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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 7, No. 4, 2004

The Crisis of Public Transport in India: Overwhelming Needs but Limited Resources

John Pucher and Nisha Korattyswaroopam, Rutgers University

Neenu Ittyerah, Indian Railways, Chennai, India


The rapid growth of India’s urban population has put enormous strains on all transport systems. Burgeoning travel demand far exceeds the limited supply of transport infrastructure and services. Public transport, in particular, has been completely overwhelmed. Most bus and train services are overcrowded, undependable, slow, inconvenient, uncoordinated, and dangerous. Moreover, the public ownership and operation of most public transport services has greatly reduced productivity and inflated costs. India’s cities desperately need improved and expanded public transport service. Unfortunately, meager government financial assistance and the complete lack of any supportive policies, such as traffic priority for buses, place public transport in an almost impossible situation. Full text (pdf)

A Guide to Customized Sampling Plans for National Transit Database Reporting

Xuehao Chu, University of South Florida

Ike Ubaka, Florida Department of Transportation


For estimating the system total unlinked passenger trips and passenger miles of a fixed-route bus system for the National Transit Database (NTD), the sampling plans approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) may either over sample or do not yield FTA’s required confidence and precision levels for the specific conditions of a transit agency. This guide helps transit agencies avoid these problems by developing sampling plans customized to their fixed-route bus services. Detailed steps are provided to calculate the statistical variation in passenger miles and unlinked passenger trips and the correlation between them. This guide complements FTA Circular C2710.1A in that transit agencies first select one of their own sampling plans that best meets their staffing needs, and then follow the procedures in the circular on sampling and collecting field data. Transit agencies should be able to use this guide and the related calculations as an approval of a qualified statistician as required by the current NTD reporting manuals. Full text (pdf)

Implementing Quality Improvements in Public Transport

Margareta Friman, Karlstad University, Sweden


This study addresses two questions: (1) What effect does quality improvement have on satisfaction with public transport services? (2) What effect does quality improvement have on passengers’ perceived frequency of negative critical incidents? A representative sample was used of people 16 to 75 years old in the 13 regions in Sweden that were conducting quality improvements in public transport. The main conclusion of the study is that the satisfaction people experience when using public transport services is influenced by quality improvements only to a limited extent. Furthermore, the effect was directionally opposite in that respondents reported less satisfaction and higher frequencies of negative critical incidents after the quality improvements had been implemented. Full text (pdf)

Waiting for the Bus

Daniel Baldwin Hess, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Jeffrey Brown, Florida State University

Donald Shoup, University of California, Los Angeles


In a natural experiment, college students riding public transit to UCLA were presented with the opportunity to pay for time savings. They could pay 75¢ to travel right away, or wait an average of 5.3 minutes for a free ride. Eighty-six percent of riders chose to wait rather than pay. Their behavior suggests that the disutility of time spent waiting for a free ride is less than $8.50 per hour. Riders overestimated their wait time by a factor of two when it was imposed by the transit system, but accurately estimated their wait time when they chose to wait for the free bus ride. Full text (pdf)

Panel Survey Approach to Measuring Season Ticket Use

Tomás Ruiz, Technical University of Valencia


This article presents the results of a panel survey designed to determine season travel ticket use in the metropolitan area of Valencia, Spain. The procedure consisted of surveying a randomly selected panel of season ticket users within a given study area in spring 2002, fall 2002, and late winter 2002–2003. A total of 143 respondents were recruited by phone calls from existing users of season tickets. Each respondent was asked to complete a four-day trip diary in each survey. Only 53 panelists gave a valid response in the second survey wave. Of the panelists who participated in the three waves, 31 provided valid responses. Results revealed a higher increase of season ticket use among those 45 years and older, followed by male users, travelers with more than one car at home, and those with car availability. Full text (pdf)

A Complete Conceptual Model for the Integrated Management of the Transportation Work

Yannis Tyrinopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Hellenic Institute of Transport


Under the Ph.D. program at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Telematics Applications in Public Transport, the lack of a complete management information model that will effectively integrate traditionally static and dynamic public transport operations was identified. This article provides an overview of the management information model MIDAS—the result of a six-year research and development effort aimed at fulfilling this gap. The article puts particular emphasis on the methodology applied and the techniques employed for development of the model. MIDAS contains three types of interrelated models: data model, functional model, and dynamic model. These models are the basis for the design and development of information systems for the planning and management of public transport operations. Full text (pdf)

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