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NCTR is located at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida. CUTR is recognized as one of the country's Best Workplaces for CommutersSM      

Abstracts from the

Journal of Public Transportation

Volume 9, No. 4, 2006 

Bus Transit Oriented Development— Strengths and Challenges Relative to Rail

Graham Currie, Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University


While rail has been the focus of most planning for Transit Oriented Development (TOD), there has been recent interest in bus-related TOD with an emphasis on new bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in North and South America and Australia. This article takes a critical look at the strengths and challenges of bus-based transit systems compared to rail in relation to TOD. It includes a review of the literature and an assessment of TOD-related developments. The performance of BRT systems in relation to TOD is considered with specific reference to BRT systems in Australia. In addition, TOD related to local suburban bus service is examined. The article describes the general concept of TOD and how this relates to features of transit modes, outlines the literature relevant to bus-based TOD, and identifies the strengths and challenges of bus-based transit systems in relation to TOD. It concludes by summarizing the relative strengths and challenges of BRT and local bus services compared to rail. The findings of the review are used to identify ways in which bus-based TOD might be better planned and implemented. Full text (pdf)

Report from an Interdisciplinary Case Study on a Public Transit System in Crisis

Kim A. Jones, Robert C. Mock, Jr., and Sarah T. Cearley, University of Arkansas at Little Rock


This article describes how a public transportation system in a mid-sized southern state was assessed in regard to its adequacy in providing transportation services. The article begins by discussing the trends in current transportation patterns, funding of public transit, and special populations served by public transit. A case study is then presented of a transit system that was experiencing what has become a typical problem for similar transit systems across the nation: intensified public and political pressures caused by funding cuts and unfunded mandates from the federal government. Findings from the case study are then provided along with recommendations for change. Finally, the outcome of the study is presented. Full text (pdf)

Total Quality Transportation Through Deming’s 14 Points

Bhimaraya A. Metri, Management Development Institute, India


Transportation organizations, particularly public transport corporations, have not followed the lead of manufacturing or other service industries in adopting Total Quality Management (TQM). In recent years, quality has become an important competitive strategy in the global market. In near future, due to World Trade Organization agreements, globalization, and competitiveness, transport organizations have no choice other than adopting TQM for their survival.

This article presents a background on TQM and addresses the imperatives of using this strategy in transport organizations. The article examines total quality transportation (TQT) and its organizational structure and implementation model in relation to Deming’s 14 points. The model presented in this research provides enhanced tactics for transportation quality and customer satisfaction. Full text (pdf)

Tracing Individual Public Transport Customers from an Anonymous Transaction Database

G. Tseytin, International Business Machines, Rational Software, California
M. Hofmann, M. O’Mahony, and D. Lyons, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland


Data mining concepts are used frequently throughout the transportation research sector. This article examines the concept of the market basket technique as a means of gaining more insight into public transport users’ demands. The article proposes a method that uses various data attributes of passenger records to infer the same customer in a different week (i.e., attempts to track the same customer from week to week). The general idea behind the measure is that if two records are considered similar, ideally every trip in one customer record should have a close counterpart in the other record. The research develops a similarity function designed to maximize the percentage of positive ticket identification over a number of weeks. Once similarity has been established, customer travel patterns can be useful in helping the operator identify new routes, new timetables, and strategic decisions in relation to satisfying public transport customer demands. Full Text (pdf)

A Multidisciplinary Approach Toward Improving Bus Schedule Readability

Darius Sollohub, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Anand Tharanathan, Texas Tech University


Printed schedules are critical to mass transit mobility, perhaps no more so than to bus transit users who often embark from locations where information is not provided. For economic reasons, they also rely heavily on transit. Schedules are their lifeline. After becoming concerned with the readability of its bus schedules, New Jersey Transit (NJT) enlisted an interdisciplinary research and design team from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to analyze, redesign, and test the agency’s bus timetables over an 18-month period beginning in 2003. The process included precedent research, community outreach, graphic design, laboratory testing, and survey methods. It began with a literature survey and review of timetables produced by other agencies. Two focus groups were convened to incorporate user viewpoints. Based on these methods and acknowledging the institutional and production constraints of the agency, two prototype timetables were designed for one of the agency’s most complex bus routes. The prototypes and the current schedule for the route were time-tested in a laboratory with 30 participants. A survey was given to the same participants. The analysis of the experimental data was partially inconclusive due to high error rates for all schedules tested. However, in the survey, a majority of participants showed preference for aspects developed in the prototypes, offering the agency important production recommendations regarding font sizes, text orientation and graphic display methods, as well as institutional directives regarding data transfer, maps, zone designations, passenger information, and telephone contacts. This article recounts this process and offers to the larger transit community the conclusions of this interdisciplinary approach, not combined in this manner before, to make bus transit more attractive and efficient. Full text (pdf)

A DSS Framework for Advanced Traffic Signal Control System Investment Planning

Houng Y. Soo and Dusan Teodorovic, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

John Collura, University of Massachusetts


This article presents ongoing research on the initial development of a decision support system (DSS) framework for integrated emergency vehicle preemption and transit priority system investment planning. A conceptual intelligent DSS framework provides a holistic framework to perform analytical assessments of integrated emergency vehicle preemption and transit priority systems. Three analytical tools are presented for incorporation into future DSS design: the first addresses the potential impact of transit travel time reduction on transit operating costs; the second addresses the potential impact of reduced emergency vehicle crashes at signalized intersections on fire and rescue operating costs; and the third integrates fuzzy sets concepts and multiattribute decision-making methods to rank order transit signal priority strategy alternatives at the intersection level.  Full text (pdf)

Errata/Editor’s Note: The following paper is a reprint of the original paper that appeared in Volume 9, No. 1. In the original paper, Dr. Gregory Price was not included as co-author. We regret the error.

A Study of the Impact of APTS on Service Quality Perceptions of Elderly and Disabled Riders

Julian M. Benjamin, North Carolina A&T State University

Gregory N. Price, Jackson State University


New transportation technology that directly impacts consumers should be evaluated by the people who are affected. Automated dispatching has become standard practice for paratransit services. This article summarizes a study analyzing consumer response to the Mobility Manager at a demonstration site in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Mobility Manager was applied to the TransAID demand-responsive mini-bus service for people who are elderly or who have disabilities. Survey data from two questionnaires, before and after the implementation of the Mobility Manager for the same subjects, were used to examine travel behavior and perceived service quality. These travelers reported service improvements such as easier telephone access and shorter travel times. The respondents’ travel patterns after implementation of the Mobility Manager remained stable. This article also provides econometric estimates of the change in the number of trips as a function of the change in travel attributes affected by implementation of the Mobility Manager. Changes in the number of trips by survey respondents were treated as a Poisson random variable. Results from a Poisson regression show that the primary beneficiaries of the Mobility Manager were riders with disabilities. Perceived service attributes that significantly affected changes in trips were length of trip, number of stops picking up additional passengers, and physical comfort. Full text (pdf)


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