Development trends in cities and their implication for urban transportation systems are briefly reviewed. The CBD-focused, fixed-route transit systems are mismatched to the evolving needs of increasingly low-density and multinucleated cities. Regionwide door-to-door systems such as those in Orange and Santa Clara counties, in Rochester and in Ann Arbor, overcome this mixmatch. Conjectures as to how these regionwide systems might evolve are presented, and some criteria for their success are listed (double current transit ridership; achieve full decongested traffic flow without car disincentives; achieve mostly decongested flow with some car disincentives; increase current transit ridership 10 times; and provide 99 percent availability in time and space) are discussed. A figure is presented which compares a flexible-route system with a fixed-route system offering the same level of service, defined as the ratio of walk, wait, and trip time to the best no-wait direct route. Figures also show that the higher the service level, the greater the proportion of flexible-route elements in a total system. The two-phase evolution of the system over time is described; the first phase is that in which coverage of the low-density suburbs is being added, and the second is that after complete coverage is achieved. Experience suggests that these new systems cannot pay for themselves while at the same time attracting a higher level of use. Apart from the problem of overall subsidy, there should be an internal-to-the- system cross subsidy between high- and low-productivity elements. Private taxi operators lead to the issue of private capital and public subsidy. These systems are seen to lend themselves ideally to incremental planning and implementation.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the Fifth Annual International Conference on Demand-Responsive Transportation Systems conducted by the TRB, Nov. 11-13, 1974, Oakland, Calif.; and co-sponsored by American Public Transit Association, California DOT, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit, MIT, UMTA and Technology Sharing Program of U.S. DOT. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
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  • Authors:
    • Ward, Jerry D
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  • Publication Date: 1975

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 146-153
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00126189
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1981 12:00AM