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Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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.
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Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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 31
Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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 32
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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 34
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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 35
Page 36
Suggested Citation:"Case Studies." 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 36

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9-30 CASE STUDIES Mass Transportation Demonstration Projects in Massachusetts Situation. From 1962 to 1964, the Mass Transportation Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts performed a variety of mass transit service improvement and fare reduction experiments. Although old, the information produced remains by far the most comprehensive quasi-experimental data set on individual transit route frequency change impacts available. The projects fall into three groups: the “MTA Experiments,” involving the Metropolitan Transit Authority and centered on Boston; the “Bus Company Experiments,” involving bus operators throughout the state other than MTA; and the “Rail Experiments,” involving the commuter railroads serving Boston. MTA Experiments Actions/Results. The MTA experiments were all conducted within Boston and its inner suburbs. Off-peak service frequency was increased to match peak period frequency in 2 of the MTA experiments. On a 1 mile downtown bus route connecting Boston’s North and South Stations, the off-peak headway was changed from 25 min. to 5 min. Results: 6 month revenue up 71 percent, with an average of 1,441 new riders per day; post experiment off-peak headway set at 8 min. On a suburban feeder to rapid transit bus route, off-peak frequency was improved from 10 to 5 min. Results: 5 month revenues up only 3 percent. Among the new bus lines tried were 2 circumferential services, 3 and 5 miles from downtown Boston respectively. Each passed through 7 rail transit stations and 7 to 8 dense residential and retail communities. Frequency was 10 min. peak and 15 min. base. Results: 697 average daily additional passengers gained for the 3 mile radius corridor, 3,347 for the 5-mile corridor; 2 and 27 percent increases in corridor revenues, respectively; revenues 5 and 20 percent of costs. More... Of the riders newly attracted to MTA by increased bus frequency between North and South Stations, approximately 2 out of 3 had previously walked and 96 percent of the prior walkers were making train connections. On the inner circumferential bus route 94 percent of the riders interviewed had previously used another MTA service; of the remainder 66 percent had traveled by auto, 25 percent had walked, and 8 percent were making new trips. On the outer circumferential bus route 13 percent formerly traveled by auto, 44 percent by bus, and 43 percent via a combination of radial MTA rail lines. in developed countries, along with related evaluations and interpretations. Although no updates of these works are known to be available, a periodically updated “Transportation Elasticities” compendium with references and resources for more information is maintained on the www.vtpi.org website (Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2003). Several recent reports contain brief summaries of 1990s transit service change actions and outcomes. One with several examples of frequency and other transit scheduling changes is TCRP Research Results Digest 29 (Stanley, 1998). Analysis. Passenger and farebox gross revenue tallies were maintained throughout the experiments and compared with available data for prior year equivalent months. The patrons were sampled and interviewed to obtain information on rider characteristics and travel habits.

9-31 Actions/Results. Several experiments were conducted outside the Boston MTA service area. These mostly involved increasing service frequency provided on established local service bus routes. Operator bankruptcy disrupted some of the experiments after the first 3 months. In six of the frequency enhancement demonstrations, 30 to 60 percent of the added service was retained afterward. Table 9-13 summarizes the frequency enhancements and the results. Table 9-13 Massachusetts Bus Headway Changes and Ridership/Revenue Results Route Service Area Population New Headway Results (and Comments) Average Weekday Total Inbound Passengers Milford to Downtown Boston 22,000 (Suburban area only) 1 hour all day (78% service increase) 12 month revenue up 22% (18% first 3 months; 27% in the last 3 months) 232 Uxbridge to Worcester (pop. 187,000) 28,000 (Suburban area only) Similar to above 9 month revenue up 5% (none in first 3 months, 16% in the last 3 months) 111 Amesbury- Newburyport 25,000 Half-hourly in the peak; hourly in the base (67% service increase) 8 month revenue up 19% (route through depressed industrial areas) 85 Adams- Williamstown 40,000 Better than hourly frequency (100% service increase) 3 month ridership up 48% over 300 Pittsfield 74,000 (SMSA) Service increased to 8 round trips (16% service increase) 3 month ridership up 87% (3 mile long radial route) 113 Pittsfield 74,000 (SMSA) Service increased to 15 round trips (50% service increase) 3 month ridership up 30% (3 mile long radial route) 293 Fitchburg- Leominster 72,000 (SMSA) 1:40 PM to 6:00 PM bus trips doubled to give 10 min. headway all day; minor route extension 8 month revenue up 8% (high density service area; fare increase from 20¢ to 25¢ in 9th month) 1,561 (12 month average) Fall River 124,000 (SMSA) Service increase of 20% Halted but did not reverse ridership decline (high unemployment and disruptive construction) n/a Notes: SMSA stands for 1960 U.S. Census Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.

9-32 Most new routes attempted were unsuccessful, including service into light density suburbs of Fitchburg, short in-city routes to new developments, an industrial service, and 2 commuter railroad feeder routes. The services attempted varied from 5 bus trips a day to half-hourly frequency. The average bus trip carried less than 2 passengers. An expressway service into Boston attracted 61 inbound passengers; a modest success. A rapid transit feeder service, operating through dense suburbs on a 30 minute headway, attracted 193 inbound riders at a 10¢ fare, 183 at a subsequent 15¢ fare, and was retained in full after the demonstration. More... The prior travel modes for new bus riders on the Milford, Uxbridge, Fitchburg, Adams, and Pittsfield demonstrations ranged from 18 to 68 percent “own car,” 11 to 29 percent carpool, 0 to 7 percent taxi, 0 to 54 percent walk, and 0 to 11 percent train. Some 51 percent of all bus riders, old and new, said the bus service was a contributing factor in staying on their present job. Actions. Experiments were conducted on the 3 systems then responsible for commuter rail operations in the greater Boston area. These were: The Boston & Maine Railroad (B&M), the New Haven Railroad (NH) and the New York Central Railroad. The B&M experiment consisted of 3 phases: Phase 1 incorporated an overall 77 percent increase in service (including weekends) and a 28 percent decrease in fares. The weekday service expansion was 92 percent (peak service 82 percent and off-peak 96 percent); the fare decrease varied from 12 to 72 percent. Phase 2 involved retention of Phase 1 service improvements, coupled with virtual elimination of the fare reductions, except for adjustments to provide an off- peak fare discount. In Phase 3 service levels were adjusted while the fare structure remained the same. The NH experiment consisted of 2 phases: In Phase 1, the total overall average service level was increased by 42 percent and fares were reduced by an average of 10 percent. In Phase 2, part of the NH operation was returned to pre-experiment service levels, and fares were raised to approximately pre-experiment levels except for provision of off-peak fare incentives. New York Central Railroad operation was used as an experimental control; no significant changes were made to service or fares, nor was there any special advertising of the service. Results. Ridership increases on the B&M were immediate; ridership in January 1963 was up 30 percent (5,500 more weekday riders) over December. Overall patronage gains on the B&M averaged 27, 37.5 and 44 percent over pre-experiment levels for Phases 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The NH experienced ridership increases of 10 and 11.5 percent for Phases 1 and 2, respectively. Riding on the New York Central continued downward during 1963. The average decline was 5.9 percent, similar to pre-experiment trends on the other 2 railroads. On 2 individual lines of the B&M which received only fare reductions, the total Phase 1 ridership increased by only about 3 percent. Similar results were observed on individual NH lines. Moreover, the Phase 2 B&M and NH patronage increases occurred despite fare increases. It was therefore concluded that service level improvements were more effective than fare reductions for increasing ridership. Nevertheless, the fare reductions were perceived: Of new train riders surveyed, 22 percent cited lower fares as the principal reason they used trains more often, while 14 percent cited the increase in train service and 6 percent noted both. Additional revenues earned during Phase 1 covered the loss inherent in the fare reduction but not the costs of added service; new revenues earned during the final phases were sufficient to cover the full incremental cost of the experiment, but not much of the overall operating deficit.

9-33 More... The 35 percent B&M Phase 3 increase over a pre-experiment passenger count reflected a 21 percent peak period increase and a 79 percent off-peak increase. (All off-peak data includes reverse commutation during the peak.) The NH percentage increases were similarly large in the off-peak relative to the peak. Riders using commuter trains more often previously traveled 63.6 percent in their own car, 16.9 percent as a carpool member, and 19.5 percent via bus. Of all inbound riders, 41.0 percent drove and parked their own car at the station, 27.7 percent walked to the station, 1.8 percent took a bus, and 2.2 percent took a taxi. While 83 percent of inbound NH commuters walked to their destination, 55 percent of B&M commuters used subway or bus (40 percent walked) because of the station location. Frequency and Service Hours Enhancements in Santa Clarita, California Situation. Santa Clarita, California, is an outlying suburb in the foothills north of the San Fernando Valley. Except for a pedestrian spine and rib system in the central community of Valencia, the development is transit unfriendly, with walled communities, dry river barriers, and no sidewalks in industrial areas. Metrolink commuter rail service to Los Angeles was initiated in October 1992, and the station serves as a common point for most routes. In 1992, Santa Clarita Transit local bus coverage was provided on hourly headways, Monday through Saturday, and peak period express service was offered to downtown Los Angeles. Combined headways were 30 minutes on certain local bus trunk route segments. Buses were and are routed primarily via arterials without frequent deviations into neighborhood streets. Junior and Senior High School student transportation is provided by regular routes and fixed-route deviations. There are 9 local routes including a Metrolink feeder, 4 through-routed, plus additional branches and deviations. Destinations served include a Six Flags theme park. The Santa Clarita Transit local service area has a 1998 population, including locales outside of the incorporated city, of approximately 150,000. Commuter express service in and out of the area is provided on 7 lines as of 1998. Ridership is 82 percent local, 5 percent dial-a-ride, and 13 percent commuter; and 20 percent senior, 37 percent adult, and 43 percent youth. Actions. The growth between 1992 and 1998 in Santa Clarita Transit local route vehicle revenue hours and miles operated is documented in Table 9-14. While there have been route adjustments and certain extensions, most of the local route service growth has been in expanded service hours and increased frequencies. Saturday service hours were expanded by three hours in 1992. Weekday service hours were expanded by two hours in 1992, and again in 1995 on three routes. Sunday service was introduced on about two-thirds of the local routes in 1996. In the FY 1995-96 through FY 1997-98 period, 30 minute headways all-day were introduced on 4 routes, including two on weekends, and peak service was increased to approximately 15 minute headways on two routes (and most of a third on the basis of combined headways). Transfer policies were modified in 1992 to provide a 90-minute pass, fares were raised 33 percent in 1993, and youth passes were increased from $10 a month to $15 in 1996. New express commuter bus services to and from the area were added in 1994 and 1995. Source: Mass Transportation Commission, MA, McKinsey & Co., Systems Analysis and Research Corp., and Joseph Napolitan & Assoc., “Mass Transportation in Massachusetts.” U. S. Housing and Home Finance Agency, Washington, DC (July 1964).

9-34 Analysis. This evaluation documents the ridership growth and calculates year by year and 5-year overall log arc service elasticities for the local service. Demographic growth, modest within the city limits, and the effect of fare changes were both ignored in the elasticity calculations, as was any effect of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Results. Table 9-14 provides ridership data along with bus hours and bus miles service elasticities for Santa Clarita Transit local service. The magnitudes of the one-year elasticities are suspect because there is no statistical smoothing of short-term anomalies, but it is notable that all are over +0.50. The majority of the 1-year elasticity values, and the 5-year overall service elasticities as calculated on both bus hours and bus miles, are all in the elastic range: over +1.0. Ridership thus increased more than service. The bus miles 5-year overall service elasticity of +1.14 is probably the result of most significance. The bus hours elasticity calculations were influenced by an increase in average operating speed from 16 mph in FY 1992-93 to 19 mph in 1997-98. Passengers per hour performance rose from 16 in 1992-93 to 21 in 1997-98, peaking at 23 passengers per hour the previous year. Passengers per mile performance, while increasing slightly overall, has stayed close to 1.0 per local bus mile. Table 9-14 Santa Clarita, CA Local Fixed Route Performance and Log Arc Service Elasticities Local Fixed Routes-Year City Population Annual Rev. Bus Hours Annual Rev. Bus Miles Annual Bus Rides Bus Hours Elasticity Bus Miles Elasticity FY 1992-93 123,400 48,778 787,807 769,137 — — 1993-94 124,000 53,391 1,018,021 915,869 +1.93 +0.68 1994-95 124,300 60,028 1,163,607 1,107,587 +1.62 +1.42 1995-96 124,800 62,750 1,179,140 1,366,537 +4.74 +15.84 1996-97 n/a 66,947 1,389,082 1,527,253 +1.72 +0.68 1997-98 n/a 81,216 1,569,891 1,693,173 +0.53 +0.84 5 Fiscal Years +2% (4 yrs.a) +66% +99% +120% +1.55 +1.14 Note: a Calendar years 1992 (122,949 pop.) through 1996 (125,153 pop.). More... Santa Clarita Transit suburbs to suburbs and reverse commute express bus service introduction and results are presented in Chapter 4, “Busways, BRT and Express Bus.” Sources: Kilcoyne, R., Telephone interview. Santa Clarita Transit. (July 6, 1998a). • Kilcoyne, R., Timeline of Service Changes Santa Clarita Transit 1992-1998, unpublished [1998b]. • City of Santa Clarita Transit Division, Fact Sheet. Santa Clarita, CA [1997]. • Santa Clarita Transit, Local Ridership [and service measures]. Tabulations, Santa Clarita, CA (1993-1998). • Assembly of population data, calculations of elasticities, and interpretations are by the Handbook authors. Mt. Pleasant Bus Route Service Reduction in Toronto — Panel Survey Situation. Service was reduced on the Mt. Pleasant Road trolleybus (Route 74) in Toronto, Canada, in October 1987. An experimental panel survey procedure was used to determine travel characteristics and transit service elasticities of demand exhibited by the riders.

9-35 Actions. The following changes were made to this route’s schedule: Peak-period headways were widened from 10 to 15 minutes (50 percent increase). Early-evening (7-9 PM) headways were widened from 15 to 30 minutes (100 percent increase). Midday (15 minutes) and late evening (20 minute) headways were not changed. Analysis. The survey panel members were recruited by interviewers at bus stops to record their travel before and after the change. A 75 percent response rate was obtained, providing 57 sets of trip records, each covering two weeks prior to the service reduction and two weeks during the fourth and fifth weeks after the service reduction. The surveys provided before and after 14-day trip totals and weekly trip rates by mode for the Mt. Pleasant route rider panel, as well as Mt. Pleasant route and total bus transit before and after mode shares. Elasticities were computed on the basis of headway using the mid-point arc elasticity formulation. Table 9-15 displays the elasticity estimates for the Mt. Pleasant route, total transit usage, and total trips for the panelists. Since the elasticities are computed on the basis of headways, rather than a service quantity measure, the elasticities tend to be negative. Table 9-15 Headway Elasticities for Mt. Pleasant Trolleybus Route Panelists, Toronto Headway Elasticities Trip Purpose Time Period Mt. Pleasant Total Transit Total Trips Work and School tripsa All Periods -0.40 -0.06 0.00 Non-work and non-school tripsb All Periods -0.40 -0.40 -0.29 All purposes Peak periods -0.47 -0.15 -0.10 All purposes Off-peak -0.29 0.00 -0.10 Notes: a Given that a majority of work/school trips occur during the morning and afternoon peak periods, it was assumed that the relevant headway for computing work/school trip elasticities is the peak-period headway. b It was assumed that the relevant headway for computing non-work/non-school trip elasticities is the early evening headway. Early evening was judged the relevant time period for workers and students because the majority are away from home earlier. It was also judged the relevant period for non-workers and non-students, given that most round trips by panelists in this group either began or ended during the early evening period. More... The relatively few non-workers and non-students in the panel, mostly senior citizens, exhibited responses that differed from the majority. They did not engage in shifts of bus route Results. Average weekly rides on the Mt. Pleasant bus dropped from 7.5 to 6.2 trips per respondent. The loss in ridership was mostly a loss to competing routes. The Mt. Pleasant route’s share of all travel by the panelists declined from 70.5 to 61.7 percent. The percentage of trips that panelists made on any transit route dropped only slightly; from 82.7 to 81.3 percent. The observed shift was thus mostly a “route shift”as contrasted to a “mode shift.” • • •

9-36 choice, but reported taking fewer trips. Non-worker and non-student trips reported dropped by 14 percent. This group appeared to be truly “captive” to transit. Source: Miller, E. J. and Crowley, D. F., “Panel Survey Approach to Measuring Transit Route Service Elasticity of Demand.” Transportation Research Record 1209 (1989). Fare and Frequency Changes in Metropolitan Dallas Situation. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) reduced bus fares and expanded bus service following DART’s formation in 1983. Base cash fare was reduced from $.70 to $.50 at the outset of 1984. Nine major service expansions in city and suburbs doubled peak bus requirements by late 1986. Ridership increased to almost 50 percent above pre-DART levels. However, low cost recovery forced a degree of retrenchment in late 1986 and 1987, a time of decreasing gasoline prices and corresponding recession in the oil-dependent local economy. Actions. The period of case study analysis included the final mid-1985 to mid-1986 service expansions, with increases in urban bus (DTS) and suburban express bus (TCT I) revenue miles. In addition, suburban local bus (TCT II) service was initiated (18 crosstown/feeder routes) and expanded (28 more routes). The case study also included and focused on the mid-1986 to mid- 1987 retrenchment period, during which urban bus revenue miles were reduced 13 percent, and suburban local bus revenue miles were reduced 33 percent in total. During this retrenchment period, suburban express revenue miles were actually increased by 6 percent. Systemwide revenue miles nonetheless were down 16 percent overall. Retrenchment period service adjustments focused primarily on changes in frequency and hours of service, but some consolidation was involved. Also during this period, fares were increased for all services. First, base cash fares were increased from $.50 to $.75, zone fares likewise went up 50 percent or nearly so, and special fares were also adjusted upward. A month later, pass and commuter card prices were increased by 35 percent. The lesser increase relative to cash fares upped the savings of pass use compared to cash by 10 percent. Analysis. Data on boarding passengers were collected for some nine fare categories with DART’s registering fareboxes. Analysis of this farebox data along with sales for pre-paid fare media allowed development of ridership profiles over time for up to 12 payment options for each of DART’s three contract service providers: DTS (urban bus), TCT I (suburban express bus), and TCT II (suburban local bus). Ridership was adjusted for holidays and seasonality. A regression model was developed for each operation to isolate the effects of fare and service changes between mid-1985 and mid-1987 and to segregate these effects from those of cheaper auto travel and the local recession, reflected in the model by gasoline prices. This allowed computation of fare and service elasticities intended to be independent of effects of the economy and gas prices. Results. By late 1987, ridership was approximately 16.5 percent lower than 1986 levels while revenues had increased by 20 percent. DART forecasts had estimated a 9.2 percent ridership decline and a revenue gain of 30 percent. Reluctant to engender further ridership loss, DART canceled a planned second round fare increase. Shifts in fare payment methods accounted for 10 percent of the revenue shortfall. Use of passes and commuter cards rose from 27 to 32 percent of fare payments, and the proportion of riders transferring increased by about 3 percent. Ridership loss accounted for 90 percent of the revenue shortfall. Table 9-16 gives the mid-1986 and 1987 average weekday boardings for each service provider, the corresponding loss in

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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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