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Suggested Citation:"Additional Resources." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2004. Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes Handbook, Third Edition: Chapter 9, Transit Scheduling and Frequency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23433.
Page 29

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9-29 Note that “base vehicle hours” in this formulation refers to the hours accrued by the base fleet throughout the peak and off-peak, and “peak vehicle hours” refers to only the added increment in the peak over and above the base vehicle hours. “Peak vehicles,” however, refers to the total count of vehicles in service during the peak, whether they are operating base or peak vehicle hours. Since the cost of each peak vehicle is expressed as annual cost, either the formula must be used to calculate annual costs, or the peak vehicle cost ($19,941 in the case of this 1984 calibration) must be divided by an appropriate cost annualization factor. A 1968 evaluation of suburban Long Island bus operating costs estimated that to cover the cost of adding off-peak bus service to a peak-only operation would require a ridership of only 6 percent over the peak period ridership (Pignataro, Falcocchio and Roess, 1970). Comparison of off-peak with peak-hour only service exaggerates normal conditions, and few operations today cover all costs as in the 1960s, but it is clearly inappropriate to use a flat, all day, per mile or per hour cost in assessing the viability of off-peak service improvements. An examination of the commuter railroad cost impact of a 40 percent increase in car miles spread over both the peak and off-peak revealed the following operating cost increases (Mass Transportation Commission et al., 1964): fuel +40% train crew labor +32 car repair +28 non-operating labor +11 These relationships suggest that the incremental cost of the added service must have been substantially less per train mile than the service previously in place. It may be concluded that while transit ridership rarely increases as much as the percentage increase in service required to engender it, neither do the operating costs, at least if the service increase is primarily in the off- peak or counter to the predominant peak hours flow. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES By applying a series of assumptions, such as an initial 2:1 ratio of peak to base service, an annualization factor for cost of 300, an average speed of 12 miles per hour including layovers, and 5 and 10 hour peak and off-peak weekday operating periods, respectively, it is possible to calculate that the weekday cost of a 50 percent increase in off-peak service would be just 40 percent of the cost of a 50 percent increase in peak service involving the same number of vehicle hours and miles. Results would vary according to the application, but off-peak service increases to frequencies less than or equal to the peak frequency will always be shown to be less expensive on a per hour/mile basis. If capital costs were to be included, they would make no addition to off-peak service costs. The U.S. federal research Patronage Impacts of Changes in Transit Fares and Services, UMTA/USDOT Report Number RR135-1 (Mayworm, Lago and McEnroe, 1980) provides additional case study material and in-depth analyses specifically focused on transit frequency levels. A report of the International Collaborative Study of the Factors Affecting Public Transport Patronage, The Demand for Public Transport, published by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (Webster and Bly, 1980), includes extensive compilation of transit service elasticities

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TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 95: Chapter 9 – Transit Scheduling and Frequency examines scheduling changes made to conventional bus and rail transit, including changes in the frequency of service, hours of service, structuring of schedules, and schedule reliability.

The Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes Handbook consists of these Chapter 1 introductory materials and 15 stand-alone published topic area chapters. Each topic area chapter provides traveler response findings including supportive information and interpretation, and also includes case studies and a bibliography consisting of the references utilized as sources.


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