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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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
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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.
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.
How Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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 Transit Agencies Decide on What Buses To...
This is the second in a series or article examine how transit agencies decide on what kind of bus to purchase. This entry describes how transit agencies determine what kind of propulsion system to buy.
What Effect Will Uber, Lyft, Side Car, etc....
An examination of the effect that transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft will have on transit.
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.
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 to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Two Ways Express Bus Routes Are Difficult for...
This article describes two ways that express bus routes are difficult for transit agencies to operate.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
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.
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.
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 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.
Transit Apps
A description of transit apps and a review of some of the more well-known ones.
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.
Should We Charge Bus Passengers Based on How...
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
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.
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.
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.
Destination Signs
An article describing transit vehicle destination or headsigns.
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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
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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.
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.
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.
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.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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 Transportation Research Board - Directing...
A profile of the Transportation Research Board, which funds a lot of important research in the transportation realm
Transit 101: How Do We Determine Transit...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
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.
Hyperloop - Visionary Replacement for...
An examination of the theoretical hyperloop transportation system.
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.
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.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
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.
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.
How Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
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.
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.
What Do We Need to Have For a Good Transit...
This article examines what makes a good transit system.
How to Create the Perfect Bus Stop
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Overview
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
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.
Toronto Transit Commission - Proposed Rapid...
A list of rapid transit projects currently being constructed or under consideration at the Toronto Transit Commission.
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.
Transit 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
Review of the 2013 Draft California State Rail...
This article is a review of the 2013 draft California State Rail Plan that focuses on new and expanded passenger rail services.
Transit Pictures From the Los Angeles Region
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in the Los Angeles Region. Featured are the buses and rail lines of Los Angeles Metro, and the buses of Long Beach Transit, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Municipal Bus Lines, Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Orange County Transportation Authority, Foothill Transit, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System's buses and rail lines, Santa Barbara Mass Transit District, Los Angeles DASH and Commuter Express, and others.
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 to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
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.
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 Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
A Review of Driving Excellence
A book review of the book Driving Excellence: Transform Your Organization's Culture - An Achieve Revolutionary Results by Mark Aesch, CEO of the Rochester Genesee Transportation Authority.
Simplicity in Route Design
This article argues for simplicity in route design as a tool to attract higher patronage to transit.
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.
Transit in Ann Arbor, MI: A Tale of Two Providers
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) - Does It...
This entry examines whether transit-oriented development increases ridership, and be referencing several case studies demonstrates that it does. It calls for more analysis to determine if the size of the city's rapid transit network predicts the success of transit oriented development.
Transit 101: Transit Centers
This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of off-street transit centers and concludes that if used correctly they can improve the transit experience for passengers in small to medium sized cities, but space limitations prevent effective usage in large cities with the most robust transit systems.
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 Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
Large Objects on Transit
This article examines how transit agencies can (and should) deal with large objects on transit vehicles.
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.
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.
Exploring Comparative Ridership and Ridership...
This article reviews an article exploring ridership differentials between bus rapid transit and light rail transit.
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.
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
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.
Transit In Denver
This article examines public transportation in Denver, Colorado.
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.
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.
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?
Owl Service
A description of owl service - what it is, how it operates, and who rides it.
Headways and Service Span
This article describes how by expanding headways at night we can expand service span at little or no additional cost.
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 Mobility First: A New Vision for...
A review of Mobility First - A New Vision for Transportation In a Globally Competitive Twenty-First Century.
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.
Review of The Moving Metropolis: A History of...
Review of The Moving Metropolis. 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.
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.
Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension
A profile of Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension, currently in the planning phase.
Local Funding of Transit
This article describes some of the non-fare based local revenue sources for public transit.
Operating Your Own Transit System
This article examines how the private sector could get involved in transit in ways other than bidding on operation of transit agency planned bus routes.
Ten Transit Faux-Pas to Avoid
Ten rules that you need to follow when you take public transportation.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
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.
How Many Jobs Can You Access Via Transit?
A review of Access Across America - the first transit accessibility study to include frequency.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
Overview of Las Vegas's RTC
Overview of Las Vegas's Regional Transportation Commission, including facts about ridership, the network, funding; and an overview of future transit projects. Page 2.
The History of Transit
A very brief history of transit!

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