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Transit Reports and Studies

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  • 18 Dec 2019 1:03 PM
    Message # 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    A selection of Studies and Reports regarding transit and land use.

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:04 PM
    Reply # 8318780 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    Mobility on Demand: A Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable Future

    The National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine – The Transportation Research Board has released Transportation Research Circular E-C244: Mobility on Demand: A Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable Future - the synopsis of a January 13, 2019, workshop that explored the current state of mobility on demand(MOD), examined next steps for preparing for transition to autonomy, and discussed ways to optimize sustainability and ensure equitability. The workshop emphasized the role of public transit, share mobility, and automation shaping the future of mobility. 

    Read the Report

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:04 PM
    Reply # 8318782 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    Report: Transportation system improvements help riders' mental health

    WPI Economics Report – Improvements in transportation infrastructure can improve millions of people's mental health. 

    The report highlights three key areas where transportation infrastructure and service improvements could benefit citizens' mental health:
    • Better journeys — Reducing delays, cancellations, overcrowding and anti-social behavior. This can also affect non-transit users by reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and noise pollution.
    • Improved design — Transit hub elements such as color, natural material use, the inclusion of mixed-use spaces and the design of information displays/announcements impact travel experiences and mental health.
    • Transport for all — Tailoring transit hub design and services to the needs of groups with existing physical or mental health conditions and disabilities.

    The study examined areas for improvements to road, rail, transit and airport infrastructure and services in England.

    Read the Report

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:05 PM
    Reply # 8318796 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    CSU Study: Public transit access leads to higher employment, lower poverty

    The Greater Cleveland RTA provides an annual economic impact of $322 million in Cuyahoga County alone and access to public transit can lead to increased property values, greater employment and decreased poverty, according to a new study released Tuesday from Cleveland State University’s Center for Economic Development.

    Read the Report
  • 18 Dec 2019 1:06 PM
    Reply # 8318814 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    Who Pays For Roads? How the "Users Pay" Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America's Transportation Problem

    Frontier Group & U.S. PIRG Education Fund– Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been true, and it is less true now than at any other point in modern times.

    • Roads don't pay for themselves
    • All of us bear the cost of roads
    • Governments spend more non-user tax dollars on highways than on transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail travel, combined.
    • People who walk and bicycle pay their fair share for use of the transportation system.
    • Americans lead increasingly multimodal lives. Most are not “drivers” or “non-drivers” but people who use a variety of modes and pay for transportation in a variety of ways.
    • Solving the transportation funding crisis may or may not require higher gas taxes. It certainly requires policymakers to use fresh thinking. They can begin by taking three steps:
    1. Recognize the reality that all Americans now bear the cost of roads
    2. Treat revenue sources and investment decisions as separate. 
    3. Move toward a sensible pricing system for transportation.

    Read the Report

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:06 PM
    Reply # 8318815 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    The Case For Transit Funding in Texas

    Farm&City - If you’re reading this in a major Texas metro, you are currently experiencing about 1/3 the transit funding than you would experience in the other largest major US metros.

    There is less bus frequency, less places you can get to by transit, less high quality rapid transit options, less fiscally productive real estate investment, and more people having to drive a lot more than they would like to.

    We presented the following one pager to the Texas House Committee on Appropriations – S/C on Articles VI, VII & VIII Committee, as they had their initial discussion of the Texas Department of Transportation budget. You can see the testimony at 4:05:45 in this video.


    A majority of 28 million Texans – growing to 50 million soon – want better public transportation and are willing to pay more to fund better transit.

    Texas metro regions have 1/3 the transit funding our competitors have

    • Average local + state spending on public transportation across all states was $114 per capita in 2016, but only $64 per Texan.
    • Compared to the 8 other states with one or more of the 10 largest metro regions in the nation, Texans experience only 1/3 as much local + state transit funding per capita.
    • Average state funding of public transportation in America is $44 per capita – in Texas: $1.08
    • Only 17% of Americans live in the 15 states that fund public transit less than Texas.

    Innovations in Texas transit is being watched, copied across the nation

    • Houston METRO’s bus system reimagining overhaul has been copied across the nation, including last year in Austin, with ridership up in Austin and other metros following Houston’s lead on efficient, frequent service.

    We massively subsidize driving even though we’ve reached a point of little marginal benefit, with transit ready to help

    • TXDOT has asked for $41 million a year in funding for transit for rural areas, home to 6 million Texans – to meet basic needs.
    • Equal transit funding per capita for the 22 million other Texans: $160 million a year.
    • $330 million a year would raise us to Indiana standards for state transit funding per capita.

    Texans want more transit funding

    • According to the 2016 TTI survey, “the most frequently cited change that Texans would like to see in order to improve the transportation system for them was to improve public transportation.”
    • Kinder Houston Area Survey: 92% of the 7.5 million Texans living in Houston region think “much-improved mass transit” is important.

    We need to fix our transit funding problem

    • $201 million a year dedicated to public transit for rural and metropolitan areas, with $41 million for rural and small metros.
    • Let Texans vote on local options funding

    See the original article

    Read the Talking Points

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:06 PM
    Reply # 8318816 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    Who's On Board 2019

    TransitCenter – This report surveyed transit riders to give insight into why transit ridership has been declining across the country over the past two years, and what agencies can do about it.

    • The report centers on three main findings: Most riders aren't abandoning transit altogether, they're using it less; The privately-owned car is transit's main competitor, as survey respondents overwhelmingly reported replacing transit trips with personal car trips; Major personal life events — moving to a new home, relocating for work and getting a raise, for example — cause riders to shift their transit use more than average.

    • Only 25% of the ridership decline is due to people completely abandoning transit, indicating the other riders have merely cut back their use and could be enticed to increase their transit trips again.

    • Daily transit riders have dropped from 41% of respondents in 2016 to 32% now. However, occasional riders have increased from 29% in 2016 to 42% at present.

    • Ride-hailing service takes away from transit ridership, but not as much as personal cars, the report shows. In 2016, 43% of survey respondents had access to a car but that has grown notably to 54% now.

    • A major factor that influences ridership is transit service quality. Reliability, frequency, cleanliness and transit stop facilities all are key to rider satisfaction and within transit agencies' power to improve. The report also suggests improving bus service with measures like more dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority and all-door boarding.

    • Agencies can win over riders and boost consumer confidence by starting with relatively quick and inexpensive initiatives, including network redesigns and pilot bus lanes.

    • Reforming transit is proven to grow ridership and cities with strong transit have more frequent riders who are more likely to maintain their levels of ridership

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:07 PM
    Reply # 8318821 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    Blind Spots: New research on dangerous, unhealthy corridors

    Smart Growth America – Designing the commercial corridors where we live, work, and shop to prioritize moving cars as quickly as possible is certainly dangerous—as chronicled in Dangerous by Design—but it also has severe consequences for health, economic viability, and equity. We collaborated with the Urban Land Institute on a new research report that measures the impact of unsafe, unhealthy corridor conditions, examines how common these conditions are across the country, and digs into what can be done to change this trend.

    This research shows that unhealthy corridors constitute a loss to communities in terms of human life and safety, economic productivity, and transportation efficiency.

    • Primary arterials are dangerous. These high-capacity, high-speed roads that connect highways and interstate arterials to lower-capacity roads represent 157,033 miles of the nation’s 4.2 million miles of roadways—just 4 percent of the total—but have accounted for almost 30 percent of traffic fatalities in recent years.
    • Unhealthy corridors are ubiquitous. 67 percent of commercial corridors are at least moderately unhealthy, and 4 percent are severely unhealthy. Only 3 percent can be considered healthy.
    • Pedestrians are especially vulnerable. People walking make up a disproportionate share of traffic deaths on arterial commercial corridors. Nationwide, 15 percent of people killed in traffic crashes were walking, but on the commercial corridors analyzed in this report, people on foot account for 32 percent of traffic deaths.

    Read the Report

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:08 PM
    Reply # 8318825 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)


    TransForm – America’s transportation investments and policies have helped to create—and reinforce—racial and social inequities. Meanwhile, in response to worsening road congestion, inadequate transportation funding, and the dire threat of climate change, regions across North America have begun implementing road pricing on highways in the form of tolls and express lanes. A growing number of cities are now considering “congestion pricing” programs for their downtowns.

    Equity issues are often analyzed as part of road pricing studies for good reason: road pricing programs can burden low-income drivers with new costs, just when skyrocketing housing costs are forcing some to move out of transit-rich urban centers and rely more on private vehicles. Unfortunately, most equity studies have focused more on minimizing negative and disproportionate impacts than on using pricing to improve the equity of the transportation system. It is time to change that frame. We need to use the potential efficiencies of road pricing to solve several problems at once, and redressing systemic inequities needs to be at the top of the list.

    If equity concerns and deep community engagement help shape road pricing and associated investment strategies, they can lead to faster and more frequent public transit, safer pedestrian and bicycle routes, and improved mobility and health outcomes for vulnerable communities. Discounts and exemptions for low-income households can create progressive pricing structures. Road pricing programs can help make transportation systems more equitable than they are today.

    The goal of this report and toolkit is to challenge policymakers and equity advocates to act on this key proposition: that structural inequities in our transportation system may be remedied in part by effective, equitable road pricing.

    The report looks at examples from cities in North America and around the world that have implemented some form of road pricing. These international examples are especially relevant to North American cities, including New York, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, all of which are exploring downtown congestion pricing.

    The report then examines a wide range of strategies to achieve equity outcomes, focused on affordability, access, and community health. It also looks at methods for achieving the full participation of vulnerable communities in the planning process.

    Following the report is a companion toolkit, intended primarily for policy-makers and equity advocates who are actively considering a road pricing strategy. The toolkit may be useful to many audiences though, as it contains interesting and useful case studies and examples. Finally, TransForm has developed a stand-alone worksheet based on the toolkit so equity advocates can keep track of where they are in the process, and stay focused on planning and engaging.

    We hope these documents offer a roadmap to ensure that vulnerable populations can derive real, tangible benefit from road pricing projects.

    The goal of this report and toolkit is to challenge policymakers and equity advocates to act on this key proposition: that structural inequity in our transportation system may be remedied in part by effective, equitable road pricing.

    Read More

    Read Report 

    Download the Worksheet

  • 18 Dec 2019 1:09 PM
    Reply # 8318830 on 8318762
    Rachel Albright (Administrator)

    Transit and Emerging Technologies

    This Nelson & Nygaard study looks ahead to future trends and their potential impacts on transit, in particular the adoption of autonomous vehicles. The study presents opportunities for cities and transit agencies to leverage these technologies to make transit more competitive in a rapidly changing mobility marketplace. The writers show how transit priority infrastructure, fare technology, mobility as a service (MaaS), and mobility hubs can help make transit more attractive to potential riders, and they break down when and how public-private partnerships can complement—rather than compete against—transit. The report culminates in a list of action phases for engaging with new mobility technology, providing a roadmap for cities and transit agencies to position themselves for success.

    Read the Report

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