Changing Markets for Commuter and Suburban Rail

Post-pandemic, the rapid and drastic changes in people’s mobility styles have left transit agencies grappling with financial stress. California’s transit ridership has generally tracked alongside national ridership trends with a substantial dip in ridership and then slow recovery, but it appears that post-pandemic mode shares will remain substantially lower from pre-pandemic shares, most noticeably on commuter rail services. To reverse some of the declines in commuter rail ridership, this project will use survey research targeted towards better understanding how rail markets have changed over the past several years and how the potential user base views rail services. Factors may include issues with station access, reliability of service, cost, changes in demand for travel, station amenities, and more. This project will be widely applicable across the state in locations with intercity, suburban, and small urban rail services. The goal of this project is to understand barriers to potential ridership including a dearth of first- and last-mile connections, reliability of service, bicycle and pedestrian facilities near stations, cost, changes in attitudes, changes in demand for travel (induced by work from home preferences), and station level amenities including parking. The findings will generate a better understanding of barriers to potential ridership and provide tailored solutions that can quickly be implemented by agencies in the short term to address these barriers.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902080
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Sustainable Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DOT 69A3552348319, DOT 69A3552344814
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2023 4:36PM