|Automatic Wheel Inspection Station
Report Number: IDEA-03
An automated railroad wheel profile inspection system designed to measure wheel profiles at operating speeds using a laser scanning technology was developed and trial tested in a bench-scale demonstration. A Transit IDEA product report was published in October 1995. In Stage 1, preliminary specifications and hardware design for the system, including layout and component specifications, were completed. Several laser sensors have been tested on actual railroad wheel segments to determine the overall feasibility of the proposed approach. A bench-scale inspection station system was designed, fabricated, and tested in the laboratory. In Stage 2, in-house trial tests of the system in simulated railroad conditions were performed and operational durability and reliability of the system examined. The cost-effectiveness was assessed and an operating design of the system for routine application by transit operators was developed.
Designing Transit Services for the Mode-Choice Market Stage III Planning
Report Number: IDEA-26
This project developed a "mobility index" that is a function of trip time by which to measure and map mobility in a metropolitan region for both auto and transit modes, as well as to identify opportunities and evaluate transit improvements for their impact on regional mobility. This includes a complementary market positioning exercise for mode-choice-focused transit services, employing focus groups and an ethnographic analytical methodology for identifying the explicit "bellwether" segment of the mode-choice market. The research uses the San Diego metropolitan area for a test bed, in collaboration with the major transit agency, the Metropolitan Transit Development Board(MTDB), and local and regional agencies, including the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Please note: This project is still in progress.
Evaluation of Economic Feasibility and Innovative Payment Plans of the Independent Transportation Network (ITN)
Report Number: IDEA-18
This was a follow-up project for pilot testing and product transfer of the successful IDEA concept, Transit-9. The project tested innovative payment plans of the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) as an alternative transportation means for the elderly using nontraditional payment plans. A survey, designed to address differing populations with a differing role in the transportation service, was completed for five focus groups. The focus groups included seniors currently using the ITN, seniors not using the ITN, adult children whose parents use the ITN, businesses that serve the senior population, and volunteer drivers. Based on survey results, pilot test and operational evaluations for levels of service and innovative payment plans for the transportation of seniors were developed and discussed with a panel of regional experts. In the next stage, the application of ITS technology to ITN was explored. This used smart cards for electronic fare and data collection and record keeping, global positioning satellites (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) mapping. Pilot testing of the ITN operation was carried out under an FTA grant for ITN deployment. Based on test results, the economic and social benefits of the ITN system will be esvaluated, and guidelines for possible application in other representative communities, including rural areas, will be considered.
Optimizing Travel Path for People with Disabilities
Report Number: IDEA-23
This project developed a method for people with various types of disabilities to review barriers to travel before embarking on a transit trip so they can plan their routes to more easily reach destinations surrounding transit stations. The research analyzed typical travel barriers for the disabled around transit access points. A database of physical landscapes and barriers was developed and a prototype transit accessibility mapping system was implemented. An interactive 3D model in a CD format for presenting the accessibility information was demonstrated. The model is based on Metrolink light rail transit stops in the St. Louis, Missouri, region.