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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.
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 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.
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.
Review of Mass Motorization and Mass Transit
A review of Mass Motorization and Mass Transit by David W Jones.
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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Write a Great Bus Schedule
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
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 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.
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.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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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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.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
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.
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.
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 II:...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > Designing Bus
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.
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.
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 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.
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 to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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 Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
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.
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.
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 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 History of Air Pollution in Southern...
Review of Smogtown - The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles
Research Shows Transit Is Good For Business
How Does Public Transit Affect Employee Turnover?
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 Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
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.
How to Get Around Toronto Without a Car
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach Transit.
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.
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.
LA Metro 45 Footer 1
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Southern California. 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. Page 46.
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.
Transit In Melbourne
A review of transit in Melbourne.
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.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
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?
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 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.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
What Do We Need to Have For a Good Transit...
This article examines what makes a good transit system.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Two Ways Express Bus Routes Are Difficult for...
This article describes two ways that express bus routes are difficult for transit agencies to operate.
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.
California Breaks Ground on High Speed Rail
The January 2015 biennial update of high speed rail progress shows California finally breaking ground on the initial Central Valley segment.
Transit Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
Transit 101: Answering the Question: "Why Are...
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Three Essential Transit Jobs
These are three jobs that every transit system should have but that some people do not know exist.
How Do Transit Agencies Number Their Bus Routes?
How should we number bus routes? The answer may be a disappointment to transit planners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
How to get around Denver on public transportation
This article examines public transportation in Denver, Colorado.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
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.
Traffic School Effectiveness and Should CDL...
Does traffic school help you to become a better driver? Should CDL holders be allowed to take it? This article will answer both questions.
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).
Can Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Solve Our...
An examination of current Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems, pros and cons of PRT, and future prospects.
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.
Glendale Bee Line 2
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Southern California. 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. Page 47.
Impact of Mass Transit On the Environment
This article reviews the impact that mass transit has on the environment.
How Do We Know How Many People Are Riding the...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
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 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.
Transit in Pittsburgh
This article examines transit in Pittsburgh, including the network, fares, funding, projects, and outlook for the future.
How to Behave Properly on Transit
How to behave properly on transit; a review of Muni Manners - An Etiquette Guide for the Mass Transit Savvy
Overview of Title VI
This article provides an overview of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and how it ensures that transit agencies provide their services in a racially equitable manner.
How Can We Determine How Sustainable a City Is?
Review of Sustainable Urban Metabolism by Paulo Ferrao and John Fernandez
LA Metro Highway Bus
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Southern California. 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. Page 43.
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.
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.
How to Get Around in Ann Arbor, MI
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
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.
TTC Bus 2
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Ontario. Currently featured are some of the ten transit providers in the greater Toronto area, including the Toronto Transit Commission's buses, streetcars and subways; GO Transit; Mississauga Transit; and Brampton Transit. Page 36.
YRT Viva Bus 1
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Ontario. Currently featured are some of the ten transit providers in the greater Toronto area, including the Toronto Transit Commission's buses, streetcars and subways; GO Transit; Mississauga Transit; and Brampton Transit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Should We Charge Bus Passengers Based on How...
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
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.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
Holiday Gift Guide for Transit Enthusiasts
What to buy your transit enthusiast for Christmas!
TTC Streetcar
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Ontario. Currently featured are some of the ten transit providers in the greater Toronto area, including the Toronto Transit Commission's buses, streetcars and subways; GO Transit; Mississauga Transit; and Brampton Transit. Page 38.
LA Metro Artic Rapid 2
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Southern California. 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. Page 40.
Victorville 1
This gallery contains images of buses and transit from places in Southern California. 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. Page 26.
Link 2
This gallery contains images of transit and buses from Washington state. Currently featured are the Link Light Rail and Sounder Commuter Rail operated by Sound Transit, the Seattle Monorail, the diesel and trolley buses operated by King County Metro, and the buses of the Whatcom Transit Authority in Bellingham. Page 21.
36 St Brooklyn Subway Station Entrance
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 27.
How to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
Simplicity in Route Design
This article argues for simplicity in route design as a tool to attract higher patronage to 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.

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