Connected and Sustainable Mobility


Connected Public Transit Overview

Connected Public Transit (CPT) is a set of information services intended to make pub­lic transit more convenient, comfortable, efficient, and appealing. CPT services provide real-time information for better predictability and seamless transportation connections. Such improvements are particularly important to attracting wealthier travelers, who tend to be increasingly sensitive to service quality features such as convenience and comfort. Some CPT capabilities will integrate with PTA systems, which use handheld devices and public displays located at transit stops and on transit vehicles to provide travel information, when and where it is needed.

Features
The CUD vision for potential Connected Public Transit features includes;

Feature Description
Current transit conditions, alerts and avoidance Real-time information on transit conditions (crowding and delays); alerts when special problems develop on intended routes; and recommendations for avoiding such problems.
Trip optimization Travel planning guidance optimized to minimize time, financial, environmental costs.
Transit vehicle arrival Real-time information on when the next transit vehicle will arrive at a stop or station.
Park & Ride information Provide information to motorists on the location and availability of park-and-ride facilities, and the speed of driving versus public transit.
Mapping and guidance to services and destinations Mapping and guidance to nearby public transport stops/stations, and destinations for use by passengers.
Integrated payment systems Integrated payment of public transit (including multiple agencies), taxi, and related services, able to accommodate variable rates and special discounts.
On-board wireless On-board wireless services, allowing passengers to access the Internet. This provides travel information, and allows passengers to work while traveling.
On-board work and entertainment stations, and refreshments Incorporate fold-down worktables tables, reading lights, electric plugs, on-board entertainment systems, and refreshment services (coffee and tea in the morning, wine and beer in the evening), similar to first-class airline services.
Interactive monitors Monitors with interactive features, strategically located at transit stops and in transit vehicles, will allow transit users
Utilization analysis Collects information on travel activity (when, where and how people travel) and payment practices, to facilitate transport planning.
Transit priority Transit priority in traffic signal controls.
Vehicle performance monitoring Automatically collect information on bus performance, such as driving profile, on-time reliability, passenger crowding.

Most of these features provide information and services directly to passengers. A few (such as transit priority, improved utilization analysis and vehicle performance monitoring) improve transit operations.

Travel Impacts

Connected Public Transit travel impacts depend on several factors:

  • Features provided: The Connected Public Transit concept includes a wide range of features. Which are actually incorporated in a particular system will affect travel impacts.
  • Service quality and affordability: Connected Public Transit features must be convenient to use, reliable and affordable.
  • Overall transit service quality: Connected Public Transit information services will have little impacts if transit service itself is inconvenient, uncomfortable, unreliable or insecure.
  • Price: The use of Connected Public Transit features, and their impacts on travel, will be affected by the price of using those services and transit fares.

Benefits and Costs

Connected Public Transit tends to provide two general types of benefits:

  • User benefits by increasing their convenience.
  • External benefits (benefits to non-users), such as reduced traffic congestion, road and parking facility costs, accidents and pollution emissions, if Connected Public Transit services encourage use of more efficient travel behavior, shifts from automobile to more efficient modes, and increased use mobility substitutes.

Implementation

Connected Public Transit implementation will require coordinated planning among various partners, including transit agencies, local governments, and businesses. It will also require suitable marketing and incentives to maximize penetration of the technology.

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