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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.
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'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.
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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Learn about the 2 Methods of Subway Construction
This article describes the two basic methods of building a subway.
How to Improve Bus Driver Health
This article describes the unhealthy nature of bus driving and makes three recommendations to improve bus driver health.
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.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
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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.
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.
What Is the Capacity of Different Modes of...
This article describes the relative capacities of different modes of transit. Cities are cautioned against building rapid transit lines with either too much capacity - since it wastes money - or too little capacity - since a day will come when the line is saturated with passengers and cannot add any more.
How Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
How 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.
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.
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 Do We Decide How Long a Bus Trip Will Take?
This installment describes how times for the bus are calculated, and how time points are determined.
How 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 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.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to transit.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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.
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part IV:...
The fourth part of the series in which I describe how bus routes and schedules get designed.
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.
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.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
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.
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.
Freeways and Rapid Transit
This article examines the association between freeways and rapid transit.
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.
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.
How to Improve Ridership By Marketing and...
These are six basic tips to keep in mind while marketing your public transportation system.
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.
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 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 Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
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.
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.
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.
Art In Transit
An examination of why public art installations are frequently included with transit projects.
Transit Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
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.
Transit in Ann Arbor, MI: A Tale of Two Providers
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
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.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Overview
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and projects.
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.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach 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.
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.
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.
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.
Transit 101: The Layover
An article describing an essential aspect of transit, the layover location.
Profile of New York MTA
Overview of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including facts about ridership, the network, funding, and future transit projects.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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).
Designing Bus Routes and Schedules Part II:...
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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
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.
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.
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.
Review of Mass Motorization and Mass Transit
A review of Mass Motorization and Mass Transit by David W Jones.
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.
Transit 101: How Do We Determine Transit...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
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.
Art In Transit Part II and a Review of...
This article continues my exploration of Arts In Transit and also reviews Alternate Lanes.
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.
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.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
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.
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.
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 Public Transport - It's Planning,...
A review of Public Transport - It's Planning, Management and Operation by Peter White.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning information.
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.
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 Advocates and Transit Professionals
This article defines transit advocates and transit professionals and examines how the two groups can better communicate.
Transit in Sydney, Australia
This article describes transit in Sydney, Australia and lessons that North American transit operators can learn from Sydney.
Review of Curb Rights
This article reviews the book Curb Rights by Daniel Klein, Adrian Moore, and Binyam Reja. In this book, the authors argue that only complete deregulation (with the exception of curb rights) of the transit industry can save it.
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 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.
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.
Pedestrian Safety and Transit
This article describes four ways that transit systems can make their networks safer for pedestrians and also discusses how transit systems can work with local planning departments to lessen the impact other pedestrian safety improvements have on transit systems.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
Eminent Domain and Public Transit
This article examines the use of eminent domain in public transit.
Grant Writing Part II
This article is the second of a series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
Transit 101: Answering the Question: "Why Are...
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Review of The Green Hornet Streetcar Diaster
A review of The Green Hornet Streetcar disaster by Craig Allen Cleve.
Transit 101: Transit Malls
This article describes transit malls and what makes them successful or unsuccessful.
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.
Review of Place Matters - Metropolitics for the...
A review of Place Matters - Metropolitics for the Twenty-First Century.
How to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
Thoughts on the BART Strike and Transit Strikes...
Some thoughts I have on the BART strike and transit strikes in general.
The Importance of Complaints and How to Handle...
A review of the importance of passenger complaints and how to handle them.
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 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 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 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.
Can Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Solve Our...
An examination of current Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems, pros and cons of PRT, and future prospects.
Transit Apps
A description of transit apps and a review of some of the more well-known ones.
How to Create the Perfect Bus Stop
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
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.
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.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
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 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.
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.
Rural Transit - How the Need, Funding, and...
A review of how rural transit differs from urban transit.
Transit in Pittsburgh
This article examines transit in Pittsburgh, including the network, fares, funding, projects, and outlook for the future.
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.
Review of The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through...
A review of The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System.
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.
Do New Streetcar Lines Promote Development?
This article examines whether new streetcar lines promote development, and while results from Portland, OR and Seattle seem to suggest they do, it is unclear whether this development was caused by the rail line or would have occurred anyway.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
Local Funding of Transit
This article describes some of the non-fare based local revenue sources for public transit.
Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension
A profile of Los Angeles's Westside Subway Extension, currently in the planning phase.
Exploring Comparative Ridership and Ridership...
This article reviews an article exploring ridership differentials between bus rapid transit and light rail transit.
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 Cities for People by Jan Gehl
A review of Cities for People by Jan Gehl.
Public Transit In Movies
This article looks at how public transit has been depicted in movies.
Transit Ridership and Access to Airports
This article examines how many people take transit to airports and issues associated with designing airport rapid transit lines.
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.
Three Essential Transit Jobs
These are three jobs that every transit system should have but that some people do not know exist.
Holiday Gift Guide for Transit Enthusiasts
What to buy your transit enthusiast for Christmas!
A New Kind of Transit Passenger - the...
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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.
Bicycles on Transit
This article examines the issues of bikes on 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.
Review of the B & O Railroad Museum
The B and O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD is a great way for transit enthusiasts and children to spend a morning or afternoon.
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