T3 Webinar Presentation

Is Your Region Ready for BRT? A Los Angeles/New York ITS Peer-to-Peer Exchange (April 16, 2008)

Bus Rapid Transit T3 Webinar

Presenter:   Naomi Klein
Presenter's Org:   Westchester County Department of Transportation

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T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)


Slide 1: Bus Rapid Transit T3 Webinar

April 16, 2008

Naomi Klein
Westchester County
Department of Transportation

Slide 2: BRT Initiatives in the NY Metro Region

  1. Central Avenue (Route 100), Westchester County
  2. 6 Corridors in NYC
  3. New Brunswick, New Jersey
  4. Tappan Zee Bridge/ I-287 Corridor

[Image: Map of metropolitan New York City. Show the location of the four BRT initiatives underway in the NY Metro Region.]

Slide 3: Different Approaches to Identifying BRT Corridors in the Region

Conditions that were considered:

  • Market for increased transit service
  • Demographic characteristics
  • Need for new transit service
  • Operating characteristics of existing transit services (delays, increased running times)
  • Potential for BRT type service improvements

Slide 4: Example Westchester County DOT (Bee-Line System).Central Avenue (Route 100) Corridor

Evaluation of existing conditions confirms the suitability of the corridor for BRT:

  • Traffic Analysis
  • Run Time Analysis How a bus spends its time traveling time at lights and dwelling at stops
  • Ridership Counts
  • Public Input
  • Parking Inventory

Slide 5: Results of Existing Conditions Analysis

  • Transit Signal Priority - Victory Boulevard in Staten Island - operational Fall 2007. 13 signals, key bus corridor feeding Staten Island Ferry Terminal (15% improvement in bus speeds)
  • First BRT Corridor - Fordham Blvd/Pelham Parkway in Bronx Late June 2008 launch Corridor w/ TSP at up to 40 signals, 6 minute peak headways, radio emitters communicate request to signal controller.

Slide 6: Capital District Transportation Authority Central Avenue Albany

  • Over 40% of the time a bus is in service it is stopped
  • Scheduled running time of bus routes has increased because of traffic congestion and more boardings
  • Ridership grew 21% from 2003-2007 on the Routes 20 and 21
  • Potential for increased ridership and a market for more service
  • Central Avenue has more of a retail market than a traditional journey to work market with most congestion mid-day
  • There is support for BRT among the public
  • Most areas of the corridor have no parking; there are 3 major areas with meters

Slide 7: Central Avenue Corridor: 3 Bee-Line Bus Routes

  • Route 20 (local) and 21 (limited) connect Westchester with the New York City subway and bus approximately 30% of Bee-Line customers transfer
  • Route BxM4C (Westchester Manhattan Express) links Westchester to Midtown and Lower Manhattan
  • 3.6 million annual riders
  • Average Route 20 daily weekday ridership approximately 10,000 riders 10% of Bee-Line system ridership

[Image: Photo of cars and trucks maneuvering under elevated train tracks.]

Slide 8: Major Destinations Support a Market for BRTS

  • Downtown White Plains, Westchester County Center
  • Cross County Shopping Center 1.5 million square foot retail development
  • Yonkers Raceway 7,500 Video Lottery Terminals (10/06)
  • NYC Subway and bus system MetroCard (4/07) allows free transfers

[Images: Photos of a court house. Photo of a sign for a mall.]

Slide 9: High Concentration of Residential, Retail and Commercial Development

  • High density residential and retail uses provide opportunities to attract more riders
  • Underutilized or vacant properties have potential to be redeveloped

[Images: Photos of a residential street with a large apartment building in the background. Photo of a busy strip mall. Photo of a vacant commercial space. Photo of a small commercial district.]

Slide 10: Pedestrian Challenges

  • Incomplete and narrow sidewalks
  • Wide crossings

[Images: Photo of a four lane street (two lanes in both directions) with a dirt path for a sidewalk. Photo of a narrow sidewalk along a street. Photo of a crosswalk extending over a four lane street (two lanes in both directions).]

Slide 11: Traffic Signals and Bus Stops

  • 71 bus stops in corridor, spaced approximately every 2/10 of a mile
  • 44 traffic signals along corridor, approximately every 3/10 of a mile

[Images: Photo a store signs at the entrance to a strip mall. Photo of an uncovered bus stop along a sidewalk. Photo of a covered bus stop opposite a strip mall.]

Slide 12: Need to Acquire More BRT Expertise

Purpose of a Peer-to-Peer Exchange:

  • Observe a system in operation first hand
  • Travel on the system
  • Enhance knowledge of technical issues - ITS
  • Understand appropriate strategies for different operating environments
  • Ask questions of the experts and exchange ideas

Slide 13: BRT Peer-to-Peer Exchange.November 7-8, 2007, Los Angeles

Agencies Represented:
Westchester County DOT
MTA New York City Transit
New York City DOT
MTA Metro-North Railroad
New Jersey Transit
New York State DOT

Why a multi-jurisdictional exchange?
Value in sharing different expertise and perspectives on BRT issues

Slide 14: Lessons Learned

How to justify an investment in BRT attributes

  • BRT is a proactive way of operating and improves efficiency By cycling vehicles more rapidly, a 20% travel time savings yields a 20% increase in seats (Extending running time is reactive and inefficient.)

How benefits are achieved

  • Need a system of integrated components benefits achieved in LA support integrated concept:
  • Travel time savings in LA 1/3 from tsp, 1/3 fewer stops, 1/3 headway based scheduling
  • Increase in Ridership in LA 1/3 new to system, 1/3 riding more, 1/3 from other routes

Slide 15: Lessons Learned BRT Concepts for Westchester County.

  • Need an integrated and customer friendly system
  • Implementation can be incremental
  • ITS Components:
    • Real time arrival information at stops
    • Transit Signal Priority loop or wireless system, check in/check out capability needed
    • Queue jumps
  • Preferential lanes on 2 mile segment
  • Fewer stops

[Images: Photo a message sign displaying "Next Bus in 1 Min."]

Slide 16: Lessons Learned BRT Concepts for Westchester County (continued)

  • Attractive stations with customer amenities
  • Improved station access
  • Transit Oriented Development (Efforts to guide land use development on the Orange Line)
  • Faster boarding/fare collection through smart cards, proof of payment system, all door boarding (Orange Line)
  • Strong brand identity can be achieved through a separate logo or stylized vehicles

Slide 17: Work Completed

  • Collected existing ridership and traffic data
  • Performed run time analysis
  • Identified areas with current or planned development
  • Developed Existing Conditions report
  • Public involvement:
  • Developed baseline traffic simulation
  • Developed initial operating concepts

Slide 18: Next Steps

  • Operating characteristics
  • ITS components
  • Travel demand model
  • Land Use concepts
  • Fare collection concepts
  • Traffic simulation with BRT improvements
  • Station locations
  • Vehicle characteristics
  • Branding concepts

Slide 14: Contact Information

Naomi Klein
Project Manager
Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Study
Westchester County DOT
100 East First Street
Mount Vernon, NY 10550

(914) 813-7758
nkk3@westchestergov.com

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