Does Transit Service Reliability Influence Ridership?

The road infrastructure has not been developed at the rate of increasing travel demand in many cities in the United States, mainly due to space and resource constraints. Practitioners are exploring other avenues to increase public transportation ridership with economically efficient investment plans to meet the travel demand, reduce congestion, and contribute to sustainability. In spite of these ongoing efforts, recent statistics indicate that ridership has decreased in many cities in the United States, and bus ridership alone fell by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year. There is a need to research and identify factors that encourage the use of public transportation systems over other modes of transportation. The availability of transit service, frequency of the transit service, and reliability based on transit performance are a few factors that affect transit ridership. The perception of transit service reliability among riders is based on on-time arrival/departure and waiting time. Yet, intra-city bus services often show inconsistencies in on-time arrival/departure at bus stops, thereby, influencing ridership. This could be because buses share their travel space with other transportation modes, making them vulnerable to recurrent and non-recurrent congestion. The most commonly used measure of bus transit service reliability is on-time performance. Different on-time performance thresholds are used by public transportation agencies to define bus transit service reliability. The relationships between the on-time performance threshold and ridership were not explored widely in the past. There is a need to research and better understand the relationship between on-time performance threshold and ridership. The on-time performance could vary over space, by time, and with the direction of travel. The effect of transit service reliability on ridership could depend on road-network, demographic, and land use characteristics within the vicinity of a stop/station. For example, low-income groups may perceive bus transit service reliability differently than medium- or high-income groups. This research, therefore, aims to analyze the relationships between transit service reliability indicators and ridership. Further, it aims to analyze the effect of road network, demographic, and land use characteristics on these relationships. The findings will help public transportation agencies to effectively utilize available resources, plan, and provide equitable services to all transit system riders.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $37500
    • Contract Numbers:

      69A3551747127

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility

      San Jose State University
      San Jose, CA  United States  95112
    • Principal Investigators:

      Pulugurtha, Srinivas

    • Start Date: 20210116
    • Expected Completion Date: 20211231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01765059
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747127
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Feb 18 2021 4:25PM