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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.
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.
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.
All You Wanted to Know about Electric Buses
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 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.
Learn What Software the Public Transit Industry...
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.
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.
How Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
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.
Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part I:...
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.
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.
Why We Cannot Cancel the Subway Line and Use...
This article describes the difference between transit capital and operating funding.
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.
Profile of the Texas High Speed Rail "T-Bone"...
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Commercial Driver License (CDL) Medical...
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
Overview of the Bus Rapid Transit versus 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.
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.
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 III:...
This installment describes how times for the bus are calculated, and how time points are determined.
How to Improve Bus Driver Health
This article describes the unhealthy nature of bus driving and makes three recommendations to improve bus driver health.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part IV:...
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
Six Tips To Market and Promote Your Transit...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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.
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.
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.
Do People Who Ride Public Transit Get Sick More?
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.
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.
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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
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Route and Schedule Planning Part I: Placement...
This article describes the steps to follow in determining the initial placement of a new bus route. Page 2.
Vancouver Night Shelter 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 13.
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.
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 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 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.
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 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
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 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.
Transit 101: The Load Factor
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.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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.
Bus Rapid Transit - A Definition
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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.
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 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.
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.
Profile of the California High Speed Rail Project
This article profiles the California High Speed Rail Project, including the route, cost, annual ridership, and outlook.
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.
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.
Vancouver Night Shelter 2
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 14.
Canadian Public Transit Funding
This article provides an overview of Canadian public transit funding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where Do People Like to Sit in the Subway?
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
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.
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.
GET 4
This image gallery contains pictures of transit from Bakersfield and Fresno in the Central Valley of California. Page 6.
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.
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.
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.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
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.
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.
Positive Train Control
This article described what positive train control is, why we need positive train control, and what is taking so long for us to get it.
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.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
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.
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.
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 In Denver
This article examines public transportation in Denver, Colorado.
Transit Follies - Lessons From Detroit
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.
Canada Line 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 15.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
Transit 101 - What Makes a Good Transit System?
This article examines what makes a good transit system.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
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.
Three Essential Transit Jobs
These are three jobs that every transit system should have but that some people do not know exist.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
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 Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
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.
Los Angeles Metro Profile
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension
A profile of Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension, currently in the planning phase.
Transit in Pittsburgh
This article examines transit in Pittsburgh, including the network, fares, funding, projects, and outlook for the future.
Review of the Dao of Doug: The Art of Driving a...
A review of the Dao og Doug: The Art of Driving a Bus (Finding Zen in San Francisco Transit: A Bus Driver's Perspective)
Learn what goes into making a perfect bus stop...
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
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.
New York City Subway Map
This gallery contains images of transit and buses from the state of New York and New York City. Currently featured are the buses, subways, and commuter trains of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, including MTA New York Bus, MTA New York Subway,and MTA Metro North railroad. Page 28.
Transit 101: How Do We Determine Transit...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
How Psychology Can Affect Urban Planning -...
This article argues that the makeup of Walker's network design class - young, healthy, choice riders who work in the public sector of the urban planning profession - explains the near universal decision to avoid any effective suburban transit in favor of robust central city transit, to make people walk a long distance to the nearest bus stop, and to utilize all available resources, even if deployment of said resources is inefficient.
How Does Light Rail Affect Traffic Volumes?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Technology in Transit
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flat Versus Distance-Based Fares
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
Transit in Ann Arbor, MI: A Tale of Two Providers
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
The Importance of Complaints and How to Handle...
A review of the importance of passenger complaints and how to handle them.
What Would Happen If Transit Were Free?
This article examines what would happen if transit were free and concludes that, with the exception of limited operations in areas of small population, free transit would cause significant overcrowding and vandalism.
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?
Canada Line 2
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 16.
Outlook on Passenger Counting Systems
This article gives an overview of the federal requirement that transit agencies submit annual data about the number of accidents, crimes, ridership, and passenger miles to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for inclusion in the NTD (National Transit Database). Agencies gather this information either by using automated passenger counting systems (APCs) or by manually collecting the data through riding randomly selected trips. Page 2.
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.
California High Speed Rail Project Updates
This article profiles the California High Speed Rail Project, including the route, cost, annual ridership, and outlook. Page 2.
When to Use School Trippers
This article explains when to use school trippers in your transit service.
Simplicity in Route Design
This article argues for simplicity in route design as a tool to attract higher patronage to transit.
GET 3
This image gallery contains pictures of transit from Bakersfield and Fresno in the Central Valley of California. Page 7.
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.
San Diego Bus 2
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from San Diego, California, including the San Diego Trolley, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System's buses, and the North County Transit District. Page 2.
Contracting Out Bus Service: What Factors Are...
Contracting out of public services is all the rage right now. This article describes factors needed for success of public transit contracting out, and some factors that suggest that contracting out transit service to a private operator may fail.
Review of MTRAM Scheduling Software by Italy's...
A review of MTRAM, the scheduling software solution created by Italy's M.A.I.O.R. corporation.
Transit in San Francisco
A review of transit in San Francisco.
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.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
The History of Transit
A very brief history of transit!
Transit 101: Pay to Platform Ratio
This article explains the importance of the pay to platform ratio and explains how reducing it will save transit agencies money.
Review of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car
A review of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish.
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.
Review of Bus Rapid Transit for the 21st Century
A review of Bus Rapid Transit for the 21st Century and How We Can Make Local Bus Service More Like Bus Rapid Transit
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.
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.
A New Kind of Transit Passenger - the...
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Review of A Very Public Solution - Transport in...
A review of A Very Public Solution - Transport in the Diverse City
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