Older Policy and Research products

The purpose of this Guide is to provide links to useful information on clean propulsion on-road vehicles, infrastructure, and training.

Procurement has become an integral part of every public transportation agency’s overall business strategy. This Handbook provides transit executives with an understanding of fundamental procurement principles. Issues include roles and responsibilities, planning, contract essentials, compliance, and how to avoid problems.

This brochure provides an easy-to-use guide that explains the typical characteristic of light rail and streetcar systems, highlighting what sets them apart and where the differences become fuzzy. This is intended to be a useful tool for civic leaders and the general public as new transportation initiatives are being proposed in their communities, and for practitioners as they strive to explain these initiatives in broadly understood terms. There are many examples that clearly illustrate how we have described light rail and streetcars, as well as the fuzzy middle. Hopefully, this brochure has been an aid in better understanding these two modes of rail transit and a recognition of their common features. Perhaps the best conclusion from this information is that it is less important what you call a rail transit project than it is to understand what flexibility you have in making it work best for you and your community.

This survey conducted by the Mineta Transportation Institute provides evidence that there is growing support for an already strong majority of people in favor of expanding public transportation. Nearly 74 percent of respondents agreed to use of their tax dollars to create, expand and improve public transportation in their community.

Nearly three in five Americans visiting a major U.S. city this summer plan to use public transportation during their stay. The five most popular cities for travel this summer are New York, Miami, Chicago, Orlando and San Francisco. The survey found that Millennials (18-24) are most likely to use public transportation while on vacation, with 73 percent reporting yes. Major motivators for using public transportation included not having to worry about finding a parking space (73 percent), saving money on parking fees (69 percent), and not having to navigate a car within a new city (64 percent).

Mobility Management seeks to create and coordinate a full range of well-synchronized mobility services within a community- “a one-stop shop for mobility options,” according to one public transit agency general manager.

This brochure provides information on the positive development and direction of the bus industry today, as well as on the broad-based need the bus industry fills in America communities.

This report explains the implications of the tax title approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on February 3.

This report analyzes the impact of a one-third cut in federal public transportation spending proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The report estimates that 620,000 jobs would be lost over the course of a six-year authorization period as a result of the cuts.  The report also includes survey responses from APTA member transit agencies and businesses.

This study examines several sources that detail varying elasticities between gas prices and public transportation ridership.  It uses those sources to predict the impact that rising gas prices will have on public transportation ridership, using APTA’s 2010 ridership figures as a baseline.

This study examines the processes of governance transformation that have been employed to respond to the opportunities for and challenges to providing regional public transportation. Case studies of eight regions of various sizes and providing geographic diversity across the U.S. provide insights into the impetus for governance transformation, the direction of the changes being implemented, and the mechanism(s) for change, as well as accomplishments, lessons learned and ongoing challenges.

This report identifies a portfolio of strategies that transit agencies can take to reduce the energy use and GHG emissions of their operations and estimates the potential impacts of those strategies in 2030 and 2050. Using interviews and current literature, a portfolio of 17 high-priority strategies were selected for analysis based on their potential for reducing GHG emissions over the medium and long term.

This completely updated specification replaces previous versions of the White Book and provides details for the procurement of buses 30 feet to articulated bus lengths and multiple propulsion and fuel types. This document contains language for a full RFP including Terms and Conditions and Technical specifications.

This report provides a summary of state level transit funding. Information includes funding sources, amounts, program, eligible uses and allocation, and per capita state transit funding for fiscal year 2008. Fiscal year 2007 version can be found here.

This report by Todd Litman investigates ways that public transportation affects human health, and ways to incorporate these impacts into transport policy and planning decisions. This research indicates that public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits. Update from June 2011 on Author’s Web Site at http://www.vtpi.org/tran_health.pdf

Analysis Tool in Excel for the Funding the Public Transportation Needs of an Aging Population report

This overview highlights the many benefits of public transportation for individuals and communities. The economic, environmental and social benefits of public transit are detailed. It includes the latest statistics and examples to illustrate the benefits.

This handbook is intended to help transit boards to understand the public procurement process, as well as their role in that process.

This report by Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind of the Free Congress Foundation argues for more and better public transportation from a conservative perspective. Transit reduces traffic congestion, encourages economic development, spurs the development of city centers, and provides national security benefits.

This paper shows that with an investment of 1.6 percent of the U.S. GDP per year, public transportation could support 7.4 million jobs and, by 2020, could save the country 15.2 billion gallons of fuel annually—almost as much as we currently import from the Persian Gulf. This investment would also cut 141.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year—about 8 percent of the total carbon emissions from the U.S. transportation sector.

Land use and travel impacts of transit service result in energy use reduction and greenhouse gas emission reductions greater than those measured by a simple comparison  of transit and private vehicles energy use and emission rates.

This report provides information about the importance of transportation to older adults, examples of what public transportation services are doing to meet the transportation needs of older adults, and data on transportation services and programs. It discusses the efforts of 88 transportation agencies to provide transportation services to older adults.

This brochure outlines the environmental and energy saving benefits that using public transportation offers individuals and communities. Serving both as an advocacy and educational piece, the brochure contains climate change and energy conservation related charts and graphs as well as facts outlining how transit use and increased investment in transit is beneficial to future climate change and energy legislation.

This report will answers how much net C02 is public transportation saving in the U.S., how much additional C02 savings are possible if loads are increased,  what is the significance of non-public transportation commuter use and what can households do to save more, and finally are there favorable land use impacts that public transportation contributes to the environment and social benefits?

​This Independent analysis looks for the first time at what public transportation saves—both for individual households and for the nation as a whole. In addition, it explores a possible future where many more Americans would have the choice to take public transportation. APTA commissioned the report from ICF International.

This report by Todd Litman quantifies the benefits of rail transit based on a comprehensive analysis of system performance.  The analysis indicates that rail transit investments are a cost-effective way to improve urban transport, and shows that rail transit systems provide a variety of economic, social and environmental benefits that tend to increase as a system expands and matures.  Update from June 2011 on Author’s Web Site at http://www.vtpi.org/railben.pdf

This report reveals the demographics of the United States will change dramatically during the next 25 years as more baby boomers reach their 60s, 70s and beyond. This report presents new findings based on the National Household Transportation Survey of 2001 and places them in the context of other research on mobility in the aging population.

The report by Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind describes the benefits of transit service for people who do not ordinarily ride it. Nonusers encounter less congestion, save money, and see the values of their homes go up because of transit service. Transit’s positive impact for conservation and the importance of transit for the occasional users are also investigated.

This brochure was prepared by the Light Rail Transit Committee of the Transportation Research Board. It was first distributed at the Eighth National Conference on Light Rail Transit in Dallas, Texas, in November 2000 and has subsequently been updated. Its printing in this Second Edition was sponsored jointly by the Transportation Research Board and APTA. The brochure gives the history of this mode, then outlines the current state of the art, including vehicles, infrastructure, operations and economics. It is an excellent introduction to this versatile mode of public transportation.

This report demonstrates that traveling by transit, per person and per mile, uses significantly less energy and produces substantially less pollution than comparable travel by private vehicles. The findings provide clear evidence that public transportation is saving energy and reducing pollution in America, and that increased usage could have an even greater impact int he future.

Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind explore in this 2002 report how urban downtowns are reviving, and new towns are being built to traditional patterns. Not only can streetcars serve these non-suburban areas, they need streetcars in order to flourish.

This publication is geared toward local officials and suggests ways that they can work with local public transportation systems to encourage ridership and make their communities more livable. Written in conjunction with the Transportation and Livable Communities Consortium, it provides many examples of what other communities have done to spur action.

Authors take on the anti-transit critics and debunk misconceptions about rail transit. This study is an excellent resource for transit advocates facing the venomous attacks of the “anti-transit troubadours.”

This report explains why transit’s effectiveness is often measured erroneously, and proposes a new measurement that better calculates the importance of transit, called a transit competitive trip. The authors cite three case studies that answer “yes” to the question, “Does Transit Work?”

This study details the economic benefits provided by commuter rail systems to the local, state and national economy.

This report explains the reasons for conservatives to take an interest in transit policy by refuting many assumptions about public transportation. Studies described in this report have found that rents are higher and office vacancy rates are lower near transit systems, transit service increases development, leading to additional jobs and increased tax revenues.

Designed for transit system board members, new employees, and citizens involved in transit activities. This glossary provides easy-to-understand definitions for almost 200 transit terms.

Technical research applying the ARIMA model in estimating bus fare elasticities of 52 transit systems in the United States. The report describes data collection procedures and a special survey conducted to obtain monthly data for the model. The estimation models and research results are presented and evaluated in detail.

Abridged version (eight pages) of the report, “Fare Elasticity and its Application to Forecasting Transit Demand,” prepared for general use by transit executives, managers, and planners. The document briefly summarizes the research methodology and discusses the effects of fare changes on bus ridership by peak vs. off-peak hours and by population category for 52 transit systems.

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