How Cities Help and Hinder the Provision of Surface Public Transit

Public, fixed-route transit services most commonly operate on public streets. Transit riders use sidewalks and other pedestrian features to access transit stops and stations. However, streets and sidewalks are the jurisdiction of municipalities, not transit agencies. Various municipal policies, practices, and decisions affect transit operations, rider convenience, and passenger safety. The purpose of this research is to explore ways that transit agencies depend on collaboration and cooperation with public roadway owners. This paper highlights municipal policies and practices that can either help or hinder public transit operation from the perspectives of five local transit agencies in the United States. Interviews with transit agency staff described common municipal policies and practices for planning, building, and regulating the “built” infrastructure that transit relies upon. Also gleaned from interviews were attitudes that municipalities may have in dealing with public transit or other “users” of roadway infrastructure. A key finding was the perception that there sometimes can be an adversarial, “Us vs. Them” relationship with certain cities that public transit serves. Five topic areas of municipal policies and practices are identified that significantly affect the provision of public transport services: infrastructure for buses, including bus lanes, signal treatments, curbside access; infrastructure for pedestrians walking to, and waiting at, transit stops and stations; internal transportation planning policies and practices; development review policies; and funding strategies. The understanding, acknowledgement, and implementation of policies and practices identified in this report can help municipalities proactively work with local transit providers to more efficiently and effectively operate service.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763539
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-03048
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:04AM