Reforming fees and fines could help chip away at transportation inequities

A recent report by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) highlights transportation inequities in the greater Chicago area. Big-picture findings support the region’s comprehensive plan, but the near-term recommendations focus on changes in transportation-related fees, fines, and fares—a small but important share of overall transportation costs.

SSTI releases Connecting Sacramento: A trip-making and accessibility study

For several years, SSTI has worked to advance best practices in the use of two emerging technologies: accessibility metrics and trip-making data from mobile devices. Our recently completed study, Connecting Sacramento, was an essential part of that effort. This study brings together these technologies and tests their application in identifying and prioritizing first- and last-mile-connections to transit, among other uses.

Connecting Sacramento

Connecting Sacramento is the first study to incorporate both accessibility analysis and tripmaking data, including data from multiple sources, and assess how they can be used together to guide transportation- and land use-related decisions. This study focused specifically on opportunities to improve first- and last-mile connections to light rail transit in Sacramento, but its findings are widely applicable.

New transit models: Laguna Beach and Uber partner for senior transportation services

Starting in mid-June, Laguna Beach, CA, will partner with Uber in a pilot program to provide transportation options for residents aged 55 and older, a group that makes up about 50 percent of the city’s population. To fill the transportation gap caused by cuts in the frequency and coverage of transit service in the city, the pilot will provide free rides for two months and low-cost rides after the pilot. This program, a first of its kind, will be an interesting test of a new application of ride-hailing services.

Transit agencies and advocates focus attention on last-mile solutions

With transit systems gaining riders, and new systems being launched throughout the U.S., many service providers now face the challenge of ensuring sufficient access to transit stations. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, Metro Transit partnered with a local car-sharing company to provide access to both services using a single card. In Denver, a recent survey suggests the answer may be as simple as investing in sidewalks, signage and lighting near stations—particularly in low-income areas.

Getting on Board for Health (Alameda County Public Health Department, 2013)

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.

Ohio city may lose federal road funding over refusal to install bus stops

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.

The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation (APTA, National Association of Realtors & CNT, 2013)

This analysis investigates how well residential properties located in proximity to fixed-guideway transit have maintained their value as compared to residential properties without transit access between 2006 and 2011 in five regions. Across the study regions, the transit shed outperformed the region as a whole by 41.6 percent.