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Topic 6 – Urban Transportation

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1 Topic 6 – Urban Transportation
Transportation and Urban Form Urban Land Use and Transportation Urban Mobility Urban Transport Problems

2 C – Urban Mobility 1. Urban Movements 2. Urban Transit

3 Types of Urban Movements
Movement Type Pattern Dominant Time Destination Pendular Structured Morning and afternoon Localized (employment) Professional Varied Workdays Localized Personal Evening Varied with some foci Touristic Seasonal Day Highly localized Distribution Nighttime

4 Suitability of Travel Modes
Limitations Most Appropriate Uses Walking Requires physical ability. Limited distance and carrying capacity. Difficult or unsafe in some areas. Short trips by physically able people. Bicycle Requires bicycle and physical ability. Short to medium length trips by physically able people on suitable routes. Taxi Relatively high cost per mile. Infrequent trips, short and medium distance trips. Fixed Route Transit Destinations and times limited. Short to medium distance trips along busy corridors. Paratransit High cost and limited service. Travel for disabled people. Auto driver Requires driving ability and automobile. High fixed costs. Travel by people who can drive and afford an automobile. Ridesharing Requires cooperative automobile driver. Consumes driver’s time if a special trip (chauffeuring). Trips that the driver would take anyway (ridesharing). Occasional special trips (chauffeuring). Car sharing (Vehicle Rentals) Requires convenient and affordable vehicle rentals services. Occasional use by drivers who do not own an automobile. Motorcycle Requires riding ability and motorcycle. Average fixed costs. Travel by people who can ride and afford a motorcycle. Telecommute Requires equipment and skill. Alternative to some types of trips.

5 Main Purposes of Urban Trips
Source: adapted from H. Carter (1995) Urban Geography, Fourth Edition, London: Arnold.

6 Typical Urban Day Trips by Modes, Origins and Destinations
1:30 AM Delivery 10:45 PM Return 10:30 PM Delivery Shopping mall 2:30 AM Return Restaurant 8:30 PM Drive alone 7:00 PM Drive alone 1:30 PM Walk 5:30 PM Drive alone Home Work 12:30 PM Walk 7:00 AM Garbage pickup 8:00 AM Carpool 8:15 AM Drive alone 10:00 AM Parcel Drop off Passengers School (drop off child) 10:05 AM Parcel Pickup Freight

7 Urban Travel by Purpose and by Time of the Day in a North American Metropolis
Source: adapted from Barber, G. (1995) "Aggregate Characteristics of Urban Travel", in S. Hanson (ed) The Geography of Urban Transportation, 2nd Edition, New York: The Guilford Press, p. 92.

8 Home-to-Work Trips Modes, United States, 1985-2005
Source: BTS.

9 Modal Split for Global Cities, 1995
Source: KENWORTHY, J. and LAUBE, F.B. (2001): The Millennium Cities Database for Sustainable Transport. International Union (Association) of Public Transport, Brussels, Belgium and ISTP, Perth, Western Australia (CD-ROM publication). April 16, p. 10.

10 Mode Share for Commuting, New York, 1980-2000
Source: Schaller Consulting (2001) Mode Shift in the 1990s,

11 2. Urban Transit Context Transit systems
Dominantly an urban transportation mode. The great majority of transit trips are taking place in large cities. Conditions fundamental to the efficiency of transit systems: High density and high mobility demands over short distances. Shared public service: Benefits from economies of agglomeration related to high densities. Economies of scale related to high mobility demands. Transit systems Many types of services established to answer mobility needs. Variety of transit systems around the world.

12 Private Vehicle and Public Transport Market Share, 1990/91
American Cities European Cities Asian Cities Source: data from Jeffrey R. Newman, Felix B. Laube (eds) (2002) "An International Sourcebook of Automobile Dependence in Cities: "

13 Public Transport Market Share in the United States, 1900-2005
Source: The Public Purpose, Wendell Cox Consultancy. Estimated from data in National Transportation Statistics, James Dunn, Driving Forces Table 4-3, FHWA Highway Statistics, National Transit Database and American Public Transportation Association. All modes reported in National Transit Database except vanpool. Pre-1920 personal vehicle data estimated based upon vehicle miles, vehicle and fuel data.

14 2. Urban Transit Systems Subway system Bus system Transit rail system
Heavy rail system, often underground in central areas, with fixed routes, services and stations. Uniform frequency of services (peak hours increase). Fares are commonly access driven and constant. Bus system Scheduled fixed routes and stops serviced by motorized multiple passengers vehicles ( passengers). Services are often synchronized with other heavy systems (feeders). Express services (notably during peak hours). Transit rail system Fixed rail (tram rail system and commuter rail system). Frequency of services strongly linked with peak hours. Traffic tends to be imbalanced. Fares proportional to distance or service zones. Shuttle system Privately (dominantly) owned using small buses or vans. Expanding mobility along a corridor during peak hour. Linking a specific activity center (shopping mall, university campus, industrial zone, hotel, etc.). Servicing the elderly or people with disabilities. Paratransit system Flexible and privately owned demand-response system. Door-to-door service, less loading and unloading time, less stops and more maneuverability in traffic. Taxi system Privately owned vehicles offering an individual demand-response system. Fares commonly a function of a metered distance/time. When competition is not permitted, fares are set up by regulations. Servicing an area where a taxi company has the right (permit) to pickup customers. Rights are issued by a municipality.

15 Components of an Urban Transit System
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Metro station Transit rail station Bus stop Shuttle stop Paratransit Taxi service boundary Transfer Express stop X

16 Estimated Ridership of the World’s Largest Public Transit Systems, 1998
Source: The Public Purpose, Wendell Cox Consultancy,

17 Trips by Public Transport in the United States, 1970-2005
Source: Bureau of Transport Statistics, National Transportation Database, Modal Profiles.

18 D – Urban Transport Problems
1. Geographical Challenges Facing Urban Transportation 2. Automobile Dependency 3. Congestion

19 1. Geographical Challenges Facing Urban Transportation
Context Most important transport problems often related to urban areas. Urban productivity: Dependent on the efficiency of its transport system. Move labor, consumers and freight between several origins and destinations. Growing complexity of cities: Accompanied by a wide array of urban transportation problems. Some problems are ancient like congestion (Rome). Others are new like environmental impacts: Notably CO2 emissions linked with the diffusion of the internal combustion engine.

20 1. Geographical Challenges Facing Urban Transportation
Traffic congestion and parking difficulties Supply of infrastructures has not kept up with the growth of mobility. Vehicles spend the majority of the time parked; motorization has expanded the demand for parking space. Public transport inadequacy Over or under-usage of public transport systems. Inability of public transit systems to be financially sustainable. Difficulties for pedestrians Intense traffic, where the mobility of pedestrians and vehicles are impaired. Lack of consideration for pedestrians in the physical design of facilities. Environmental impacts and energy consumption Pollution (e.g. noise) generated by circulation has impediments. Dependency on petroleum. Accidents and safety Growing traffic linked with a growing number of accidents and fatalities. Accidents account for a significant share of recurring delays. Land consumption Significant territorial imprint. Between 30 and 60% of a metropolitan area may be devoted to transportation. Freight distribution Globalization resulted in growing quantities of freight moving in cities. Shares infrastructures with the circulation of passengers. City logistics.

21 2. Automobile Dependency
Causes Advantages of automobile use: Performance, comfort, status, speed, and convenience. Illustrates why car ownership continues to grow worldwide. Factors of growth: Sustained economic growth (increase in revenue and quality of life). Complex individual urban movement patterns. Peripheral urban growth. Factors of dependency Under pricing and consumer choices: Most road infrastructures are subsidized (considered a public service). Drivers do not bear the full cost of car usage. Car ownership is a symbol of status Single home ownership.

22 2. Automobile Dependency
Planning and investment practices: Aims towards improving road and parking facilities in an ongoing attempt to avoid congestion. Transportation alternatives tend to be disregarded. In many cases, zoning regulations impose minimum standards of road and parking services and de facto impose a regulated car dependency.

23 3. Congestion Congestion
Occurs when transport demand exceeds transport supply: At a specific point in time. In a specific section of the transport system. Each vehicle impairs the mobility of others. Types: Recurring congestion (specific times of the day and on specific segments of the transport system). Random events (accidents and weather conditions).

24 Recurring Congestion Congestion Unused Capacity

25 Major Sources of Recurring and Non-Recurring Congestion

26 Roadway Congestion Index, Selected Cities, United States, 1982-2007
Source: Texas Transportation Institute. The Urban Mobility Study NOTE: Data to be cross-verified

27 Average Hourly Traffic on George Washington Bridge, 2002
Source: US DOT.

28 The Vicious Circle of Congestion
Public pressures to increase capacity The number of movements increases New capacity The average length of movements increases Movements are easier Urban sprawl is favored

29 3. Congestion: Some Mitigation Measures
Ramp metering Controlling access to a congested highway by letting automobiles in one at a time instead of in groups. Traffic signal synchronization Tuning the traffic signals to the time and direction of traffic flows. Incident management Making sure that vehicles involved in accidents or mechanical failures are removed as quickly as possible from the road. Carpooling Individual providing ridership to people having a similar origin, destination and commuting time. Two or more vehicle trips combined into one. Vehicle pools. HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes Vehicles with 2 or more passengers (buses, vans, carpool, etc.) have exclusive access to a less congested lane. Public transit Offering alternatives to driving.

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