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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.
Medical Requirements for Getting a CDL
An overview of the medical requirements for the Commercial Driver License (CDL).
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 Rail Transit Could Impact Your Property...
A summary of the effect that rail transit has on property values.
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.
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 Improve Bus Driver Health
This article describes the unhealthy nature of bus driving and makes three recommendations to improve bus driver health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Should Texas Develop a High Speed Rail System?
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Review of Urban Transport Planning - A...
A review of Urban Transport Planning - A Developmental Approach, one of few planning books that deals with third world planning
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
The Last Mile Problem
This article examines the last mile problem in transit planning and how it could be overcome.
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 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.
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.
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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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.
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.
Helicopters, elevated cycle tracks, and other...
A delightful book, the Hidden History of Transportation in Los Angeles by Charles P. Hobbs is essential reading for all transit enthusiasts or fans of Los Angeles history.
Review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems...
This is a review of Sustainable Transportation: Problems and Solutions by William Black.
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.
The story of how today's world of suburban...
A history of suburban development which demonstrates America's current state of sprawl was not inevitable.
Bus Rapid Transit Defined
A definition of Bus Rapid Transit
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two Ways Express Bus Routes Are Difficult for...
This article describes two ways that express bus routes are difficult for transit agencies to operate.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
How to Read a Bus Schedule
Follow these simple techniques and you will be reading a bus schedule in no time!
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.
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.
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 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.
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 Can We Determine Which Bus Stops Are...
A new way to classify bus stops by their importance to the overall system will help transit agencies prioritize bus stop infrastructure improvements and identify corridors where bus stop distance can be lengthened.
The Charter Rule
This article described under what circumstances public transit agencies are allowed to provide charter bus services.
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 to Grab an Empty Seat in the Subway
This article examines a study which examined where people like to sit in the subway.
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 to Get Around L.A. Without a Car
This is a profile of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
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.
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.
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 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.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Overview
An overview of the Toronto Transit Commission, including information about the network, funding, and 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.
How to Create the Perfect Bus Stop
An article which describe the aspects of a perfect bus stop.
How Transit Agencies Are Using Modern...
An article reviewing how technology has made its mark in transit.
The Rules of the Run Cut Part I: Defining the...
This article describes the different duty types that make up a typical transit agency's run cut.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
Ten Transit Faux-Pas to Avoid
Ten rules that you need to follow when you take public transportation.
Should We Charge Bus Passengers Based on How...
This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of flat versus distance-based fares.
How to Get Around in Ann Arbor, MI
A description of transit in Ann Arbor, MI.
Electric Buses
A gallery of electric buses, especially the new BYD electric bus purchased by Long Beach 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.
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.
Walking Distance to Transit
This article examines how far people are willing to walk to 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.
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.
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.
How Do Transit Agencies Store Their Buses at...
This article describes two ways of parking buses in a garage - stacked and assigned.
Transit 101: How Do We Determine Transit...
This article explains how we determine transit ridership.
Small City Transit Spotlight
An examination of how two small city transit systems manage to provide quality service despite challenges.
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.
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.
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.
How to Get Around Ottawa, Ontario by Public...
Allow me to present the transit city of the month for February 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario!
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.
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.
The Transportation Research Board - Directing...
A profile of the Transportation Research Board, which funds a lot of important research in the transportation realm
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.
Review of Public Transport in Developing...
A review of Public Transport in Developing Countries by Richard Iles.
Elasticty of Ridership In Regards to Transit...
This article examines the elasticity of transit ridership in response to changes in fares and service levels.
The Three Sources of Transit Planning Information
The article describes, in my opinion, the three sources of transit planning information.
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 Public Transport - It's Planning,...
A review of Public Transport - It's Planning, Management and Operation by Peter White.
Lighting at Bus Stops
This article describes how we can improve lighting at bus stops to attract night patronage and improve safety and security.
Transit In Melbourne
A review of transit in Melbourne.
Debunking Transit Myths Part II
Six more transit myths debunked!
Profile of Long Beach Transit in California
A profile of Long Beach Transit in California
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.
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.
Urban Acupuncture - Celebrating What Makes...
Urban Acupuncture is a loving and moving ode to what makes cities work.
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.
Transit 101: Relief Points
This article describes relief points, the locations along a bus route where drivers shift changes can happen.
Fuel Cell Buses
A review of fuel cell buses. Public Transport.
Why Did Los Angeles Build the Metro Blue Line?
Transport of Delight offers a fascinating, creative, and insightful analysis of why the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line was built but an extreme anti-rail bias fed by several transit inaccuracies detracts from the main message.
Summit Stage 3
This gallery contains images of transit from Colorado that I took during my trip around the 4th of July 2012. Page 5.
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.
Transit Grant Writing Part I
This article is the first of series that explores the topic of transit grants and grant writing.
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.
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 the New York City subway has been treated...
This interesting book explores how literary works of the first half of the twentieth century have treated the New York Subway.
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.
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.
A Common Scheduling Problem
This article describes a common bus scheduling problem and four ways in which it can be resolved.
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.
Will Legalizing Marijuana Affect Your Daily...
This article examines what the possible effect of Washington State and Colorado legalizing marijuana will be on transit.
Overview of the Americans With Disabilities Act...
Summary of federal requirements for paratransit operation, including requirements for paratransit eligibility, service area, fares, no shows, and scheduling.
Hyperloop - Visionary Replacement for...
An examination of the theoretical hyperloop transportation system.
Transit Apps
A description of transit apps and a review of some of the more well-known ones.
The Importance of Complaints and How to Handle...
A review of the importance of passenger complaints and how to handle them.
Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.
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).
Summit Stage 2
This gallery contains images of transit from Colorado that I took during my trip around the 4th of July 2012. Page 6.
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 in San Diego, California
A review of transit in San Diego.
Summit Stage 5
This gallery contains images of transit from Colorado that I took during my trip around the 4th of July 2012. Page 3.
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.
Subway Signals
An article describing what the different signal lights you will see looking out the front of a subway train mean.
Public Transit In Movies
This article looks at how public transit has been depicted in movies.
How to Encourage Non-Riders to Take Transit...
In this article I go over some of the compelling reasons to take transit.
How Should We Enable Students, Seniors, and...
This article asks who should be subsidizing the lower than normal fares paid by students, seniors, and disabled riders and concludes, with one exception, that it should be the transit agency.

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