Following is a list of topic areas where we plan to focus this year’s Multimodal Operations Planning Workshop. If you have topic ideas outside these areas that you would like to have considered, please do not hesitate to submit them. We are looking for the latest information on best practices, successful projects, and knowledge transfer relating to all areas of transit planning and scheduling.
Scheduling for Efficiency and Effectiveness
In today’s environment of transit funding shortfalls, transit agencies are often faced with the choice of finding ways to deliver existing service more efficiently or cutting service. What strategies has your agency used in the way service is scheduled to deliver service more efficiently at less cost or deliver more service at the same cost? Have you implemented methods resulting in more efficient run cuts or utilization of buses? What innovative methods have you identified to establish scheduled running times which reflect reality on the street and result in more reliable and effective service to the public?
Transit routes are redesigned to fit both user needs and today’s business realities. What methods have you used to better fit your routes to your priorities? What made those decisions successful? What are the lessons from methods that don’t work? How should agencies prepare for the coming ridership increase due to rising gas prices under the prospect of having to cut routes?
In the last year many transit authorities used federal stimulus dollars to construct new passenger or maintenance facilities, or modify existing ones. Has your agency benefited from one of these new or modified facilities? How has your agency been able to use this facility to create more efficient (or inefficient) service?
Bus Rapid Transit – A Variety of Flavors and Operating Experiences
Many transit agencies throughout North America and other parts of the world have implemented service they are calling Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). There is a wide disparity in the amenities and the types of operation when these examples are compared. Has your agency implemented BRT or a start toward it? What are the characteristics of the facilities and service? Has it been successful, ridership-wise? Does your agency have guidelines being used in the development of BRT?
Technological Advances in Vehicles and Service Levels
Many transit agencies are purchasing new buses and rail cars with better passenger amenities and upgraded technology. How has your agency been able to leverage these new vehicles to attract new riders and keep existing riders? What new service has your agency rolled out in conjunction with these new vehicles? How is your new service being integrated into the existing network (or is it kept separate on purpose)?
Mobility management starts with the creation of partnerships among transit agencies, public and private allied service providers, and customers in a particular region. When implemented, mobility management initiatives expand a transit agency’s role as a fixed-route service operator, to one that guides collaboration with and integration of the full spectrum of local and regional transportation services. How have you seen the integration of the specific objectives of ongoing mobility management initiatives, the roles and responsibilities of mobility managers, as well as the diverse types of organizations and arrangements coordinated successfully? What is your experience in the initial and continual development of this strategy, and its impact across wide ranges of community interests?
Expedited Service Strategies
At least five light rail transit systems now practice some form of expedited transit service, such as express or skip-stop service. Making it work to gain efficiencies takes some scheduling talent, especially on a two-track railroad. What are the best ways to accomplish these efficiencies with limited time and “rail estate?” Which of these techniques might be transferred to other modes?