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Zoltán

"This is quite different from a classic cost-benefit approach in which we count the riders currently on a segment and assign value based on their total travel time saved, because it acknowledges that (a) a dysfunctional segment is probably driving away customers regardless of how many are on it now and (b) the outcome is the network, not just a single line."

Besides this, CBAs of transit projects tend to reflect the whole tendency to think like drivers, and assume that travel time outcomes are most important, when a reliability improvement that reduces the time that someone in the real world can anticipate waiting for a bus (or two or three buses together) is far more valuable than the change in average travel time.

EngineerScotty

The real advantage to the highway levels of service is the attention they get: mountains are moved to keep major thoroughfares from receiving an "F" rating.

Imagine similar mountains being moved if a bus line was rated "F" for any one of several reasons (poor reliability, inadequate frequency, overcrowding, etc).

The Overhead Wire (@theoverheadwire)

Too bad the TEP was then used to gut the system instead of making improvements. And we still can't cut a bus stop because our leaders are too chicken to push the TEP. More meetings they say! Exhibit A: http://www.njudahchronicles.com/2012/03/yes_theres_a_transit_effectiveness_proje.html

All hat and no cattle.

zefwagner

I'm curious how you came up with speed standards for the different "products." Did you look at desired travel times to connect certain destinations? Was it based on experiences in other cities? It seems like an agency could easily just set a very low speed standard to justify inaction on what most people would consider deficient segments.

Jarrett at HumanTransit.org

Zef.  Good question.  In this case, the City of Seattle, our client, controlled the streets but not the transit operations.  So they set goals that would motivate them to do what they could with streets, while implying some unstated expectations of the transit agency as well.  Jarrett 

Eric Doherty

Great to see reliability being given serious consideration. But is reliability being measured in a way that is meaningful to transit riders? And are the results being reported to the public?

david vartanoff

Long before TEP, Rescue Muni did studies of the streetcar lines presenting Muni with specific no/low cost improvements as well as policy changes. In the main Muni did nothing other than explaining that each improvement was impossible, expensive, politically infeasible...
Now, a decade later, under the umbrella of TEP, they are finally talking about implementing signal priority. (They installed but refused to turn on an older system on the Embarcadero.) As always, the mantra of stop elimination comes up while stop SIGN elimination does not--there are many intersections where Muni buses/streetcars must stop even though there is no passenger stop.

Nearly a decade ago, Muni did a study trying to speed up a major trunk line in a very congested neighborhood with heavy transit ridership. (The "diamond" lanes are not seriously enforced.) Instead of changing the mix of Limiteds and Locals Muni decided that they should remove several closely spaced local stops which ignited a political firestorm. Transit lane enforcement remains a joke and the buses are still slow.

Nathanael

"(They installed but refused to turn on an older system on the Embarcadero.)"

This sort of thing -- and it's happened in Toronto too -- is a sign of a hostile, entrenched Roads Department which hates public transportation. You have big political problems, of the sort Jarrett has never discussed, if you have built a system and can't get it *turned on* due to obstructionism.

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the firm

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