CBD Circulators in Cities that Competed for Downtown People Mover Program Funding

The Downtown People Mover Program (DPMP), established by the Urban Mass Transit Administration (now the Federal Transit Administration) in 1975, funded the development of automated guideway transit in the U.S. Although 38 cities submitted proposals to the DPMP, only three – Detroit, Jacksonville and Miami – constructed and have operating DPMs. As of 2009, 20 of the DPMP cities had transit circulators operating in their central business districts (CBDs), including 15 bus, two streetcar, and the three DPM systems. The Miami DPM has come close to matching original capital cost and patronage estimates, but the Detroit and Jacksonville DPMs have not. Although one of the objectives of the DPMP was to demonstrate reduced operating and maintenance (O&M) costs compared to traditional transit systems, the DPMs actually each had higher year 2006 O&M costs per veh-km than light, heavy and commuter rail systems. The populations of the three central business districts (CBDs) with DPMs have all increased since 1980, however. Otherwise, there is no clear relationship between the provision of a CBD circulator and CBD vitality, as measured by the number of residents. Data were inadequate for comparing pre- and post-DPMP CBD employment. Further research would consider other measures of CBD health, such as hotel occupancy and retail sales. The DPMs all offer low headways and high annual service km, although the service levels of bus lines in the El Paso, Los Angeles, New York City and San Antonio CBDs are similarly high. The average speeds of the DPMs are greater than those of buses and streetcars, representing a clear benefit in congested CBDs.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154819
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-0336
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:12AM