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Abstracts from the

Journal of Public Transportation

Volume 11, No. 1, 2008 

Qualitative Research to Assess Interest in Public Transportation for Work Commute

Kerstin Carr, University of Regensburg

Abstract

Given the need for reducing single occupancy vehicle commutes, this article presents a case study of employer-based research. Using conjoint analysis as a qualitative research method, factors that potentially influence people’s choices to drive alone to work were studied at a major company in Columbus, Ohio. Such factors included reasons for driving alone, satisfaction with commute, perceptions toward transportation modes, importance of transportation attributes, and likelihood to switch if certain Transportation Demand Management measures were implemented. Target groups were formed by using simple regression and cluster analysis of a stated-ranking question regarding transportation attributes. Full text (pdf)

Managing Limited Access Highways for High Performance: Costs, Benefits, and Revenues

Patrick DeCorla-Souza, Federal Highway Administration

Abstract

Managed lanes are a set of lanes where highway operations strategies are actively applied in response to changing conditions. High-Occupancy/Toll (HOT) and Express Toll lanes are examples of managed lanes. The transportation operations concept discussed in this article involves conversion of existing freeways (all lanes) into premium-service free-flowing highways that provide fast, frequent, and inexpensive express bus service and charge all private vehicles a variable toll—except for authorized buses and certified ridesharing vehicles. The toll would vary by level of demand and would be set high enough to guarantee that excessive demand will not cause a breakdown of traffic flow. This article discusses the advantages of this concept. It introduces a new sketch-planning tool that provides estimates of costs, benefits, and revenues from applying the concept on a highway network in a prototypical large metropolitan area. The estimates suggest that implementing the concept can provide significant net social benefits. It may also generate sufficient new toll revenue to pay for all costs for implementation and operation, including new express bus and park-and-ride services that would complement the pricing scheme. Full text (pdf)

Demand Responsive Route Design: GIS Application to Link Downtowns with Expansion Areas

Mintesnot Gebeyehu and Shin-ei Takano, Hokkaido University Sapporo, Japan

The movement of residential locations to suburban areas to obtain cheaper land results in increasing mobility and infrastructure problems. One of the important infrastructures is transportation, which determines the level of accessibility of people and commodities from one place to another. Therefore, Transportation Demand Management (TDM) measures are important in providing an optimal transit route to increase accessibility of public transportations. In the past, several researchers have developed various TDM programs, including public transport improvement as a strategy to encourage a more transit-oriented society. This study attempts to create a methodology of identifying bus links between urban centers and newly developed urban expansion areas using Geographical Information Systems by considering reduction of route overlapping. A TAZ-based analysis is undertaken to identify the demand responsive bus routes, which maximize population coverage, minimize travel time, and reduce duplicating routes. Full text (pdf)

Does Government Structure Matter? A Comparative Analysis of Urban Bus Transit Efficiency

Suzanne Leland and Olga Smirnova, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

As public transit becomes more and more important to our economy, it is imperative that we understand which governing system achieves optimal efficiency. Following up on the work of Perry and Babitsky (1986), we quantitatively test whether certain forms of public governance are more efficient administrators of bus service. We utilize 2004 data from the National Transit Association database and control for federal funding, whether services are contracted out, region, population density, whether the system has a fixed guideway, the presence of local dedicated funding, and the ratio of local to federal funding. We find that special-purpose governments are more likely than general-purpose governments (cities and counties) to operate more efficiently. We also discovered that governments that contract out for some or all of their bus services are also more likely to be efficient than those public agencies that directly operate all of their services. Full text (pdf)

Encouraging Sustainable Campus Travel: Self-Reported Impacts of a University TravelSmart Initiative

Geoff Rose, Monash University

At the start of the 2004 and 2005 academic years, a voluntary travel behavior change program targeted incoming first-year students at the Clayton Campus of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Analysis of before and after travel surveys identified a significant effect in terms of reducing single occupant commuting and increasing public transport use. Nearly one in four of the students who participated in the TravelSmart initiative indicated it had influenced them to the extent of thinking about using, trying, or regularly using alternatives to solo driving to campus. The information provided about public transport services was the most valued element of the program. A range of barriers to further behavior change are identified to overcome a number of those impediments and thereby increase the use of environmentally friendly modes for commuting to campus. Full text (pdf)

Faith-Based Organizations: A Potential Partner in Rural Transportation

Tom Seekins, Steve Bridges, Annesa Santa, Daniel J. Denis, and Andrea Hartsell, University of Montana

Disability advocates frequently suggest that faith-based organizations (FBO) may be potential providers of transportation for people with disabilities living in rural communities. We conducted a national survey of rural FBOs in the United States to explore their capacity and interest in being involved in local transportation. We randomly selected 716 FBOs located within 15 miles of a rural center for independent living. Forty percent (N = 288) of these responded to our mailed survey. Responding faith communities averaged 300 worshiping adults with an average of 9.5 percent being judged to have a significant disability. Overall, respondents indicated they were neither willing nor unwilling to become involved in providing transportation to either the general public or to people with disabilities. Nevertheless, 32 percent of respondents said they would be willing or very willing to do so. Respondents reported that their congregations owned a total of 146 vehicles, 18.5 percent of which were judged to be accessible. Results are discussed in terms of the need to understand faith communities and their orientation to community service. Full text (pdf)


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