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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.
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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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.
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.
Can Electric Buses Clean Up the Environment and...
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.
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.
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.
Hastus - The Transit Industry's Premier...
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.
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.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
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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.
Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
How to Improve Bus Driver Health
This article describes the unhealthy nature of bus driving and makes three recommendations to improve bus driver health.
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.
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 Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
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.
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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part IV:...
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
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.
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 to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
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.
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.
Can I Catch a Cold or Ebola From the Bus or...
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. It also states that you do not need to worry about catching Ebola on public transit.
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.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
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.
Transit 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
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.
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.
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.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
How Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
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.
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.
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.
Hyperloop - Visionary Replacement for...
An examination of the theoretical hyperloop transportation system.
Review of A Very Public Solution - Transport in...
A review of A Very Public Solution - Transport in the Diverse City
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 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.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Overview
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
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.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning information.
Discrediting Three Major Arguments Against High...
This article discredits three major arguments against high speed rail - that we don't need it now (we're going to need it in the future); that it's too expensive (the cost is reasonable); and that the first segment is going from nowhere to nowhere (it's the first incomplete step - you have to start somewhere).
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.
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.
Transit 101: Relief Points
This article describes relief points, the locations along a bus route where drivers shift changes can happen.
How to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
The Value of On-Time Performance
This article describes the value of on-time performance and the relative merits of headway-based operation versus traditional schedule-based operation.
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.
Five Ways to Ensure Your Safety on Party Buses
Five ways to ensure that your next ride on a party bus will be a safe one.
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.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Effect that Young People Not Receiving...
This article describes the effect that the ever decreasing number of young people with driver licenses will have on transportation and public transit.
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.
Flat Versus Distance-Based Fares
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
California Breaks Ground on High Speed Rail
The January 2015 biennial update of high speed rail progress shows California finally breaking ground on the initial Central Valley segment.
The Hastus User Conference and Thoughts About...
In this article I relate my experience at the Hastus user conference and more broadly about technology in transit.
Transit In Denver
This article examines public transportation in Denver, Colorado.
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.
How to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
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.
Transit 101: How Do We Determine Transit...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
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.
Simplicity in Route Design
This article argues for simplicity in route design as a tool to attract higher patronage to transit.
Two Ways of Looking at Transit Network Design
Two ways of looking at transit network design are described - the point-to-point system, in which many routes exist that attempt to connect everywhere to everywhere - and the grid system, in which every major street tends to have one route, and routes tend to be straight lines.
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.
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.
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.
Review of The Conundrum - How Efficiency Can Be...
Solutions to our environmental problems explored in The Conundrum by David Owen, while provocative, are likely too extreme to be politically possible to implement.
Why People Hate Riding Buses and What We Can Do...
An examination of bus stigma and how we can make people learn to love the bus.
When to Use School Trippers
This article explains when to use school trippers in your transit service.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Ways...
Building on the article describing how we count ridership, in this article I go over the advantages and disadvantages of the three different ways of counting ridership.
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.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
Transit in Pittsburgh
This article examines transit in Pittsburgh, including the network, fares, funding, projects, and outlook for the future.
How to Create the Perfect Bus Stop
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
High Speed Rail Update January 2014
An update of what has been happening in the world of high speed rail.
Transit In Melbourne
A review of transit in Melbourne.
Exploring Comparative Ridership and Ridership...
This article reviews an article exploring ridership differentials between bus rapid transit and light rail transit.
The Rules of the Run Cut Part II: The Rule...
This article describes the importance of the rule version to an agency's run cut.
Transit 101: Answering the Question: "Why Are...
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Get Around San Jose, CA Without a Car
Allow me to present the transit city of the month for January 2015 - San Jose, CA!
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.
Locating Bus Garages
Have you ever wanted to know how bus garages and rail yards are placed and how many vehicles can be stored in each one? Then this article is for you.
Review of Curb Rights
This article reviews the book Curb Rights by Daniel Klein, Adrian Moore, and Binyam Reja. In this book, the authors argue that only complete deregulation (with the exception of curb rights) of the transit industry can save it.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
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.
Outlook on Passenger Counting Systems
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. Page 2.
Review of The Moving Metropolis: A History of...
Review of The Moving Metropolis. Public Transport.
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.
Harvey Molotch's Against Security - How to...
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Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension
A profile of Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension, currently in the planning phase.
Leave Transit Planning to the Professionals
This article examines two new transit proposals in Detroit, both put forward by people with no experience and transit, analyzes the proposals, and concludes that they will do nothing to help the transit dependent in the city.
Transit Apps
A description of transit apps and a review of some of the more well-known ones.
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.
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
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.
Ten Transit Faux-Pas to Avoid
Ten rules that you need to follow when you take public transportation.
Transit Network Map Design
This article looks at the design of the transit network map, which is one of the most important planning documents that a transit agency can have. After three historical trends in map design are discussed, the article examines potential future directions.
Detroit People Mover
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Michigan. Currently featured are Ann Arbor's two transit providers - the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority - and Detroit's two transit providers - SMART and the Detroit Department of Transportation. Page 14.
Local Funding of Transit
This article describes some of the non-fare based local revenue sources for public transit.
Review of The Geography of Urban Transportation
A review of The Geography of Urban Transportation edited by Susan Hanson and Genevieve Giuliano.
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.
Canadian Public Transit Funding
This article provides an overview of Canadian public transit funding.
Can Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Solve Our...
An examination of current Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems, pros and cons of PRT, and future prospects.
California High Speed Rail Business Plan Part I...
The California High Speed Rail project recently came out with a revised business plan. This article is the first of three that will review elements of the plan, in this case, the cost.
Environmental Assessments
This article is a review of what environmental assessments are and how they are used.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
Transit 101: Pay to Platform Ratio
This article explains the importance of the pay to platform ratio and explains how reducing it will save transit agencies money.
Review of Aging America and Transportation -...
Review of Aging America and Transportation
Rosa Parks Transit Center 3
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Michigan. Currently featured are Ann Arbor's two transit providers - the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority - and Detroit's two transit providers - SMART and the Detroit Department of Transportation. Page 16.
Toronto Transit Commission - Proposed Rapid...
A list of rapid transit projects currently being constructed or under consideration at the Toronto Transit Commission.
San Diego Bus 2
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from San Diego, California, including the San Diego Trolley, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System's buses, and the North County Transit District. Page 2.
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.
What Do We Need to Have For a Good Transit...
This article examines what makes a good transit system.
Other Important Federal Laws that Affect Public...
This article describes other important federal laws that affect public transit, namely the Buy American Law and Bill Clinton's Environmental Justice Executive Order.
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