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2001 Research Reports

Assessment of the Denver Regional Transportation District's Automatic Vehicle Location System

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Matt Weatherford of Castle Rock Consultants. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation, August 2000, 102pp. Project Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.2

The purpose of this evaluation was to determine how well the Denver Regional Transportation District's (RTD) automatic vehicle location (AVL) system achieved its major objectives of improving scheduling efficiency, improving the ability of dispatchers to adjust on-street operations, and increasing safety through better emergency management. The evaluation is intended to help FTA and other transit agencies determine whether an AVL system will benefit transit employees and customers in other locations. This report documents the implementation and early operation of the RTD's AVL system. The evaluation provides an overview of the AVL system and assesses the costs and benefits of the AVL system for the 2,400 square mile, 1,335 vehicle-fleet system. The study examines the AVL system in terms of its functional characteristics, employee/customer acceptance and perceptions, and AVL's success in improving RTD's service, safety, and transit system efficiency and effectiveness. The study also provides conclusions and recommendations. Overall, the AVL system has helped RTD successfully achieve two of its three objectives: 1) dispatchers and supervisors have more control over on-street operations; and 2) RTD has improved the fleet's on-time performance, including better quality and safer transit service to its customers.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, Virginia 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.2

Evaluation of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Intelligent Transportation System

Volpe Transportation Systems Center, and Multisystems, Inc. Patricia Monahan, Carol Schweiger, and Tom Buffkin. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation, July 2000, 124pp. Project Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.3

This report documents the implementation and operation of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's Advanced Public Transportation Systems (ITS MARTA '96) as part of a showcase of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies deployed for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Due to funding limitations and other shortcomings, only a portion of the MARTA fleet was equipped with APTS technologies and most of the technologies were only partially functioning during the Olympic Games. The ITS technologies that were installed on some of the vehicles and in use at the time of the Olympics included: trip itinerary planning system, automatic passenger counters, automatic vehicle location system, wayside passenger information devices, the VISA cash card fare payment system, and traveler information kiosks. This evaluation was performed within the context of the goals and objectives of FTA's national APTS program. The report summarizes the findings from MARTA's experiences with the implementation of new technologies, and offers guidance to other organizations contemplating or planning for the adoption of similar technologies. The report provides background information on MARTA's ITS system, summarizes national and local objectives, describes each ITS component, discusses financial aspects of the ITS system, and provides a brief summary of the status and benefits to date of each of the ITS technologies used by MARTA. The report also contains conclusions and describes the lessons learned from the MARTA ITS project experience. A glossary of terms is provided in Appendix A.

Available From:
National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, Virginia 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.3

Evaluation Plan for the Cape Cod Advanced Public Transportation System

Cambridge Systematics, Inc, under contract to Volpe Center. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation (Charlene Wilder, TRI-11), June 2000, 45pp. Project Number: FTA-MA-26-7031-2000.1

This report describes the Evaluation Plan for Phases 1 and 2 of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Advanced Public Transit Systems (APTS) project--a deployment of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to fixed-route and paratransit operations in a rural transit setting. The intent is to apply ITS technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of RTA operations, and to provide more and better travel information to passengers and transit agency's staff of rural Cape Cod. The system is being implemented in a number of phases. This evaluation focuses on the ITS components deployed in Phases 1 and 2 of the project. The report begins by introducing the Cape Cod APTS project, including specific problems and issues to be addressed, such as access to jobs, integration of passenger transportation into an intermodal system by improved service design, timely system information, payment mechanisms, and traffic congestion. Sections 2 and 3 of this report provide an overview of the Cape Cod transit system, along with evaluation of National ITS goals vis-a-vis Cape Cod RTA goals. Section 4 discusses the technical approach including--ITS technology impacts and expected benefits; data sources; and the proposed evaluation measures and methodologies that will be used to assess the APTS project impacts.

Fare Revenue Interactive Electronic Wokbook: Fare RevIEW Version 2.0, User's Guide

Harvard Design & Mapping Co., Inc., Prepared for FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (Helen Tann, TRI), April 2000, 57 pp. and CD
Project Number: FTA-MA-90-7016-2000.1

The objective of the Fare Revenue Interactive Electronic Workbook (Fare RevIEW) is to provide transit officials with a tool to internally evaluate their fare revenue control measures. FareReview is a software program designed to assist transit agencies in handling financial procedures and potential exposure of the system, customer, and employee to the dangers of theft, embezzlement or fraud. Fare RevIEW is also intended to present general recommendations, suggestions, and indicate where potential areas of exposure for loss of revenues are within the fiscal system. This hard copy User's Manual contains the CD-ROM (Fare RevIEW Version 2.0) program, as well as how-to instructions for getting help, installing software and configuring the system. It also provides step-by-step guidance on how to create a case study, answer a survey of questions, create and use reports, system security, and set-up a system administrator. The hard copy manual serves as a reference tool to help user get started and get the most from Fare RevIEW. User Manual Fare RevIEW software can be downloaded from FTA Website. 00-0741

Report Order Number: FTA-MA-90-7016-2000.1

Advanced Technology Transit Bus: Final Report for the ATTB Prototypes

Northrop Grumman Corporation, under contract to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA). Prepared for FTA Office of Technology
(Christine Gikakis, TRI) and LACMTA, September 1999, 84pp.
Project Number: FTA-CA-26-7002-2000.1

This Final Test Report provides results from the evaluation and testing program for the Advanced Technology Transit Bus (ATTB) program. The ATTB development program with LACMTA was initiated in 1992 with the objective of developing a lightweight, low floor, low emissions, user-friendly transit bus, using advanced technologies. Under the program, six lightweight, low floor, low emissions prototype vehicles were developed and tested. This final report presents the results of tests conducted on the six ATTB prototypes in the following areas: functional, performance, braking, vehicle handling, environmental, structural and durability, operational and road, reliability, and maintainability. The test report also includes a discussion of the demonstrations, tests, and evaluations conducted on the prototypes at various transit agencies, and at the Pennsylvania Transit Institute Bus Testing Facility in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In summary, the test program did exactly what it was supposed to do--proved the basic design concepts while discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the detail design.

Available From: National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161. Project Number: FTA-CA-26-7002-2000.1

Assessment of the Seattle Smart Traveler. Web Document

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Katherine F. Turnbull of Texas Transportation Institute, The Texas A&M University System. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation's Advanced Public Transportation Systems Program, February 2000, 52pp. Report Number: FTA-TRI-11-99-30

The objective of the Seattle Smart Traveler (SST) study was to test the concept of dynamic (real-time) rideshare matching services using the Internet and electronic mail at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dynamic ridesharing is defined as two or more people sharing a single trip without regard to previous arrangements or history among the individuals involved. The SST dynamic ridematching system was developed by researchers at the University using a World-Wide-Web interface and made available to University students, faculty, and staff for a 15-month period. This report documents the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of the dynamic ridematching system, developed and operated at the University of Washington from 1995-1997. The report provides a historical summary of ridesharing in the U.S., recent interest in real-time or ridematching capabilities, and related projects in Seattle and other parts of the country. The report also describes the development, design, implementation and operation of the computerized dynamic ridematching system. Information is provided on the number and characteristics of participants, their use of the system, matches generated by SST and actual rides shares. The report concludes with an assessment of the unique features of the demonstration, and areas for future research and testing. The SST staffed identified issues limiting the use of this system, such as-- Internet use not prevalent at the time; cumbersome technology; system viewed as too experimental; and no encouraging incentives. A major factor was concern about sharing rides with strangers.

Available from: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, Virginia 22161.

Denver RTD's Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location System: The Human Factors Consequences. Web Document

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Mary D. Stearns, E. Donald Sussman, and Jonathan Belcher (Central Transportation Planning Staff). Prepared for FTA Advanced Public Transportation Systems Division (Ronald E. Boenau, TRI-11), September 1999, 84pp. Project Number: FTA-TRI-11-99-29

This report documents what happened to employees and their work procedures when their employer, Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), installed Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Locator (CAD/AVL) technology across its entire operation to provide real-time surveillance of vehicles and to upgrade radio communication. The research was conducted to determine and document whether the installation of a CAD/AVL system resulted in shifts in work responsibilities, affected dispatchers, street supervisors, and bus operator attitudes and to make recommendations to facilitate subsequent CAD/AVL installations. The study identifies the issues, opportunities, and consequences that transit operators face when adopting a CAD/AVL technology. Data was collected before (1992) and after (1996 and 1997) the CAD/AVL system was installed. Results show that the work responsibility of dispatchers, street supervisors, and bus operators remained the same, but their capabilities increased. Their experience suggests that employees need continuing training, support, and assistance during the transition period. Results show that RTD can better manage and monitor transit operations. The transit system has become more open to both employees and users; they now have real-time information about all transportation operations. This report provides recommendations, references, and three appendices, describing CAD/AVL System, TCH Keyboard, and Prior Communication Equipment at RTD.

Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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