Can improvements in the amenities at individual transit stops both increase bus ridership and decrease the demand for paratransit? Apparently so, as a study from the University of Utah shows.
Fixed-route buses are the most common form of public transit in the United States; however, bus ridership has been falling in recent years after enjoying a surge in the early- to mid-2000s. Efficiency in all aspects of the transit network is important if transportation agencies want to encourage increased transit use. New York City is trying to improve the efficiency of its bus service by implementing transit signal priority.
A new study offers important insights into interregional travel. This category, defined as trips between 100 and 500 miles, makes up approximately three-quarters of long distance trips but suffers from insufficient data for making system investments.
Bustang, Colorado DOT’s new interregional express bus service is part of the agency’s continuing effort to manage congestion on the I-25 and I-70 corridors. It is also part of the agency’s response to the growing public demand for transportation options for these congested highways.
This health impact assessment informed the development of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Regional Transportation Plan. It focused specifically on transit-dependent populations and the expected health outcomes that may result from changes to bus access as determined by RTP.
Beavercreek, OH, could lose $10.7 million in federal transportation funding for roads because of its refusal to install bus stops requested by the RTA near a large mall. FHWA gave the city 90 days to take steps to comply with their request that the city approve a stop application process that did not violate federal discrimination guidelines.
For trips between 100 and 500 miles, express buses, trains, and airlines are all vying for customers and contemplating the future of these shorter trips. At the same time, drivers are seeking relief from crowded highways and high gas prices. Add in the desire of travelers to be in constant internet and cell phone contact with the world, and intercity travel begins to seem a very competitive market. While air travel will continue to be the dominant mode for longer trips, and driving continues to offer maximum flexibility, rail and bus service upgrades in comfort and accommodations for electronic connectivity are attracting a larger number of travelers each year.
Why are buses so maligned? And what can we do about it? How can we get “choice riders” – those that do not have to use transit, but choose to – to take the bus? And should we care whether people with transportation choices ride the bus?
As per-capita VMT has begun to decline, an increasing number of people are riding the nation’s transit systems. According to APTA (American Public Transportation Association), transit ridership in the first quarter of 2012 increased 5 percent over 2011 levels.
In late March, 15 transportation advocates embarked on a cross-state trip of Michigan using only local and regional transit. Along the way they met with local and state officials and transit advocates. Their experiences highlight both where transit is lacking in Michigan as well as how it could become an economic driver and preferred transportation choice in the future.