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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.
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.
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 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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Write a Great Bus Schedule
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
How Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
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.
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.
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 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 Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Systems...
This article describes how Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems work and how they are 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.
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 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 Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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.
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.
How to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Texas is one of
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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > Designing Bus
Transit's Role In a Sustainable Future
How transit can (and already does) make our cities more sustainable
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Should We Charge Bus Passengers Based on How...
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
Ten Transit Faux-Pas to Avoid
Ten rules that you need to follow when you take public transportation.
Transit 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
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.
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 Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology, including transportation scheduling software (such as Hastus by GIRO), is used in transit.
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.
What Is New In American High Speed Rail?
A six month recap of news from American High-Speed Rail
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.
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.
How to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
Why No More New Urban Freeways Will Ever Be Built
We need to stop believing that new roads will be our ticket out of congestion and focus on other solutions.
Review of Moving minds: Conservatives and...
A review of Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation
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 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.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning information.
Does Light Rail Really Reduce Traffic Congestion?
A review of a study by University of Utah researchers that found that the University TRAX Red Light Rail Line in Salt Lake City reduced the amount of cars using the parallel arterials on 400 and 500 S.
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.
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.
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.
How to Get Around Toronto Without a Car
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
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.
When Should We Use Bus Lanes to Speed Up Transit?
How much bus service do we need to operate along a corridor to make bus lanes worthwhile? Todd Litman examines this question in a new paper.
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.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
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.
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.
New Rapid Transit Projects: Should We Serve...
This article examines whether when we design new rapid transit projects if we should serve existing demand or generate new demand. In other words, it is asking whether rail transit is demand-based or supply-based. Due to the high construction costs of rail and other rapid transit, the article argues that new rapid transit projects should be demand-based.
How to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
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.
Carless By Choice: A New Kind of Transit...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >A New Kind of
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
Value Engineering
This article describes value engineering - a concept used in rapid transit project management to control costs that sometimes leaves the resulting project unusable to unable to accommodate larger than expected demand.
Destination Signs
An article describing transit vehicle destination or headsigns.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
Colorado Springs...A City Ready for Better...
A review of transit in Colorado Springs, with a finding that latent demand suggests an increase in funding would have a beneficial effect on ridership.
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 Urban Transportation Systems -...
A review of Urban Transportation Systems - Choices for Communities by Sigurd Grava.
How We Can Speed Up Local Bus Service By Using...
This article describes an up and coming transit priority measure that has the potential to speed up local bus service - the bus bulb.
How Should Transit Agencies Number Their Bus...
How to Make Useful Stop Numbers - A Lesson From Torrance Transit
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.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
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).
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.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
Transit In Melbourne
A review of transit in Melbourne.
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.
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.
Trains in the Chicago area
Chicagoland Commuter Railroads offers an excellent overview and history of commuter train operations in the greater Chicago area.
Transit 101: Relief Points
This article describes relief points, the locations along a bus route where drivers shift changes can happen.
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.
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.
Local Funding of Transit
This article describes some of the non-fare based local revenue sources for public transit.
Transit Apps
A description of transit apps and a review of some of the more well-known ones.
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.
Learn the Truth About the Life of Rosa Parks
A review of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis.
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
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.
How Do Transit Agencies Number Their Bus Routes?
How should we number bus routes? The answer may be a disappointment to transit planners.
The story of Canada's Golden Gate Bridge -...
The fascinating story of Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge - Canada's answer to the Golden Gate.
We need to change how we get around cities to...
This definitive treatise on how to make how we get around our cities more sustainable takes an optimistic view of the problem and offers useful suggestions for cities to implement.
Review of Urban Public Transport Today by Barry...
A review of Urban Public Transport Today by Barry Simpson.
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.
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.
New Jersey Transit Elimination of Free Rides
This article describes the shortsighted decision of New Jersey Transit to eliminate free rides for non-union employees (elimination of free rides for union employees awaits contract negotiations).
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.
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.
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.
Vancouver Articulated Trolley 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 25.
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.
New Ways We Can Measure How Our Transportation...
A compilation of articles that develop new models to allow us to gauge how well our transportation systems are functioning in a manner that goes beyond mere congestion measures
Review of \$20 Per Gallon by Christopher Steiner
This is a public transit-tinged review of $20 Per Gallon by Christopher Steiner.
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.
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.
Review of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car
A review of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish.
How Can We Get Seniors to Take Transit More?
This article examines how we can get seniors to take transit more by examining eight reasons why seniors do not take transit and making suggestions as to how transit agencies can respond to those reasons.
Review of Transportation for Livable Cities
A review of Transportation for Livable Cities by Vukan Vuchic.
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).
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
Can we ever charge too much for riding the bus?
Is there ever a point where we could charge too much to ride the bus? This article examines what happens when transit fares increase to the point where driving seems cheaper.
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.
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 A Very Public Solution - Transport in...
A review of A Very Public Solution - Transport in the Diverse City
Review of The Green Hornet Streetcar Diaster
A review of The Green Hornet Streetcar disaster by Craig Allen Cleve.
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.
How to Read a Bus Schedule
Follow these simple techniques and you will be reading a bus schedule in no time!
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 Take Transit in Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Allow me to present the Transit City of the Month for August 2014 - Vancouver, B.C.!

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