Transit Planning

Ownership & Governance

Different Institutional Forms

  • Local Agency
    • Better integration
    • Budget constraints
  • Transit Authority or District
    • Multijurisdictional setting
    • Better funding and Districts can raise their taxes
  • Cooperative Arrangements
    • Cooperating among different agencies to provide transit in any area
    • Jointly redistribution revenues
  • Privatization
    • Paratransit or demand-responsive transit
    • Some form of operations like maintenance/fare collection


Contemporary Transit Planning

  • Ridership
    • Estimated in both passenger-miles traveled and unlinked passenger trips.
    • Increased since 1990 in United States
  • Trip Lengths and Operating Speeds
    • The ratio of passenger-miles traveled to revenue vehicle-miles (or vehicle-hours) operated offers insight into vehicle loadings (utilization) and trip lengths
    • A revenue vehicle-mile is defined as a mile traveled while the vehicle was providing service


Transit Modes

  • Rights-of-way, technologies, and operational characteristics

Class A

Class B

Class C

Transit Modes : Bus Transit

  • Bus Transit Modes
    • Regular IC Engine Buses and Electrical Buses/Trolley
    • Low operation costs i.e. economical
    • Regular Bus systems with bus travel ways and dedicated busways
    • Bus Rapid Transit system with physically separated rights-of-way and busways
    • BRT is popularized in Bogota Columbia
    • BRT service is preferred to improve bus speed, reliability, and identity
    • BRT systems commonly use 52.5- to 60-ft (16- to 18-m) articulated buses.
    • Separate design criteria for stations and intersection signals etc.
    • BRT can carry about 6,000 passengers per hour


Transit Modes : Guided Transit

  • Street car
    • Streetcars were the dominant mode of street transit in many cities until the 1950
    • Streetcars are electrically powered vehicles, usually articulated
    • Streetcars and LRT share basic technological characteristics
  • Light Rail Transit
    • LRT is an electrically powered system that operates mostly on right-of-way category
    • 35 LRT/streetcar systems operating in the United States in 2012 and 12 in procurement stage
    • Variety of vehicle design, right-of-way types, station configurations, and speeds presents many opportunities in the design of LRT lines
  • Rapid Rail Transit
    • RRT is an electrically powered system of trains operating only on exclusive rights-of-way and with fully access-controlled stations.
    • RRT systems use fail-safe train control systems, which consist of signals controlling occupancies
  • Regional Rail Transit
    • A system of electric or diesel-powered trains operating on railroad rights-of-way
    • Higher speeds and more gap between stations
  • Mono Rail
    • Run along a single beam and costs about $44 million to $118 million per mile
    • The ability to run only on elevated sections, complicated switching, and greater operational complexity than rail systems


Transit Modes : Paratransit & Other Modes

  • Automated Systems: Automated people movers, automated guided transit and Automated metros
  • Semi Public Para Transit:
    • Available to certain categories of users
    • Subscription vans or buses like Vanpools , Car sharing and Subscription programs
  • Public Para Transit
    • Available to any individual or group of persons
    • Taxis/Uber/Lyft.
    • Jitneys
    • Flexible Transit Service – demand responsive
  • Terrain based
    • Cable Cars, Cog railways, Funicular, Aerial Tramways
  • Water based Transit
    • Passenger and auto ferries and water taxis


Costs & Quality of service

Capital Costs and Operation Costs E.g. O & M Costs = $42.67 (revenue hours) + $2.64 (revenue miles) + $108.27 (peak bus)


Transit Planning Procedure

  • Strategic Planning
    • Linked to budgeting process


  • Comprehensive Operational Analysis
    • Where best to change the network
    • Adjustments to running times, departure times/locations, transfer times, and stop spacing to improve schedule adherence and customer satisfaction.
    • Removal of minimally used bus stops and/or consolidation of bus stops.
    • Appropriate vehicle type and service characteristics, including fixed- and flex-route, local, limited, and express service.
  • Long range Transit Planning
    • Done by MPOs
    • Planning for major transit investments
  • Mode and Technology Selection


Planning for passenger stations

  • Vision for Passenger Station
  • Market Research (Demand Estimation)
  • Performance Analysis Techniques
    • Process analysis
    • Simulation
    • Queuing
    • Pedestrian analysis
    • Life cycling planning
    • Security
    • Information systems

Non-Motorized Transport

Goals and Benchmark for Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning

  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Trips as Alternative Modes of Transportation
  • Walking and Bicycling for Healthy Lifestyles
  • Less Costly Travel
  • Environmentally-Friendly Travel Modes

Important Considerations in Today’s Planning Environment

  • Balance among Transportation Modes and Complete Streets
  • Context-Sensitive Design/Solutions
  • Land Use
  • Education, Encouragement, and Enforcement
  • Design Flexibility to Enhance Safety

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Planning

  • Understanding the Context and Problem
  • Developing Vision/Goals/Objectives/Performance Measures


  • Analyzing Walking and Bicycling Alternatives

    • Data
    • Surveys
    • Travel Demand Models
    • Pedestrian and Bicyclist Suitability, Level of Service, and Level of Traffic Stress Analysis
    • Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Analysis
    • Simulation and Network Models
    • Transportation Impact Studies
    • Environmental Justice Analysis



Pedestrian and Bicyclist Planning Design Issues

  • All streets where bicyclists are permitted to ride and share the same travel lanes with motor vehicles are technically classified as shared roadways.


  • Pedestrian facilities should be designed with the following factors in mind
    • Sufficient Width
    • Protection from Traffic
    • Intersection Design
    • Street Trees
    • Pedestrian-Scale Design
    • Continuity
    • Clearances
    • Conformance with National Standards