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Summary: Where and when does overcrowding happen on TriMet's bus network? Which routes have the best on-time performance? Portland State University and TriMet have collaborated to make this kind of data available to anybody through Portal, PSU's transportation data archive for the Portland/Vancouver region. This presentation will cover the use of General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data for mapping TriMet’s performance data and the development of Portal’s innovative transit application. In the MAP-21 era of performance management, see how tools like Portal can support enhanced agency decision-making as well as community engagement.

Bio: Jon Makler researches and teaches about transportation planning and engineering at Portland State University. His research portfolio centers on intelligent transportation systems, including how they can be harnessed to benefit the environment and how the data they generate can support operational strategies and planning decisions. Since moving to Oregon 9 years ago, he has worked at Metro, the City of Portland and OTREC, the federally-funded research center housed at PSU. His previous employers were the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the Harvard Kennedy School, IBI Group and Sarah...

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Abstract: How do commuter rail riders choose access modes? This presentation discusses the results of an analysis of access mode choice by riders of one of the first U.S. suburb-to-suburb commuter railroads, the Westside Express Service (WES) in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. The study uses on-board survey data collected by the region’s transit agency, Tri-Met, during WES’s first year of operation. The data include observed access mode choices, historical mode usage, and subjective assessment of WES attributes. A hierarchical choice model was estimated, using attributes of the access trip and station areas as well as rider characteristics. The estimation results showed evidence of pre-WES mode inertia effects in choosing drive access, pro-sustainability attitudes in choosing bike access, the importance of comfort for light rail and auto access modes, as well as strong positive station-area effects of connecting bus lines and parking space provision. The hierarchical choice model revealed significant substitution effects between drive and light rail modes and between bike and walk modes. This study provides potentially valuable insights to agencies for the purposes of station-area planning and targeted marketing efforts.

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Lessons from the Development of a Guidebook on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit

To improve safety and increase transit use, transit agencies and the jurisdictions they serve have to approach transit service as door-to-door not just stop-to-stop.

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OVERVIEW

Every day transit riders ask the same question: when’s the next one coming? To answer this question, transit agencies are transitioning to providing real-time transit information through smartphones or displayed at transit stops. 

The proliferation of transit planning and real time arrival tools that have hit the market over the past decade is staggering. Yet with transit ridership on the decline, agencies can’t afford to ignore the importance of providing accurate, real time information to their customers. Real-time transit information improves the reliability and efficiency of passenger travel, but barriers have prevented some transit agencies from adopting the GTFSrealtime v1.0 technology. A new NITC-funded study in May led by Sean Barbeau of the University of South Florida seeks to...

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Summary: The Federal Transit Administration invests in building the capacity and improving the quality of public transportation throughout the United States of America.  Under FTA's leadership, public rail, bus, trolley, ferry, and other transit services have reached greater levels of safety, reliability, availability, and accessibility.  Come hear the highlights of FTA's impacts and participate in an interactive question/answer session and discussion on career options in public transportation!

Bio: Amy Changchien is the Director of Planning & Program Development of the Federal Transit Administration Region 10 Office in Seattle.  Ms. Changchien has been a transportation professional for over 20 years, with experience spanning from highway to transit.  In her career, she has worked on projects involving highway operations, Intelligent Transportation System, commuter rail, light rail, streetcar, ferries, and buses.  Ms. Changchien holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a master's degree in Public Administration from University of Washington. 

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Abstract: Our speaker for May 14, 2010 is Gill V. Hicks, Director Southern California Operations for Cambridge Systematics, Inc.  For more than ten years, Mr. Hicks served as the General Manager of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA).  The $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor consolidated harbor-related railroad traffic onto a single 20-mile corridor between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the railroad mainlines near downtown Los Angeles.  Mr. Hicks’ responsibilities included overall management of the agency, building consensus, estimating benefits and costs of the project, generating political support, testifying before U.S. Congress, State Legislature, regulatory bodies, city councils, funding agencies and other stakeholders; developing a financial plan, raising funds, coordinating with railroad, trucking, and shipping businesses, and managing contracts for the project.

Mr. Hicks will discuss the major challenges faced by the project, including negotiations with three competing railroads, several municipal governments, utilities, regulatory agencies, contractors, and funding entities.  The process for consensus building will be discussed. Major lessons learned will be described, including methods for reducing project risk, keeping on schedule and within budget. Mr. Hicks will also touch on the challenges facing the agency as...

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Abstract: Reliance on the automobile for most trips contributes to costly trends like pollution, oil dependence, congestion, and obesity. Germany and the U.S. have among the highest motorization rates in the world. Yet Germans make a four times higher share of trips by foot, bike, and public transport and drive for a 25 percent lower share of trips.

This presentation first investigates international trends in daily travel behavior with a focus on Germany and the USA. Next, the presentation examines the transport and land-use policies in Germany over the last 40 years that have encouraged more walking, bicycling, and public transport use. Using a case study of policy changes in the German city of Freiburg, the presentation concludes with policies that are transferable to car-oriented countries around the world.

Bio: Ralph Buehler is Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs & Planning and a Faculty Fellow with the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, VA. Originally from Germany, most of his research has an international comparative perspective, contrasting transport and land-use policies, transport systems, and travel behavior in Western Europe and North America. His research falls into three areas: (1) the influence of transport policy, land use, socio- demographics on travel behavior; (2) bicycling, walking, and public health; and (3) public transport...

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