The author describes one rail-based, and one bus rapid transit system, as seen on a visit to North America in 1974. He first outlines the scope of American transport problems, as seen by the Federal Secretary of Transportation. Poor coordination of transportation planning and management are blamed. Peak-hour capacity creates the greatest operational difficulties; fewer than 25% of seat-miles are used. Responsibility for administration is shared among federal, state, county, city and town councils, which are often at odds. Recent progress has been made, with the unified transportation assistance programme ($19.3 billion). This is a six-year plan, coordinating highway and urban mass transit expenditure, under each state Governor's control. Progress on the 98-mile Washington Metro is described. It is proving more expensive than planned, but is proceeding on schedule. Automated service every 2 minutes, in peak hours, is planned. Generous park-and-ride provision is planned, but coordinated bus feeders should provide 2/3 of riders. The automated fare collection system, using magnetic cards, and the design of stations, vehicles, and a novel railbed, are described. Also discussed is the Shirley Highway metrobus service. This collects from Virginia suburbs, and runs on special way up the central reservation of a very congested dual carriageway, 19 miles into Washington. Ridership has increased 450% since the first year of operation. The average passenger load is 50, and the service is generally very successful. /TRRL/

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Municipal Engineering Publications, Limited

    178-202 Portland Street
    London W1N 6NH,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Mustow, S N
  • Publication Date: 1975-1-31

Media Info

  • Features: Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 207-10
  • Serial:
    • Municipal Engineering
    • Volume: 152
    • Issue Number: 5
    • Publisher: Municipal Engineering Publications, Limited
    • ISSN: 0263-788X

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00126059
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 19 1981 12:00AM