Out-of-vehicle experience

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Revision as of 00:15, 8 March 2012 by Crubin (talk | contribs) (Improvement to the quality of pedestrian network)
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Introduction

This bus stop in Portland, Ore., provides amenities like seating and shelter from the elements. Photo by Flickr user Jason McHuff.


Certain low cost strategies, such as real-time arrival and routing information, attractive waiting areas, universal fare media, marketing/perception influence, and other low-cost measures can cost-effectively increase ridership by improving the transit experience.

The out-of-vehicle waiting experience plays a critical role in an individual’s willingness to use transit for their traveling needs. A pleasant walk to and wait at a transit stop can add value to the transit experience, while time spent in a dirty, loud or unsafe environment is perceived to be much more costly that time spent in-vehicle.

Strategies

Real-time arrival and routing information

  • Reduces anxiety about when the next bus will come
  • Allows more accurate trip planning, so less time has to be spent at the actual stop

Attractive and more secure waiting areas

  • Studies suggest that time spent waiting for a transit vehicle is considered more costly by the patron than in-vehicle time; however, this can be mitigated by improvements to the waiting area, i.e. good lighting, protection from the elements and a comfortable place to sit.

Improvement to the quality of pedestrian network

  • See Pedestrian connections for further discussion. Virtually all transit riders are pedestrians at some point in their trip. So the quality of the pedestrian network -- principally sidewalks and safe road crossings -- strongly influences the ability of travelers to access transit stops and then their willingness to use transit. Factors include the very existence of sidewalks, their connectivity in a useful network, and whether or not residents feel safe using them.

Further reading