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Evaluating Transit Market Potential and Selecting Locations of Transit Service Facilities Using GIS

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 2, Issue 4 (2000) by Srinivas S Pulugurtha and Shashi S Nambisan, UNLV, Transportation Research Center, Nanda Srinivasan, Cambridge Systematics Inc.          

Abstract

Accessibility to transit service facility (TSF) locations plays a significant role in the success of public transportation systems. The ease with which the end-user can reach a TSF (e.g., bus stops, rail stations, or multimodal centers) plays prominently in the decision-making process of the individual. This article presents a working definition for transit market potential based on accessibility in terms of walking distance and walking time. Further, a measure is constructed to evaluate transit market potential for TSF locations for a transit system. The measure of transit potential is represented by an index value based on demographic criteria such as employment, household size, vehicle ownership, etc. This index can be used to identify locations of TSFs that increase a route’s potential for ridership. A methodology is proposed to estimate the Index of Transit Potential for TSFs. This methodology involves (1) identifying the accessible network of streets around each TSF that is within an acceptable access threshold for a transit rider, and (2) estimating the transit market potential based on key demographic characteristics. The analytical and visualization capabilities of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program are utilized to help attain the objective. A case study is used to demonstrate the application of the methodology. In the case study, a portion of a route of the Las Vegas Citizens Area Transit (CAT) system is analyzed and the Index of Transit Potential is estimated. The index values are then used to locate TSFs along the route. This is compared with the existing stop locations for the route.

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