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Public Transport: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
The tests and other things you need to do to...
This article goes over how to become and stay a bus driver, from the initial testing to continuing education.
What Happens to Old Buses and Where Can I Find...
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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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.
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.
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.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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.
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.
Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
Four Ways to Improve Bus Driver Health
This article describes the unhealthy nature of bus driving and makes three recommendations to improve bus driver health.
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.
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.
How Can We Get More People to Become 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.
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.
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 Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
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 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 Write a Great Bus Schedule
The fourth part of the series in which I describe 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.
What bus manufacturers make transit buses?
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.
How Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Systems...
This article describes how Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems work and how they are used in the transit industry.
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.
Three Reasons Why Bus Schedules Should Have the...
Of the two ways of displaying printed timetable information, the horizontal orientation is clearly superior. Read on for more details.
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.
Should minimum worker rest requirements apply...
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.
How Do I Get A Job in Public Transit or Public...
This article describes two ways in which you can land a transit planning or bus scheduling job.
Use of Gondola Lifts in Transit
This article examines how gondola lifts and aerial trams, usually found only in ski resort settings, are used more broadly for public transportation.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
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How Should Transit Agencies Power Their Buses?
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 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.
Public transportation is ten times safer than...
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 Do We Determine What Kind of Work Bus...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
How to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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 Will Self-Driving Cars Affect Buses and...
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.
Transit Advocates and Transit Professionals
This article defines transit advocates and transit professionals and examines how the two groups can better communicate.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
Bus Drivers Who Do Not Have a Regular Run Make...
This article describes extra board operators. Extra board operators fill in for regular bus drivers when the regular drivers are sick or on vacation.
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.
Six Reasons Transit Ridership Declines
Here are six reasons reasons why transit ridership can decrease. Some of these reasons are within the control of the transit agency, and some are not.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
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Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
Could Automated Buses Be On the Road Before...
Could automated buses be on the road before automated cars? There appear to be fewer obstacles...
The typicla bus is 40 feet long but size does...
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.
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 Charter Rule: How Transit Agencies Cannot...
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
Subway Stations Should Be Between 1/2 Mile and...
This article examines how closely together subway stations should be, and concludes that 1/2 mile is the optimum stop spacing for subway lines.
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.
How the State of New York Funds Public...
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.
Can the Uber Model Be Applied to Public Transit?
San Jose VTA is pioneering an on-demand transit route using Uber-like technology. Will the Flex project be a game changer for transit?
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.
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.
How Many Buses Do We Need to Keep as Spares?
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 Do Automated Passenger Counting Systems Work?
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.
Transit Apps
A description of transit apps and a review of some of the more well-known ones.
How to Get Around in Ann Arbor, MI
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
Does Bus Ridership Go Down When Bus Fares Go Up?
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
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.
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.
How Can We Reconcile Running Time and Headways?
How can we schedule bus routes when the running time does not fit with the desired headway?
Can Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Solve Our...
An examination of current Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems, pros and cons of PRT, and future prospects.
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?
Should We Charge Bus Passengers Based on How...
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
How We Light Bus Stops at Night
This article describes how we can improve lighting at bus stops to attract night patronage and improve safety and security.
The layover - where drivers go on break
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
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.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
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.
How Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology, including transportation scheduling software (such as Hastus by GIRO), is used in transit.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
How to Get Around Toronto Without a Car
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
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.
Overview of the Federal National Transit Database
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 common is fare evasion on transit and how...
An examination of fare evasion; included are descriptions of what is is, how many people do it, and what it costs transit agencies.
How An Effective Name Can Make a Difference in...
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.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
How to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
How does the new federal transportation bill -...
In late 2015, Congress passed a new transportation bill called the FAST Act. This article discusses some of its features.
How to Make Transit Part of Your Life
Why should someone take transit? Let me count the ways!
The Best Transit Systems...and Ones In Need of...
A review of two cities with the best transit systems and two cities with the worst transit systems.
Transit Advocacy Groups: How to Make a Difference
Learn how you can make a difference in your transit system even if you do not work for the local transit agency.
Overview of the Americans With Disabilities Act...
Summary of federal requirements for paratransit operation, including requirements for paratransit eligibility, service area, fares, no shows, and scheduling.
How Transit Agencies Select the Right Doors,...
Bus Interior Design: How to Select the Best Doors, Seats, Lighting, and Other Amenities For Improved Customer and Transit Agency Satisfaction
How Unions Can Drive Up the Cost of Operating...
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.
How to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
Getting Around Dayton, Ohio Without a Car
An unlikely destination for transit tourism; Dayton, OH is one of a handful of American cities that still operate electric trolley buses, making it a must visit.
Review of Waiting on a Train
A review of Waiting on a Train by James McCommons.
How Can We Shape Our Cities to Reduce Our...
This is a great introduction to a variety of issues including smart growth, transit-oriented development, and rail transit.
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.
How to Get Around Detroit Without a Car
This article goes over the public transit options available in the Motor City, including a description of the network, funding, fares, and planned projects.
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).
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.
Destination Signs
An article describing transit vehicle destination or headsigns.
Three Ways Transit Deals With Overcrowded Buses...
Three ways American transit agencies use to deal with overcrowded buses and trains - and a fourth one Japan employs.
Review of Urban Transportation Systems -...
A review of Urban Transportation Systems - Choices for Communities by Sigurd Grava.
You do not need a car to get around Santa...
Effective transit in Santa Barbara makes it easy to get around the area without a car, so UCSB students can leave their vehicles at home.
How to Get Around San Diego Without a Car
A review of transit in San Diego.
Why Is Transit Better in Europe and Asia?
This article explains why transit is better in Europe and Asia than it is in the United States.
The Importance of Complaints and How to Handle...
A review of the importance of passenger complaints and how to handle them.
What Is New In American High Speed Rail?
A six month recap of news from American High-Speed Rail
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.
Is Free Transit A Good Idea?
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.
Learn the Truth About the Life of Rosa Parks
A review of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis.
Los Angeles County's Measure R
A summary of Los Angeles County's Measure R Sales Tax increase, including funding distribution, current status, and future issues.
The Importance of Bus - Rail Connections
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 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.
How to Get Around Chicago Without a Car
How to Get Around Chicago Without a Car
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).
How Product Placement In Books Can Boost the...
Product placement is not just for traditional business. By inserting buses and subways into books, public transit can build its brand image.
When to Use School Trippers
This article explains when to use school trippers in your transit service.
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.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
How to Read a Bus Schedule
Follow these simple techniques and you will be reading a bus schedule in no time!
Another pleasant self-published tale from a bus...
Another in a line of self-published books about transit, In Transit is a diverting read about tales of riding buses, driving buses, and the bus itself.
Impact of Mass Transit On the Environment
This article reviews the impact that mass transit has on the environment.
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.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
Simplicity in Route Design
This article argues for simplicity in route design as a tool to attract higher patronage to transit.
How Transit Centers Make It Easier for People...
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.
What Do We Need to Have For a Good Transit...
This article examines what makes a good transit system.
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.
Transit Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
Environmental Assessments
This article is a review of what environmental assessments are and how they are used.
How we can alleviate suburban sprawl through...
A review of Suburban Gridlock by Robert Cervero.
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.
How Can Privatization of Bus Service Be...
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.
Transit 101: Transit Malls
This article describes transit malls and what makes them successful or unsuccessful.
Helpful tips to become a better bus driver
Review of the Dao of Doug 2: The Art of Driving a Bus, including helpful tips on how to become a better bus driver
The Implications of the Fiscal Cliff and the...
This article assesses the impacts of the fiscal cliff and the fiscal cliff bill in regards to public transportation.
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.
Transit Enthusiasts and When Good Transit Fans...
This article is about transit enthusiasts and when they let their enthusiasm go a little too far.
Bicycles on Transit
This article examines the issues of bikes on transit.
Summit Stage 4
This gallery contains images of transit from Colorado that I took during my trip around the 4th of July 2012. Page 4.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
Rural Transit - How the Need, Funding, and...
A review of how rural transit differs from urban transit.
Surrey Central Station 1
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in British Columbia. Currently featured are the buses, trolley buses, and Skytrain operated by Vancouver Translink. Page 3.
Fun Places to Take the Transit Enthusiasts In...
A review of transit museums. Public Transport.
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.
How Should We Enable Students, Seniors, and...
This article asks who should be subsidizing the lower than normal fares paid by students, seniors, and disabled riders and concludes, with one exception, that it should be the transit agency.

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