Center Identification Number: 77722
Project Title: Exploration of a Shift in Household Transportation Spending from Vehicles to Public Transportation
Xuehao Chu, Senior Research Associate
Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
External Project Contact:
Public Transportation Office / Transit Planning
I. Project Objective/Problem Statement
Despite continued public support of transit over the last several decades, traffic congestion continues to get worse and transit ridership and service levels have grown but not sufficiently to play a meaningful roll in addressing growing travel demands and congestion levels. As a result, interest continues in exploring how significant service increases might provide adequate transit capacity and sufficiently attractive service levels to attract enough ridership to offset the need of households for the current number of vehicles. Similarly, might the resources saved by households with fewer autos represent a sufficient consumer benefit to justify or offset the higher subsidy costs necessary to provide the enhanced services? The literature currently offers little insight into this issue.
This study proposes to explore several data sets to develop an understanding of the economic and travel implications that might arise were households to reduce auto ownership in response to better transit service in an urban area. Using several existing data sets including: BLS consumer expenditure survey data, NHTS travel data, NTD transit cost data and perhaps other data on vehicle ownership and cost, this research will provide information to support policy discussions that consider development of more transit intensive urban environments with the expectation that these transit service investments can pay dividends in terms of lower household vehicle ownership and use costs. The results are expected to add a very helpful perspective with regard to the potential and economics of programs that propose more transit friendly and transit intensive urban environments. The following tasks are proposed.
Task 1. Average Costs
This task will explore changes in household vehicle ownership costs over time and across geographies. The objective is to develop an understanding of cost differences in an attempt to correlate with vehicle availability and household size characteristics.
Task 2. Marginal Costs
This task will explore marginal vehicle ownership costs for subsequent vehicles in a household. This will evaluate the cost and the relative use of second and subsequent vehicles per household. Seek out data that might provide insight into how travel previously made in a second or subsequent vehicle would be redistributed as vehicle ownership levels were reduced. See if any Canadian and European data can shed light on household transportation spending or personal vehicle travel versus public transportation in more public transportation intensive environments.
Task 3. Scenario Analysis
This task will develop scenarios to test the economic and market reasonableness of transit intensive scenarios that include lower household vehicle ownership costs and higher levels of public transportation service. Scenarios will be developed where one could contrast household savings for various lower rates of auto ownership against the public cost for better transit service and the probable diversion of travel demand to public transit against the capacity and service improvements in transit that might be afforded by various levels of shifting household auto ownership costs to public transportation service investments.
Task 4. Progress Reports and Final Report
This task will synthesize research findings into a final report and a publishable paper for wider dissemination.
Progress reports must include the following information:
Draft Final Reports
One electronic copy in MS Word format of a Summary of the Final Report to include the following four sections: Background, Objectives and Supporting Tasks, Finding and Conclusions, and the Benefit of the Project. The Summary shall be a separate document and should be approximately 500 words in length.
All Final Reports shall contain a completed Technical Report Documentation Form #F.1700.7, immediately after the title page. All Final Reports published shall contain a page after the Report Documentation Form that states the following:
All Final Reports should be bound with a front and back cover that is acceptable to the Department.
IV. Project Schedule
V. Project Budget
Notes: This budget does not reflect any federal participation. The project team will include faculty, students, and secretarial and other support staff who will work directly on the project and whose costs are reflected in the direct costs of the project as listed above. Budget requests includes salaries for clerical and administrative staff, postage, telephone calls, office supplies, general purpose software, subscriptions, and/or memberships.
No equipment is envisioned to be purchased under this project.
No travel is required.
VIII. Student Involvement
A graduate research assistant will carry out much of the work under the direction of the PI.
National Center for Transit Research · at the Center For Urban Transportation Research · University of South Florida · 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 · Tampa, FL 33620-5375 · (813) 974-3120 · (813) 974-5168 · www.nctr.usf.edu · Comments: email@example.com