Journal of Transport and Land Use Vol 2, No 2 (2009)

Journal of Transport and Land Use Vol 2, No 2: Access, Aging, and Impairments Part B: Accessibility Planning is now out.
Table of Contents:
Access, Aging, and Impairments Part B: Accessibility Planning
edited by Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
Implementing accessibility in municipal planning — planners’ view
by Hanna Wennberg, Agneta Ståhl, Christer Hydén
Can measuring the benefits of accessible transport enable a seamless journey?
by Alice Maynard
Assessing the extent of transport social exclusion among the elderly
by Helena Titheridge, Kamalasudhan Achuthan, Roger L Mackett, Juliet Solomon
Older people and local public transit: Mobility effects of accessibility improvements in Sweden
by Anders Wretstrand, Helena Svensson, Sofi Fristedt, Torbjörn Falkmer
Urban Mobility Plans and Accessibility
by Maryvonne Dejeammes
Book Reviews
Book Review of the Code and the City
by Arthur Huang

Monitoring the Effectiveness of HOV-to-HOT Conversions

Monitoring the Effectiveness of HOV-to-HOT Conversions
Speaker: Randall Guensler, Ph.D.
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: September 18, 2009
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Civil Engineering Building Room 210
+ Live Webcast Link
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A critical element of the planning process is the ongoing evaluation of consumer response to transportation strategy implementation. Ongoing evaluation is especially important for high-cost intelligent transportation system (ITS) deployments and value pricing initiatives involving economic incentives that may impact user groups disproportionately. For pricing strategies to be sustained economically and politically in major metropolitan areas, policymakers need hard evidence as to the actual costs and benefits of such strategies. Too often in the debate over converting HOV lanes to HOT lanes, sweeping generalizations are made by advocates in favor of and against pricing initiatives without sufficient evidence to back their positions.
To date, studies have provided pretty clear and convincing evidence that variable toll pricing on congested freeway facilities can reduce congestion on the priced facility. Studies also indicate that managed lane facilities are used by all income groups (although not at the same levels). Previous research efforts have focused primarily on the commute trips. However, the use of HOT lanes affects mode choice, departure time, and travel time for the journey to work, as well as supplemental trip-chaining activities and even the long distance travel made by a household. Ongoing value pricing studies in Atlanta and elsewhere have yet to provide solid evidence as to the impacts of congestion pricing on total household travel and emissions. The data collected to date are inadequate to draw solid conclusions. Ongoing household panel data collection efforts that would provide a detailed look at changes in household travel behavior and emissions before and after congestion-priced facilities are opened have not been implemented concurrent with managed lane introduction due to cost. In the proposal for federal funding support for the HOV to HOT conversion in Atlanta, Georgia committed to implementing a comprehensive study to quantify the effects of the implementation on congestion, travel behavior, emissions, and equity.
Dr. Guensler will provide some background on the Commute Atlanta Value Pricing study in which more than 1.8 million vehicle trips were monitored on a second-by-second basis. He will discuss the major research issues that the team identified in assessing consumer response to pricing and the problems encountered in conducting long term panel studies. He will also demonstrate some of the new instrumented fleet monitoring systems and online electronic travel diary tools developed for various research efforts. Finally, he will provide some information on the planned Atlanta deployment designed to quantify the impacts of HOV-to-HOT conversion.
Refreshments will be served in the rotunda following the seminar.

Rail down in Ohio

Via EP: Amtrak says 3C passenger plan to cost $500 million to get under way in the Plain Dealer.

Passenger train service between Cleveland and Cincinnati would carry nearly half a million passengers a year, but cost more than $500 million to get under way, according to a study released Tuesday by Amtrak.

Or in other words $1000 per annual passenger (divide by number of years to spread the total cost over all users) to get under way, without considering operating costs. Let’s say 10 years, so $100 per passenger (ignoring discounting).

But a one-way ticket from Cleveland to Cincinnati would cost $25.50 at the Amtrak average of 10 cents per mile, said Ken Prendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio, a nonprofit agency that promotes rail travel.

So it won’t cover costs, how disappointing.

Varner said ODOT is studying ways to find more funds for bus service. But the state has to invest in all modes of transportation. The Amtrak report shows Ohioans support passenger rail and nearly 6 million people live within 15 miles of the 3C route, he said.
“What we are seeing is the pent-up demand,” he said.

Sure, Ohioans support the rest of the country paying for their service at a subsidy exceeding $75 per trip, why wouldn’t they? And of those 6 million people near the route, only 500K per year are going to use, or one trip per person every 12 years.
But, wait, there is the economic development potential, according to this article: Passenger rail service brought $7B in investments, jobs, developer says in the Dayton Daily news.
Now I am convinced. Rail magically turns $100M to $7B, what a great investment.