What Makes Good Transit?

An interesting new paper from VTPI: “Valuing Transit Service Quality Improvements: Considering Comfort and Convenience In Transport Project Evaluation” (that’s a mouthfull).

Basically the idea is to look at what the amenities (or lack thereof) are that make a transit trip seem longer or shorter (as a proxy for more or less attractive compared to another mode choice).

It turns out good arrival time info is high on the list, one of the reasons I’m so fanatical about NextBus.

A pilot of countdown information displays at public transportation stations indicates that:
o Waiting is more acceptable (89%).
o Time seemed to pass more quickly when passengers knew their wait duration
o Passengers perceive a shorter waiting time (65% felt this was so).
o The service is perceived as more reliable.
o Of those passengers travelling, waiting at night is perceived as safer.
o General feelings improve towards bus travel (68%).
o About 70% of passengers refer to the display when they arrive at a stop, about
at the sign while they wait, and about 60% look at the sign at least once a minute.
o Passengers approve of the 3 essential pieces of information provided (route number, destination and wait time).
o There is strong overall customer support for the system.
o Countdown has been found to generate a minimum of 1.5% new revenue.

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