Labels

9-line access access management access point accessibility ADA air quality alignment amenity antiplanner atlanta BART BID bike Blogs boston branded bus branded buses brookings brt bus Bus Rapid Transit BYU capacity car pool cars central link Centrality certification commuter rail condo conformity congestion congestion pricing connections consistency coverage crossings CRT cycling DART dedicated dedicated right of way density denver depreciation developers development dynamic pricing economics efficiency Envision Utah equity eugene exclusive extension FAQ favela Federal Funding Flex Bus florida free fare zone freeways Frequent Transit Network frontrunner frontunner Gallivan garden cities gas prices geotagging goat Google grade-separation Granary District growth headway heavy rail hedonic High Speed Rail history housing housing affordability housing bubble housing prices HOV income infill innovative intersections intensity ITS junk science LA land use LEED legacy city light rail linear park location LRT lyft M/ART malls mapping maps market urbanism metrics metro MetroRail missoula mixed mixed traffic mixed-traffic mobile mode choice Mode Share multi-family MXD neighborhood networks news NIMBY office online op-ed open letter Operations parking parking meters peak travel pedestrian environment phasing Photomorphing planning Portland property property values Provo proximity quality_transit rail railvolution rant rapid rapid transit RDA real estate redevelopment reliability research retail Ridership ridesharing right of way roadway network ROW salt lake city san diego schedule schedule span seattle separated shuttle silver line single family SLC SLC transit master plan slums smartphone snow sprawl standing stop spacing streetcar streetscape streetscaping subdivision subsidy Sugarhouse Sugarhouse Streetcar Tacoma taxi technology tenure termini time-separation TOD townhouse traffic signal tram transit transit networks transit oriented development Transit Planning transponder transportation travel time TRAX trip planning trolley tunnel uber university of utah urban design urban economics urban land UTA UTA 2 Go Trip Planner utah Utah County Utah Transit Authority vmt walking distance web welfare transit Westside Connector WFRC wheelchairs zoning

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dimishing Returns for Frequency Enhancements

I was reading this post on Cap'n Transit's blog.

One of the commenters posted:
a route that is by mistake operating at a profit is under-providing, and should have its schedule extended or frequency increased until it gets back down to break-even.
Typically, when a transit line increases either frequency or extended hours, that tends to increase ridership. It would be an open question if ridership was rising fast enough to cover the cost of increased operations. Beyond a certain frequency, I would tend to expect not. But I would anticipate that bumping frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes would more then double ridership.

The rule of thumb I've learned is that at 15 minute service, you start attracting more unscheduled trips, where someone will show up at the bus stop, and wait for a bus to come. It would be amazing to have some data to show under what conditions increases in frequency show diminishing returns. If ever.

*I've never seen any study data for this. (If anyone knows of any, please drop me a line.) It would be great to see a case comparison before-and-after study of a transit line's increased or decreased frequency. Sadly, changes to transit schedules or routes are rarely done in isolation for a single transit line. They tend to be done en-masse, making it difficult to disaggregate the effect. The Federal New Starts has made this even more difficult, as upgrades to frequency on a single bus line tend to occur as part of a general upgrade to BRT status, which includes a number of other improvements.