Mind the Map! The Impact of Transit Maps on Path Choice in Public Transit
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 45, 7, 625–639
This paper investigates the impact of schematic transit maps on passengers' travel decisions. It does two things: First, it proposes an analysis framework that defines four types of information delivered from a transit map: distortion, restoration, codification, and cognition. It then considers the potential impact of this information on three types of travel decisions: location, mode, and path choices.1 Second, it conducts an empirical analysis to explore the impact of the famous London tube map on passengers' path choice in the London Underground (LUL). Using data collected by LUL from 1998 to 2005, the paper develops a path choice model and compares the influence between the distorted tube map (map distance) and reality (travel time) on passengers' path choice behavior. Results show that the elasticity of the map distance is twice that of the travel time, which suggests that passengers often trust the tube map more than their own travel experience on deciding the ‘‘best'' travel path. This is true even for the most experienced passengers using the system. The codification of transfer connections on the tube map, either as a simple dot or as an extended link, could affect passengers' transfer decisions. The implications to transit operation and planning, such as trip assignments, overcrowding mitigation, and the deployment of Advanced Transit Information System (ATIS), are also discussed.
Panero, Marta , Hyeon-Shic Shin, Allen Zerkin and Samuel Zimmerman.
Peer-to-Peer Information Exchange on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Bus Priority Practices
Prepared for the United States Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service in collaboration with the National Association of City Transportation Officials
The purpose of this effort has been to foster a dialogue among peers at transportation and planning agencies about their experiences with promoting public transit and, in particular, the challenges they face related to bus rapid transit (BRT) projects, as well as the solutions that they have developed in response. Agencies from dozens of large cities around the United States participated at three (3) peer-to-peer exchanges in New York City, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. The facilitated discussions were structure to address the unique barriers to BRT implementation on the streets of dense and/or highly congested large urban centers. Three major themes were the focus of the workshops: Network, Route and Street Design, Traffic Operations, and BRT as a Driver of Economic Development; Building Political, Interagency and Stakeholder Support. The results of the workshops make clear that better public transportation in general and BRT in particular can be cost-effective and useful tools for improving transportation, the environment and for restoring the livability of America‘s large cities.
Panero, Marta, Hyeon-Shic Shin and Daniel Polo Lopez
Urban Distribution Centers: Means to Reducing Freight Vehicle Miles Traveled
Perpared for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York State Department of Transportation by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, March 2011
The present study examines the model of freight consolidation platforms, and urban distribution centers (UDCs) in particular, as a means to solve the last mile problem of urban freight while reducing vehicle miles traveled and associated environmental impacts. This paper attempts to identify the key characteristics that make UDCs successful and discuss under what contextual settings (e.g., institutional, policy) they work best. After an extensive review of UDC cases already implemented in other countries, the study examined three UDCs cases with potential applicability to the New York metropolitan region, discussing models and relevant features and elements that may be transferred to the New York context.
Guo, Zhan and Nigel H.M. Wilson
Assessing the cost of transfer inconvenience in public transport systems: A case study of the London Underground
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 45, 2, 91-104
Few studies have adequately assessed the cost of transfers in public transport systems, or provided useful guidance on transfer improvements, such as where to invest (which facility), how to invest (which aspect), and how much to invest (quantitative justification of the investment). This paper proposes a new method based on path choice,3 taking into account both the operator's service supply and the customers' subjective perceptions to assess transfer cost and to identify ways to reduce it. This method evaluates different transfer components (e.g., transfer walking, waiting, and penalty) with distinct policy solutions and differentiates between transfer stations and movements. The method is applied to one of the largest and most complex public transport systems in the world, the London Underground (LUL), with a focus on 17 major transfer stations and 303 transfer movements. This study confirms that transfers pose a significant cost to LUL, and that cost is distributed unevenly across stations and across platforms at a station. Transfer stations are perceived very differently by passengers in terms of their overall cost and composition. The case study suggests that a better understanding of transfer behavior and improvements to the transfer experience could significantly benefit public transport systems.
Economic Development Impacts of High-speed Rail
RCWP 10-007 June, 2010
High-speed rail lines have been built and proposed in numerous countries throughout the world. The advantages of such lines are a higher quality of service than competing modes (air, bus, auto, conventional rail), potentially faster point-to-point times depending on specific locations, faster loading and unloading times, higher safety than some modes, and lower labor costs. The disadvantage primarily lies in higher fixed costs, potentially higher energy costs than some competing modes, and higher noise externalities. Whether the net benefits outweigh the net costs is an empirical question that awaits determination based on location specific factors, project costs, local demand, and network effects (depending on what else in the network exists). The optimal network design problem is hard (in the mathematical sense of hard, meaning optimal solutions are hard to find because of the combinatorics of the possible different network configurations), so heuristics and human judgment are used to design networks.
Integrating High Speed Rail into North America's Next Mobility Transition
RCWP 10-008 June 2010
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has opened a window for implementing high-speed passenger rail operations in the U.S. Because North America had never pursued high-speed rail as a national transportation priority, the planning framework for designing such services and linking them to the national transportation system was never created. An intermodal integration strategy will thus have to be developed in parallel with the designs for new high-speed train services, if these projects are to achieve their potential. Connecting these new high-speed passenger rail routes to airport, highway, and transit infrastructure and integrating train operations with aviation, transit and vehicular travel will facilitate future use of high-speed trains and enable high-speed rail supportive land uses to evolve. But designing tomorrow’s high-speed rail to fit into today’s air and surface transportation network would yield suboptimal results. A successful intermodal integration plan for high-speed rail will need to anticipate evolution in air and surface transportation modes that will adapt to the energy and climate challenges shaping future mobility.
Open Payment for Regional Public Transportation Travel
The use of open payment standards allows fare interoperability across a set of transit systems without requiring a single design or a single vendor. Each system can proceed on its own schedule and with its own fare policies and processes. Interoperability is provided primarily by acceptance of a common card or phone, with which customers pay for many other goods and services in a familiar process. The greater New York region, with a set of large and interconnected transit systems, may obtain substantial future benefits from adopting open payments across the region.
The Value of Open Standards to Transportation
RCWP 10-010 June 2010
In this paper we present the case for open standards in the transportation industry especially from a business and economic perspective. We show that the use of open standards in the telecommunication industry has helped fuel that industry's growth in the past quarter-century. We believe that the adoption of open standards in all aspects of the transportation industry will similarly provide significant cost savings and growth.
Contracting for Ticketing Services
Rudin Center Working Paper Series, RCWP 10-011
Modern methods of fare collection have turned ticketing contracts into complicated information technology projects without necessary bringing all the disciplines of such systems. The high cost of updating or maintaining front line systems makes it very challenging to keep up with the rapid obsolescence cycles that the IT industry considers normal. It is challenging enough to build a system that offers some prospect of working. Wrapping these systems in long term, inflexible contracts with lenders and contractors opposed to making changes presents further challenges. London's experience with such a contract over the last decade offers some lessons for any transit system about to use a public private partnership (PPP) to build a ticketing system.
Understanding the Challenges of Regional Ferry Service in New York City
This paper seeks to make sense of the Rockaway and Yonkers ferry service’s suspension, and draw lessons for those seeking to expand ferry service in New York City in the future. New ferry service has captured the attention of citizens, elected officials and many in the civic community, but a workable network of ferry service has so far eluded New York. Why has a network of publicly funded ferry service failed to take root in New York City? Also, What would a model to fund a ferry route over the long term look like?
Reusing and Repurposing New York City's Infrastructure: Case Studies of Reused Transportation Infrastructure
The High Line, Brooklyn Navy Yards, Pier 40 and Myrtle Avenue Station, are examples of projects that are reinventing how we think about the use of infrastructure spaces in New York City. What are the characteristics that define such projects and how is that they have been successful? This paper attempts to provide answers to this question by reviewing four case studies of repurposed transportation infrastructures, drawing out their commonalities and discussing their policy implications.
McDonnell, Simon, Josiah Madar and Vicki Been
Minimum Parking Requirements, Transit Proximity and Development in New York City
RCWP 10-004 Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
New York City policymakers are planning for a city of over 9 million residents by 2030, a large increase from today. A central goal of City officials is to accommodate this increase while simultaneously improving the City’s overall environmental performance, addressing externalities arising from traffic congestion and providing increased access to affordable housing. The requirement in the City’s zoning code that new residential construction be accompanied by a minimum number of off-street parking spaces, however, may conflict with this goal. This paper combines a theoretical discussion of parking requirements in New York City with a quantitative analysis of how they relate to transit and development opportunity. It draws direct relations between minimum parking requirements with the rise in housing prices and the reduction of density.
Causality vs. Correlation: Rethinking Research Design in the Case of Pedestrian Environments and Walking
This paper investigates the causal effect of pedestrian environments on walking behavior and focuses on the issue of research design. The paper differentiates between two types of research designs:treatment-based and traveler-based. The first approach emphasizes the variation of the treatment (pedestrian environments), and generally compares distinct neighborhoods, such as urban vs. suburban or transit-oriented vs. auto-dependent. The second approach emphasizes the homogeneity of subject (pedestrians), and aims at the same pedestrian under different environments normally due to home relocation, or the improvement of pedestrian environments. This paper presents a third method, following a traveler-based research design while providing the pedestrian multiple walking paths with different pedestrian environments.
Developing a Regional Bus Rapid Transit Network in the New York Metropolitan Area
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is an enhanced bus system designed to “combine the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail.” While applications are diverse, most BRT systems achieve higher speeds and greater reliability than conventional buses by providing priority treatments that include dedicated lanes, queue jumpers, signal priority, and by locating stops farther apart than is normal on local routes. State and regional agencies, transit operators, and local governments all have key roles to play in making sure that regional integration of transit systems will take place and be effective.
Bus Rapid Transit Opportunities for the New York Region
Levinson argues that BRT should be designed to complement and not replace rail lines when providing regional rapid transit. In his paper, he provides guidelines for a successful BRT system. He also identifies urban and suburban BRT opportunities in the New York region, along with already existing services.