Monday, September 30, 2013

Ridership and Service

The relationship between ridership and service is not linear, but elastic. Ridership declines more than a proportionate cut in service would suggest, as transit relies on a 'network effect'. As service declines, ridership declines more. The opposite is true of service frequency. Doubling the frequency more than doubles the ridership. There is a lot of 'latent demand' for transit service that is never met. Transit agencies are effectively 'monopoly providers' of transit service. Not just because of their public

An effective private transport network would need to include a mandate that all operators honor each others tickets. And were fairly compensated for doing so. Because when it comes to networks, transfers are the name of the game.

Service has two components: Coverage and Frequency
Coverage: "Can I get there?"
Frequency: "How long until the next one comes?"
Fast, frequent and reliable BRT service to act as a 'trunk line', facilitating transfers. Transfers are brutal when the 'transfer penalty' is 10+ minutes on a 30 minute journey. Half headway is the typical calculation of transfer penalty. I'd say it's more like headway, because the uncertainty about bus location doubles the stress and hassle. Have you just missed the bus? Is it coming? And will it stop when it reaches my stop? The last one kills me--means I have to be constantly 'on guard', while at a TRAX station I plop down and open a book.