Findings from Toronto: Sticks and carrots for TNCs

We have a lot of evidence that venture capital-subsidized transportation network companies are cannibalizing transit and driving up VMT. Now a new study of this phenomenon examines the patterns of TNC trip making and suggests a system of taxes and subsidies in response. The paper, which employs data from a 2016 personal transportation survey, finds that TNC trips that could reasonably be taken on transit tend to occur during peak hours and for non-work trip purposes. Given policy concerns for maintaining transit ridership and reducing auto congestion and emissions, the authors suggest penalizing these TNC trips with higher fees.

Exploring the relationship between transit supply and parking demand

In a recent study, researchers from Australia look closely at the relationship between parking demand and proximity and quality of service supply of public transit. When other socioeconomic factors were considered, the quality of transit service became much more important than proximity alone in determining parking demand. This will be helpful in the ongoing discussion about where and how to reduce or eliminate required parking as part of development.

On-demand transportation services as a complement of public transit

A recent article reports that on-demand transportation can complement existing transit and help cities reduce traffic by up to 15 to 30 percent. Emerging transportation technologies such as TNCs and on-demand transit apps have been much in the news, often with claims that TNCs are adding to urban congestion. In this study, an important conclusion is that the on-demand service can complement public transit networks.

Gender biases in transit planning

Despite efforts to close the gender gap in many aspects of life, there are still some industries and activities where the gap hasn’t even been identified properly. One such example is mobility and public transportation. The idea that men and women have different travel behaviors is not new, but has not been given the attention it deserves. In a recent study, LA Metro staff surveyed 2,600 county residents, oversampling women, to understand trends in gender-based travel patterns. The staff found that the metro system does not serve men and women equally and the latter are always disproportionately burdened by costs and safety risks.

TRB provides playbook to TNC-transit partnerships

Transit agencies have increasingly partnered with transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to supplement fixed-route services. TNCs are used to extend service to less-dense areas of a community, provide first- and last-mile connections, operate on weekends or evenings, and for paratransit services. Until now, transit agencies have not had guidelines for the best way to set up these partnerships. A new TRB publication provides this guidance while outlining options based on the goals of both TNCs and transit agencies.

Growth near transit is key to connecting smaller cities, SSTI finds

A new study by SSTI and the Traffic Operations and Safety Lab at UW-Madison provides a partial roadmap to the future for transit in smaller cities. The study gave Eau Claire, Wisconsin—a city nearing 70,000 people—a look into emerging transit technologies and insight on their residents’ perspectives toward transit. SSTI also laid out a dozen future scenarios, evaluating each one using accessibility metrics.

TDM best practice: Shout out to Greater Richmond Transit Company

In an era of falling transit ridership and utopian sustainability goals, Richmond, Virginia, seems to have hit the nail on the head. With the introduction of a bus rapid transit line and an overall bus system redesign, the Greater Richmond Transit Company has increased transit ridership in the region by 17 percent. GRTC’s distinctive carpooling and vanpooling system has grown extensively in the past decade. A recent article by Mobility Lab explains in detail the reasons and strengths behind GRTC’s continued success.

Want to increase transit ridership without adding service? Make it easy to get to the stations

As in the United States, many rail transit lines in Sydney, Australia, have imperfect connections to the local street and pedestrian networks. In Sydney, 44 of 178 rail transit stations have entrances on only one side, necessitating long walks for unlucky travelers seeking to get to the hard-to-reach platform. A new report calculates the potential benefit from adding missing links between stations and local networks at those 44 stations. They calculate the increase in accessibility to the platforms from surrounding neighborhoods, then they estimate the effect in ridership from that change.

Quantifying the quality and connectivity of sidewalks: walking accessibility indices

With the constant rise in obesity numbers and health concerns, planners and designers around the world are trying to bring back physical activity in day-to-day commuting behavior. Addressing health concerns through active transportation solutions not only brings us a step closer to a healthier community, but is also cost effective. Improving walking access to public transit stations is one such solution and was the theme of a paper published in the May issue of ITE journal.