Economic relationships among demand-actuated, scheduled-route, and rapid transit services are examined to determine where the operating economy justifies intensive capital investment in permanent facilities. Analysis of national experience in the more heavily populated urban areas discloses that per capita ridership is much greater in areas served by rapid transit than in areas served only by street transit service, which in turn generates far higher levels of per capita ridership than demand-actuated service. The relationships cover common situations. Unique situations (e.g., New York's unusual costs and densities and San Francisco's experimental technology) are not included. Public acceptance is measured by comparing paid ridership with population and by reference to census data on the percentage of work trips made by transit. A general similarity between the two sources is evident, but rapid transit ridership outside New York is understated because of policies involving free transfers from buses and streetcars to rail transit. This does not impair city totals, however, in which transfers are not counted as additional trips. Costs are measured by financial records based on the number of vehicles operated. The usual denominator of vehicle miles (kilometers) varies based on speed or slowness, and hourly values vastly understate the cost of service provided only during peak hours when employees must be guaranteed pay for 40 hours/week. The results are empirical but appear to be realistic.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 19-30
  • Monograph Title: Rail transit development
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130415
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309024587
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 14 1981 12:00AM