasons, how the ridesourcing market compares to that of traditional taxis, and how ridesourcing impacts the use of public transit and overall vehicle travel. In spring 2014, 380 completed intercept surveys were collected from three ridesourcing “hot spots” in San Francisco. We compare survey results with matched-pair taxi trip data and results of a previous taxi user survey. We also compare travel times for ridesourcing and taxis with those for public transit.
"The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the state of automated vehicle (AV) technology in transit. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) wishes to know what AV technology is currently available that could be used in transit with an eye towards possible demonstration projects."
"This research shows that public transportation (in its current form) will only remain economically competitive where demand can be bundled to larger units. In particular, this applies to dense urban areas, where public transportation can be offered at lower prices than autonomous taxis (even if pooled) and private cars. Wherever substantial bundling is not possible, shared and pooled vehicles serve travel demand more efficiently."
This Strategic Plan is designed to help the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG) to better position itself to prepare for emerging transportation technologies in its planning and investment decision making processes.
This paper presents an analysis of the data and frames it in a broader context. It concludes with a description of FTA actions that address climate change.
"This report attempts to address these questions by further exploring evidence of how TNCs are affecting the use of public transit and personal automobiles in several regions."
According to the latest statistics from the American Public Transit Association, the region has experienced a 5.7 per cent increase in the number of boardings year-over-year. Only three other urban areas with a population of more than one million saw transit ridership growth last year.
As a result of transportation challenges faced by rural areas, public agencies, non-profits and companies are collaborating in new ways to leverage emerging technology and service models to improve mobility options for rural and small-town residents. The following examples demonstrate just a few of the ways public agencies and multi-sector partnerships are working to close mobility gaps in small and rural communities.
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