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Public Transport: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
3 Good Reasons Buses Don't Have Seatbelts
This article examines why buses are not required to have seatbelts and concludes that it is for two main reasons - cost and the fact that adding seatbelts is unlikely to make travel by bus, already the safest mode of travel, even safer.
How Much Does it Cost to Purchase and Operate a...
This article describes how much it costs transit agencies to purchase and then operate a bus in daily service.
Ten Transit Faux-Pas to Avoid
Ten rules that you need to follow when you take public transportation.
What's the Cost of a Rail Transit Project?
This article examines the capital costs of recent rail transit projects in the United States and Canada and describes some factors that help to explain the differences in costs.
What Happens to Buses When They Fall Out of Use?
Obviously the bus does not disintegrate at that time. The answer is that the buses are often sold at an auction, and sometimes sold through dealerships.
What You Need to Do to Become a Bus Driver
This article goes over how to become and stay a bus driver, from the initial testing to continuing education.
What Are the True Operating Cost Differences...
We look at the data showing the operating cost differences between the two modes of public transportation, and conclude: Buses are considerably cheaper.
Learn What Software the Public Transit Industry...
This article provides a brief overview of the scheduling software used in the public transit industry and then focuses on Hastus by GIRO, and includes what kind of prices you are likely to pay for Hastus. It then finishes with a short discussion of what the future is likely to hold for scheduling software packages.
All You Wanted to Know about Electric Buses
This article describes everything you would like to know about electric buses - how they work, how much they cost, the advantages and disadvantages of using them, and the prognosis for their future usage.
How Do Bus Routes and Schedules Get Planned?
This article provides an overview of how bus routes and schedules get planned. It includes discussion of the following: long range planning, grant applications, and short-range route and schedule planning.
How Long Do Buses (and Other Transit Vehicles)...
This article discusses how long transit buses and other vehicles are expected to last in the United States and other countries.
Commercial Driver License (CDL) Medical...
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
Contracting Out of Public Transit - Types of...
This article describes the two possible ways that transit authorities could contract out to private operators - just contract out operations or contract out planning and operations - and the advantages and disadvantages of each in comparison with public sector operation.
How Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
How Federal, State, Local Transit Subsidies...
After defining the difference between operating and capital funding, this article describes the different ways of financially supporting transit, including farebox revenues and revenues from sales, gas, property, and income taxes. Next, the article talks about transit support at the local, state, and federal level and refers to the New Starts Program, the JARC program, and transit funding in California and New York. Local funding is then discussed, including innovative local transit funding programs such as Los Angeles's Measure R and America Fast Forward.
Why We Cannot Cancel the Subway Line and Use...
This article describes the difference between transit capital and operating funding and why it is easier to build a subway than it is to run it.
How Do We Determine Where a Bus Route Should Go?
This article describes the steps to follow in determining the initial placement of a new bus route.
Profile of the Texas High Speed Rail "T-Bone"
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Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
What Is the Capacity of Different Modes of...
This article describes the relative capacities of different modes of transit. Cities are cautioned against building rapid transit lines with either too much capacity - since it wastes money - or too little capacity - since a day will come when the line is saturated with passengers and cannot add any more.
How to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
How Do We Decide How Long a Bus Trip Will Take?
This installment describes how times for the bus are calculated, and how time points are determined.
The Use of Gondola Lifts and Aerial Trams in...
This article examines how gondola lifts and aerial trams, usually found only in ski resort settings, are used more broadly for public transportation.
Automated Passenger Counting (APC) Systems: How...
Automated Passenger Counting (APC) systems are revolutionizing the transit industry by providing much more information about ridership and on-time performance than has historically been available. Read about how they work here.
Which Is Better - Bus Rapid Transit or Light...
This article provides an overview of the debate between whether light rail or bus rapid transit will/should be built in a particular corridor.
Three Ways to Improve Recruitment of Bus Drivers
This article describes the requirements of being a bus driver and how transit agencies could improve the recruitment of bus drivers by relaxing some of the requirements.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
High Speed Rail in the United States: Corridor...
An overview of the current progress on each of the ten federally designated high speed rail corridors in the United States, including links to specific pages on each of the ten.
How to Improve Bus Driver Health
This article describes the unhealthy nature of bus driving and makes three recommendations to improve bus driver health.
How Will Self-Driving Cars Affect Public...
This article examines how self-driving cars could affect public transit and public transportation and concludes that while some demand for transit will be reduced, many current transit passengers will be too poor to take advantage of these new technologies and transit systems, by significantly reducing labor costs, will be able to rely on fewer government subsidies.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part V:...
The fifth in a series of five articles giving a brief overview of how bus routes and schedules get designed.
How Safe Do Young People Feel on Transit?
This article reviews an article published in the Journal of Public Transportation assessing how safe young people in Melbourne, Australia feel about using public transportation.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part IV:...
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
Do People Who Ride Public Transit Get Sick More?
This article examines if people who ride public transit get sick more than other people, and concludes that there is insufficient evidence to answer this question.
How Do Transit Agencies Decide on What Buses to...
This is the first in a series or article examine how transit agencies decide on what kind of bus to purchase. This entry describes how transit agencies determine what size of bus to buy.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
How Transit Agencies Decide on What Buses To...
This is the second in a series or article examine how transit agencies decide on what kind of bus to purchase. This entry describes how transit agencies determine what kind of propulsion system to buy.
What Effect Will Uber, Lyft, Side Car, etc....
An examination of the effect that transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft will have on transit.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
How Safe Is Transit?
This article assesses the safety of transit, and concludes it is much safer to take transit than it is to drive or ride a bicycle despite the high profile transit fatalities that occurred as a result of the London terrorist bombings in 2005 and the Metrolink commuter train crash in Los Angeles in 2008. It ends by describing new safety procedures that have been put in place since the above incidents that have increased transit safety.
How AVL Works and How It Is Used in the Transit...
This article described how AVL (automatic vehicle location) works and how it is used in the transit industry.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
The Branding and Marketing of Transit Systems...
This article examines the importance of the name to a transit system's identity, and goes through a list of good and bad transit agency names and what makes each one good or bad. Finally, it suggests setting up an outlet through which transit agencies can see branded product.
Cities With the Best and Worst Transit Systems
A review of two cities with the best transit systems and two cities with the worst transit systems.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
How We Measure How Crowded a Bus Is to...
This article advocates for a new lower load factor standard for low floor transit vehicles. It also advocated for a lower load factor when buses operate less frequently, because the negative effect of being passed up is obviously greater when the wait for the next bus is longer.
Five Top Employment Issues
This list describes the five top employment issues in the transit industry. They are: absenteeism, workers compensation, interactions between drivers and passengers, split shifts, and employee breaks.
How Do I Become a Transit Planner or Bus...
This article describes two ways in which you can land a transit planning or bus scheduling job.
Progression of Writing a Vehicle Schedule in...
This is the first of a series of articles describing more specifically the steps of writing schedules in Hastus and other scheduling software programs.
California Public Transit Funding
This is a quick overview of California Public Transit Funding, and includes detailed information about state and local sources of transit revenue and outlays of transit revenue. An analysis of the future of California public transit funding is also presented. This article also includes an off-site link for more information.
Transit 101: Is It Cheaper to Take Transit Or...
This article examines the relative cost of taking transit or driving a car, and emphatically concludes that taking transit is much cheaper than driving. In fact, the cost savings is the primary advantage of taking public transportation.
How Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
Will We Ever Have High Speed Rail In America?
The latest high speed rail update features great news for supporters of the California High Speed Rail project.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
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The Importance of Successful Bus-Rail Interfaces
Many transit systems are constructing light and heavy rail lines. But since their reach is necessarily limited, if bus system improvements do not happen concurrently with the rail line opening then the rail line will not be successful. This article describes how to create successful bus-rail interfaces.
The Proper Stop Spacing of Rapid Transit Lines
This article examines how closely together subway stations should be, and concludes that 1/2 mile is the optimum stop spacing for subway lines.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
How Transit Agencies Decide on What Buses to...
This is the third in a series or article examine how transit agencies decide on what kind of bus to purchase. This entry describes how transit agencies determine whether to buy high or low floor buses, and what manufacturer to buy from.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Overview
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
Review of the New Federal Transportation Bill -...
Here is my review of the new federal transportation bill - MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress In the 21st Century).
Eight Reasons Why People Stop Using Public...
This article reviews a journal article that elucidated eight reasons why people stop using transit and made recommendations to overcome those reasons.
Simplicity in Route Design
This article argues for simplicity in route design as a tool to attract higher patronage to transit.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
Fare Evasion
An examination of fare evasion; included are descriptions of what is is, how many people do it, and what it costs transit agencies.
Rural Transit - How the Need, Funding, and...
A review of how rural transit differs from urban transit.
Merger of New Flyer and NABI, Good for the...
This article examines if the June 2013 merger between New Flyer and NABI will be good for the industry.
Transit 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
New York MTA Capital Projects
This article goes over the three major capital projects currently being constructed by the New York MTA - the Long Island Railroad access to Grand Central Station, the extension of subway Line 7 to the far west side of Manhattan, and the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway from 63rd to 96th Street.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
Can PPPs Save Transit?
A review of The Road to Renewal - Private Investment in U.S. Transportation Infrastructure
New York State Public Transit Funding
This is a quick overview of New York Public Transit Funding, and includes detailed information about state and local sources of transit revenue and outlays of transit revenue. An analysis of the future of California public transit funding is also presented. This article also includes an off-site link for more information.
How Do Bus Drivers Pick What Routes They Drive?
This article describes how bus drivers pick what routes they drive and how the way in which they pick their routes helps us improve our transit system.
Review of Zoned Out (Regulation, Markets, and...
This is a book review of Zoned Out by Jonathan Levine.
How You Can Design Transit Networks at Home -...
This article describes the basic makeup of a recent urban planning class taught by Jarrett Walker and how in a simplified format any person can engage in a similar activity, which is an effective way to think more about how public transit can better serve a particular city.
Software Used in the Public Transit Profession:...
A quick overview of ESRI's Arc GIS products and how they are used in the public transit industry.
Transit Fare Payment Systems - A Primer
This article introduces the different ways transit fares can be paid, including by cash, token, ticket, transfer, day pass, monthly pass, UPASSES, tap cards, and through open fare payments by using credit cards.
Transit In Detroit
This article goes over the public transit options available in the Motor City, including a description of the network, funding, fares, and planned projects.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
Can the Private Sector Do a Better Job of...
Can the private sector do a better job of running transit? Find out in my review of Privatizing Transportation Systems.
Transit Ridership and Access to Airports
This article examines how many people take transit to airports and issues associated with designing airport rapid transit lines.
California's Wage Order Number 9
This article summarizes California's Wage Order Number 9, which mandates rest periods and meal breaks, and it's effect on public transit in the state.
Ease of Going Car Free: Examination of U.S. and...
This list describes how each of the U.S. and Canadian Cities Over 1,000,000 fare in terms of ease of going without a car.
Transit 101: Answering the Question: "Why Are...
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Overview of the Americans With Disabilities Act...
Summary of federal requirements of accessible features on vehicles, including lifts, ramps, and automated stop and route announcements.
When to Use School Trippers
This article explains when to use school trippers in your transit service.
LB Line P2a
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in the Los Angeles Region. Featured are the buses and rail lines of Los Angeles Metro, and the buses of Long Beach Transit, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Municipal Bus Lines, Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Orange County Transportation Authority, Foothill Transit, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System's buses and rail lines, Santa Barbara Mass Transit District, Los Angeles DASH and Commuter Express, and others. Page 50.
The School Service Rule
This article describes what kind of transportation local transit agencies can offer to schools and how such transportation may be restricted by Federal Transit Administration regulations.
Charging Station Upclose
Public Transport. Page 16.
How to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
Do New Streetcar Lines Promote Development?
This article examines whether new streetcar lines promote development, and while results from Portland, OR and Seattle seem to suggest they do, it is unclear whether this development was caused by the rail line or would have occurred anyway.
Transit in Pittsburgh
This article examines transit in Pittsburgh, including the network, fares, funding, projects, and outlook for the future.
The Rules of the Run Cut Part I: Defining the...
This article describes the different duty types that make up a typical transit agency's run cut.
Transit 101: The Spare Ratio
This article explains what the spare ratio is in transit, how much the spare ratio usually is, and factors that can affect the spare ratio.
Overview of the National Transit Database (NTD)
This article gives an overview of the federal requirement that transit agencies submit annual data about the number of accidents, crimes, ridership, and passenger miles to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for inclusion in the NTD (National Transit Database). Agencies gather this information either by using automated passenger counting systems (APCs) or by manually collecting the data through riding randomly selected trips.
How to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Muni Driver Concentrating
This gallery contains images of transit and buses from the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently featured are the cable cars, streetcars (historic and otherwise), buses and trolley buses of the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the rapid transit lines operated by BART. Page 2.
Where Will the California High Speed Train Go?
This article profiles the California High Speed Rail Project, including the route, cost, annual ridership, and outlook.
A Review of Embarq Corporation's Article About...
A review of Embarq corporation's recent article about how to improve transit ridership through marketing tools. Some of the tools include build a strong brand and identity, value internal communication, educate the users of your system early and often, provide simple but informative maps and schedules, tailor marketing messages to specific groups, control the media, be responsive to riders, and disseminate your information online.
Five Ways to Improve Transit Passenger Security
This article describes five ways that transit systems can improve passenger security: install security cameras, improve lighting at stops and stations, initiate a request stop program, make real time schedule information available on phones, and employ CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) principles.
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
Transit in Ann Arbor, MI: A Tale of Two Providers
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
Should Transit Agencies Use Articulated or...
An examination of whether articulated or double-decker buses are better when transit agencies need a bus with higher capacity than a normal bus can provide.
Flat Versus Distance-Based Fares
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
New Starts Program Overview
An overview of the Federal New Starts Program, the federal government's primary method of supporting the construction of new rapid transit lines and rehabilitation of existing ones. The program's budget is examined, including which projects are currently receiving funding. An analysis of the criteria upon which projects are judged follows; afterwards, the article discusses project timelines. The article concludes with an overall analysis of the program.
Overview of Title VI
This article provides an overview of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and how it ensures that transit agencies provide their services in a racially equitable manner.
Positive Train Control
This article described what positive train control is, why we need positive train control, and what is taking so long for us to get it.
A New Kind of Transit Passenger - the...
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Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) - Does It...
This entry examines whether transit-oriented development increases ridership, and be referencing several case studies demonstrates that it does. It calls for more analysis to determine if the size of the city's rapid transit network predicts the success of transit oriented development.
Transit 101: Transit Centers
This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of off-street transit centers and concludes that if used correctly they can improve the transit experience for passengers in small to medium sized cities, but space limitations prevent effective usage in large cities with the most robust transit systems.
How to Take Transit in Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Allow me to present the Transit City of the Month for August 2014 - Vancouver, B.C.!
Review of The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through...
A review of The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System.
Transit In the Seattle - Tacoma Metropolitan Area
This article examines the public transit situation in the Seattle - Tacoma area, including information about the network, fares, funding sources, and future projects.
Review of Moving minds: Conservatives and...
A review of Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation
Review of the Acela Express
A review and profile of the Acela Express, an Amtrak train that is America's only kind of high speed train.
How to Create the Perfect Bus Stop
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
Muni Trolley Bus Market Street
This gallery contains images of transit and buses from the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently featured are the cable cars, streetcars (historic and otherwise), buses and trolley buses of the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the rapid transit lines operated by BART.
Transit 101: Extra Board Operators
This article describes extra board operators. Extra board operators fill in for regular bus drivers when the regular drivers are sick or on vacation.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
Review of My Kind of Transit
This is a review of My Kind of Transit by Darrin Nordahl. His book, although it has some good ideas, generally ignores how transit can and does function in the real world.
Lighting at Bus Stops
This article describes how we can improve lighting at bus stops to attract night patronage and improve safety and security.
Contracting Out Bus Service: What Factors Are...
Contracting out of public services is all the rage right now. This article describes factors needed for success of public transit contracting out, and some factors that suggest that contracting out transit service to a private operator may fail.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
Review of Cities for People by Jan Gehl
A review of Cities for People by Jan Gehl.
Las Vegas Old Color Scheme on an Articulated Bus
Las Vegas Bus Old Color Scheme Articulated. Page 11.
Lessons Learned: Sequoia Shuttle
This is an overview of the Sequoia Shuttle, a partnership between the National Park Service and Visalia Transit which connects the city of Visalia, CA to Sequoia National Park.
Muni Articulated
This gallery contains images of transit and buses from the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently featured are the cable cars, streetcars (historic and otherwise), buses and trolley buses of the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the rapid transit lines operated by BART. Page 3.
The Importance of Complaints and How to Handle...
A review of the importance of passenger complaints and how to handle them.
The Spatial Mismatch Phenomenon
This article examines the spatial mismatch phenomenon.
Pedestrian Safety and Transit
This article describes four ways that transit systems can make their networks safer for pedestrians and also discusses how transit systems can work with local planning departments to lessen the impact other pedestrian safety improvements have on transit systems.
How Psychology Can Affect Urban Planning -...
This article argues that the makeup of Walker's network design class - young, healthy, choice riders who work in the public sector of the urban planning profession - explains the near universal decision to avoid any effective suburban transit in favor of robust central city transit, to make people walk a long distance to the nearest bus stop, and to utilize all available resources, even if deployment of said resources is inefficient.
Las Vegas Max Bus
Las Vegas Max Bus. Public Transport. Page 4.
Review of the New El Monte Bus Station
This is a review of the new El Monte Bus Station, which opened to the public on October 14, 2012 at a cost of $60 million.
BYD Electric Bus 9
Public Transport. Page 9.
Demise of the Streetcar in the United States
This article describes six major reasons why streetcars were replaced by buses in the United States, why streetcars, also called trams, continue to be used extensively in Europe, and the recent trend towards construction of new streetcar and light rail lines.
Park and Ride Lots
An article about park and ride lots that describes their need, the last mile problem, proper placement, transit oriented development, and whether we should charge for parking.
Review of City of Los Angeles Planning...
This article reviews the meeting I attended detailing the City of Los Angeles Planning Department's zoning and other changes around Expo Line Phase II stations.
Destination Signs
An article describing transit vehicle destination or headsigns.
Three Union Work Rules That Increase the Cost...
Here I describe three union work rules that increase the cost of operating transit, and conclude that eliminating the rules would make transit more economically efficient without affecting the wages or benefits of the bus drivers.
Exploring Comparative Ridership and Ridership...
This article reviews an article exploring ridership differentials between bus rapid transit and light rail transit.
Cable Car 2
This gallery contains images of transit and buses from the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently featured are the cable cars, streetcars (historic and otherwise), buses and trolley buses of the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the rapid transit lines operated by BART. Page 9.
Transit in San Diego, California
A review of transit in San Diego.
Charging Station Up Closer
Public Transport. Page 17.
Timepoints: How Many Do We Need, and Do We Even...
This article examines timepoints: how many do we need, and do we even need them at all?
Review of Mobility First: A New Vision for...
A review of Mobility First - A New Vision for Transportation In a Globally Competitive Twenty-First Century.
What Would Happen If Transit Were Free?
This article examines what would happen if transit were free and concludes that, with the exception of limited operations in areas of small population, free transit would cause significant overcrowding and vandalism.
Will Legalizing Marijuana Affect Your Daily...
This article examines what the possible effect of Washington State and Colorado legalizing marijuana will be on transit.
Public Transit In Movies
This article looks at how public transit has been depicted in movies.
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