As social media comes to permeate every aspect of modern life, public transit is no exception.
Transit agencies are increasingly making social media an integral part of their day-to-day management, using it to connect with riders about system alerts, live transit arrival information, service disruptions and customer feedback.
However, there is very little evidence to show how effective these efforts really are in achieving agency goals.
Measuring the Impacts of Social Media on Advancing Public Transit, a NITC project led by Jenny Liu of Portland State University, seeks to provide a better understanding of how transit agencies use social media and to develop some performance measures to assess the impacts of social media on promoting public transit.
This project aims to measure how social media actually impacts agency goals like increasing recruitment and retention of transit riders; increasing resources and customer satisfaction; addressing system performance efficiency; and improving employee productivity and morale.
A survey of 27 public transportation providers across the country found that although 94% of those surveyed agencies used some form of social media, only 28% had a social media plan or strategy prior to implementation.
Liu’s research explores the types of performance measures that could...Read more
A new NITC report offers a multimodal framework for transportation impact analysis – a welcome tool for professionals in many cities seeking more detailed data about non-drivers.
Improving Trip Generation Methods for Livable Communities, a research project headed by Kelly Clifton of Portland State University and Nico Larco of the University of Oregon, is the latest effort in an ongoing collaboration to create more open sourced, widely available data about non-motorized road users.
Over the last decades, cities have become more invested in fostering the conditions to support walking, biking and public transit.
The land development process presents a unique challenge.
Prior to a zoning change or new development, someone has to determine what its impact on the transportation system will be, and whether upgrades will be necessary to accommodate travelers to the new destination. Trip generation is the first step in the conventional transportation forecasting process.
Current trip generation methods used by engineers across the country tend to focus on motorized modes.
Without reliable trip generation rates for anyone but drivers, the transportation impact is difficult to predict. Certain land uses will draw far more walkers,...Read more
Smart Growth America hosted a webinar Jan. 31 on NITC research finding that standard guidelines lead to a drastic oversupply of parking at transit-oriented developments. That restricts the supply of housing, office and retail space while driving up the price.
The webinar marks the release of Smart Growth America's lay summary of the NITC report, called "Empty Spaces," which will be available to webinar attendees.
Watch the recorded webinar here.
The research, led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, is one of the first comprehensive data-driven reports to estimate peak parking and vehicle trip generation rates for transit-oriented development projects, as well as one of the first to estimate travel mode shares for TODs. Ewing analyzed data on actual parking usage and total trip generation near five transit stations: Redmond, Washington; Rhode Island Row in Washington, D.C.; Fruitvale Village in Oakland, California; Englewood, Colorado; and Wilshire/Vermont in Los...Read more
The final report on this research is available now: Design for an Aging Population
Published in April 2017, this study sought to increase understanding of the obstacles faced by people with impairments in vision, hearing and/or mobility, which are common issues for older people, and generate physical product solutions.
The research shows that aging riders face conceptual, physical and social barriers that impact their willingness to use buses. Using the bus was seen as inconvenient, time consuming, physically draining and potentially frustrating. Priority seating areas designated for older and disabled users fill quickly. People with mobility challenges may use bulky walkers and require the availability of grab bars, and users of wheeled mobility devices need different device security. Several situations noted in the study show that physically challenged riders are subject to awkward, uncomfortable social dynamics more than other bus users. Innovation in easy access seats and secure WhMD stations at the front of the bus are critical for older users, as it makes riding the bus less draining and more safe.
This research was presented at TRB's 2017 annual meeting. See below for our coverage of the research at TRB.
Seniors make up a large...Read more
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To improve safety and increase transit use, transit agencies and the jurisdictions they serve have to approach transit service as door-to-door not just stop-to-stop.
NITC researchers have tested a method of collecting transportation behavior data using a smartphone app, with promising results.
The process could save transit agencies “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says lead researcher Christopher Bone, and give them access to comprehensive, real-time data about their ridership, all without compromising passengers’ privacy.
Christopher Bone, Marc Schlossberg, Ken Kato, Jacob Bartruff and Seth Kenbeek of the University of Oregon designed a custom mobile application, which allows passengers to volunteer information about their travel habits, and recruited passengers to use it in a test case.
Their report, “Crowdsourcing the Collection of Transportation Behavior Data,” was released this month.
Participants were asked to use the app for three weeks on Lane Transit District’s EmX bus line located in the Eugene-Springfield area in western Oregon. Researchers placed sensors on the buses and at stops to detect when someone using the app was boarding. When a user came within range of a sensor, they...Read more