Tuesday, July 12, 2016

TransitCenter New Report: What Makes Transit Successful? Walkable Neighborhoods And Fast, Frequent Service


Today TransitCenter released it's latest research report. The research is based on talking to Americans who use transit.  It finds that attention to basics -- service quality and frequency, and good walking conditions around transit stops -- are the keys to high and increasing ridership.  It explodes the myth that people who do not own cars are "captive" to low quality transit service.  

 

Fast, frequent transit that people can walk to is the key to increasing urban transit ridership.
That’s the main conclusion of “Who’s On Board 2016: What Today’s Riders Teach Us About Transit That Works,” the latest edition in TransitCenter’s Who’s On Board series of national transit rider opinion studies released today.

Drawing on results from three focus groups and a survey of 3,000 people in 17 metropolitan areas across the country, Who’s On Board offers several core findings to inform how government agencies and elected officials approach transportation, land use, and development policy.

 



Core Findings


The most important “first mile/last mile” solution is walking. The majority of transit riders, including 80 percent of all-purpose riders, typically walk to transit. This finding underscores the importance of putting transit stations in busy, walkable neighborhoods; building offices and housing within walking distance of transit; and providing more and safer pedestrian routes to transit.
 
The two most important determinants of rider satisfaction with transit are service frequency and travel time. The availability of information and conditions at the station or stop were also important, suggesting that real-time information and shelters are important amenities for transit agencies to provide. On the other hand, power outlets and Wifi were rated the least important items out of a list of 12 potential service improvements.
 
There are three common patterns of transit use: occasional riders who take transit once in awhile, commuters who take transit regularly but only for work, and all-purpose riders who take transit regularly for multiple purposes. Transit agencies should strive to grow this third category of rider, as they are the most reliable and financially efficient customers to serve. All-purpose riders are more prevalent where it’s easy to walk to transit, and where transit is frequent and provides access to many destinations.

Transit riders are sensitive to transit quality, not “captive” to transit. For decades, transportation professionals have talked about two kinds of transit riders: car-owning “choice riders” who use transit when it meets their needs, and carless “captive riders” who will use transit regardless of its quality. Who’s On Board finds that the “captivity” of carless riders is severely overstated. People who live and work near better transit ride transit more often, whether or not they own cars. When transit becomes functionally useless, there are very few people who will continue to use it; agencies can take no one for granted.
 

See the rest of the findings from Who's on Board 2016




(Source: http://transitcenter.org/2016/07/12/what-makes-transit-successful-whos-on-board/)

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