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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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.
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.
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 Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
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 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.
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.
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.
Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
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.
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 to Write a Great Bus Schedule
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
How to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
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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 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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > Designing Bus
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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.
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.
Transit 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
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 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 Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
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.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid 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.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
How to Create the Perfect Bus Stop
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
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 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.
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.
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.
How Do Transit Agencies Number Their Bus Routes?
How should we number bus routes? The answer may be a disappointment to transit planners.
You're Driving Your Car Too Much
No matter how old your car is, you can improve all aspects of your life by driving it less.
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 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.
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.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Overview
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
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.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning information.
How to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
Review of Cities for People by Jan Gehl
A review of Cities for People by Jan Gehl.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 II: The Rule...
This article describes the importance of the rule version to an agency's run cut.
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.
Contracting Out: How Common Is It and What Are...
This article describes how common the contracting out (or privatization) of public transit operations has become and the cost savings of privatization of transit service.
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.
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.
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.
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 to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
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?
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.
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.
Review of The High Cost of Free Parking
The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup is the seminal work on parking planning. In this review I examine how the book treats public transit.
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.
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.
Which Kind of Transit Rider Are You?
Learn which kind of transit rider you are and how to maximize your train experience in this fun little book
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.
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.
Transit Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
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.
Three Things to Keep In Mind for Successful...
Want to advocate for transit? Here are three things to keep in mind for successful public transportation lobbying.
Review of The Death and Life of Great American...
This article is a transit-tinged review of the Death and Life of Great American Cities, one of the greatest books on planning ever written.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Do We Need to Have For a Good Transit...
This article examines what makes a good transit system.
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.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
Should We Charge Bus Passengers Based on How...
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
The Real Story of What It Is Like to be a Bus...
We need more books like this one, where a transit coach operator shares their perspective on what it is like on the front lines of the transit industry.
How to Read a Bus Schedule
Follow these simple techniques and you will be reading a bus schedule in no time!
Review of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car
A review of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish.
Canadian Public Transit Funding
This article provides an overview of Canadian public transit funding.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
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).
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
Local Funding of Transit
This article describes some of the non-fare based local revenue sources for public transit.
Review of The Moving Metropolis: A History of...
Review of The Moving Metropolis. Public Transport.
Review of Public Transport - It's Planning,...
A review of Public Transport - It's Planning, Management and Operation by Peter White.
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.
Transit In Melbourne
A review of transit in Melbourne.
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
Review of Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities...
This is a review of Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities In the Twenty-First Century, a self-published book available from Amazon.com
Exploring Comparative Ridership and Ridership...
This article reviews an article exploring ridership differentials between bus rapid transit and light rail transit.
High Speed Rail Update January 2014
An update of what has been happening in the world of high speed rail.
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.
Carless By Choice: A New Kind of Transit...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >A New Kind of
Transit 101: How Do We Determine Transit...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
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.
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.
How to get around Denver on public transportation
This article examines public transportation in Denver, Colorado.
How Can We Speed Up Local Bus Service?
This article examines four ways that we could speed up local bus service: preventing cash fare payment on buses, removing bus stops, installing signal priority, and installing bus lanes.
Helicopters, elevated cycle tracks, and other...
A delightful book, the Hidden History of Transportation in Los Angeles by Charles P. Hobbs is essential reading for all transit enthusiasts or fans of Los Angeles history.
Public Transit In Movies
This article looks at how public transit has been depicted in movies.
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.
The Transportation Research Board - Directing...
A profile of the Transportation Research Board, which funds a lot of important research in the transportation realm
Impact of Mass Transit On the Environment
This article reviews the impact that mass transit has on the environment.
Las Vegas Double Decker
A Las Vegas RTC Double Decker bus. Page 10.
Las Vegas Old Color Scheme on an Articulated Bus
Las Vegas Bus Old Color Scheme Articulated. Page 11.
Review of Moving Safely - Crime and Perceived...
A review of Moving Safely - Crime and Perceived Safety In Stockholm's Subway Stations
Las Vegas's Regional Transportation Commission
Overview of Las Vegas's Regional Transportation Commission, including facts about ridership, the network, funding; and an overview of future transit projects.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
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 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.
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.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
Profile of Long Beach Transit in California
A profile of Long Beach Transit in California
Transit 101: Answering the Question: "Why Are...
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Transit Priority Measures - the Bus Bulb
This article describes an up and coming transit priority measure that has the potential to speed up local bus service - the bus bulb.
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.
The Advantages of Ten Hour Bus Driver Runs
This article explains how driver runs of ten hours can simultaneously improve both a transit agency's bottom line and offer drivers more life flexibility.

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