City Best Practices to Improve Transit Operations and Safety

Many policies and infrastructure options that would improve transit operations and passenger safety, especially busses and light rail, are outside the control of the transit agency. This project will identify policies and practices within the purview of cities and other owners of public space which facilitate and foster public transit service, in order to encourage them to proactively work with the local transit provider to maximize transit’s potential. Through an extensive literature review, interviews with transit operators across the country and coordination with a panel of national experts, a list of policies and practices will be identified that are within the control of the city, county or state and that affect, both positively and negatively, transit operations such as speed and reliability, passenger comfort and safety while walking to or waiting at bus stops, as well as how transit is evaluated in development review. These best practice policies and practices will then be evaluated for five California cities. A rating or grading system may be developed to encourage cities to improve their score. The final product will be a concrete list of measures and actions that cities and counties can take to contribute to the success of the transit service in their community. Once local jurisdictions know which of their policies and practices help or hinder public transit service, they can take steps to adopt more that help and revise those that hinder transit operations and passenger comfort and safety. This in turn will result in increased transit speeds, higher transit ridership, improved passenger waiting environment, safer access to transit stops, less automobile dependency, and the environmental and greenhouse gas benefits that would follow. It could eventually influence policy decisions on how cities connect development review and conditions of approval with the needs of the transit service provider.

University: 

Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
San José State University

Principal Investigator: 

Michelle DeRobertis

PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San José, CA 95112
m.derobertispe@gmail.com

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): 

$90,345.60 (California Department of Transportation)

Total Project Cost: 

$90,345.60

Dates: 

December 2019 to May 2021

Project Number: 

1951