T3 Webinar Presentation

Is that Spot Taken?: Real-Time Transit Parking Information Helps Manage Corridors (October 21, 2008)

Advanced Parking Management Systems for Transit

Presenter:   Jennifer Rephlo
Presenter's Org:   Science Applications International Corporation

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Slide 1:  Advanced Parking Management Systems for Transit

By Jennifer Rephlo, Science Applications International Corporation
Mike Kinney, Maryland Department of Public Works
Gerry Tumbali, Chicago Regional Transportation Authority

Slide 2:  Agenda

  • Overall goals of national evaluation
    • Montgomery County project
    • Background on parking management system
    • Evaluation approach and findings
  • Chicago RTA / Metra project
    • Background on parking management system
    • Evaluation approach and findings
  • Lessons learned
  • Overall conclusions from the evaluation

Slide 3:  Overall Goals of National Evaluation

[Two photos appear: One shows an oncoming train and the other a sign for Glenmont Station.]

  • Assess the impacts of real-time transit parking information
  • Understand how real-time transit parking information can contribute to corridor management
  • Document "lessons learned"

Slide 4:  Glenmont Metro Station Parking Management System

[A photo of the Glenmont Metro Station sign appears.]

Evaluation Approach

Slide 5:  Evaluation Objectives

  • Determine quantifiable system impacts
    • Impact of system on:
      • Circulation / time savings
      • Transit ridership
  • Determine customer perception of the system
    • Awareness of the system
    • Understanding of the system
    • Satisfaction with the system / sign placement
    • Impact of the system on mode choice and parking choice

Slide 6:  Evaluation Challenges

  • Is Norbeck a viable alternative to Glenmont?
    • People may not know where it is and/or location may not be convenient
    • Parking at Wheaton Station may be a better alternative to Glenmont for most
    • Bus service may not be appealing because it ...
      • Does not run late enough in the evenings and/or does not offer mid-day service
      • Takes too long / is not a shuttle service
      • Is not reliable?

Slide 7:  Data Collection Activities

[This slide displays two pictures of people participating in data collection activities and a parking area at the Glenmont Metro Station.]

  • Hourly in/out counts at Norbeck park and ride lot and Glenmont garage
    • Parking utilization / circulation within garage
  • AM peak period boardings at Glenmont Station
    • Ridership
  • Customer intercept surveys
    • Customer feedback on system
  • Agency interviews
    • Lessons learned

Slide 8:  Glenmont Metro Station Parking Management System

[A photo of a Glenmont Station sign appears.]

Findings

Slide 9:  Impact of System on Ridership and Mode Choice

  • Survey showed that very few people use Norbeck for Red Line access
    • Norbeck not a viable option for most commuters
    • 50% indicated that Wheaton Station is their alternative
  • No indication that weekday boardings at Glenmont have increased
  • Very few survey respondents indicated that the signs have affected how often they take transit

Slide 10:  Impact of System on Arrival Patterns

  • 13% drop in the number of patrons arriving at Glenmont before 8am
    • Could be an indication that the system helps commuters better gauge when they need to arrive to get a space

Slide 11:  Impact of the System on Circulation within Glenmont Garage

  • 66% indicated trouble finding a parking space at Glenmont in the past
    • 16% of Glenmont respondents reported that they often spent time circling the garage looking for a space
  • 25% reported that they feel that the signs have made a difference to them
    • Reduced the amount of time that they spend looking for a space
  • Data show a significant reduction in circulation
    • 57 % fewer vehicles leaving Glenmont during peak hour

Slide 12:  Impact of System on Awareness of Parking Alternatives

  • About 20% of respondents indicated that the signs have improved their awareness of parking alternatives
    • However, 50 percent felt that they were already aware of parking alternatives

Slide 13:  Customer Satisfaction with Signs

  • Of those who were familiar with the signs, most were satisfied with the locations
  • Most were satisfied with sign accuracy and agreed that they would like to see similar signs at other stations
  • 25% agreed that the signs have improved their overall commuting experience

Slide 14:  Chicago RTA/Metra Parking Management Guidance System

[A photo of a train coming into a station appears.]

Evaluation Approach

Slide 15:  Evaluation Objectives

  • Document quantifiable system impacts
    • Impact of system on:
      • Transit ridership
      • Mode shift
      • Circulation in and between lots
  • Determine customer perception of the system
    • Awareness of the system
    • Understanding of the system
    • Satisfaction with the system / sign placement
    • Impact of the system on mode choice and parking choice
  • Document lessons learned

Slide 16:  Evaluation Challenges

  • Is parking really a problem?
    • Excess capacity at Tinley Park now, so parking availability is now less of an issue than it was previously
    • Is there enough demand that utilization will increase at both lots?
  • Potential for improvements on adjacent Southwest Service Line to impact ridership on Rock Island Line
    • Service frequency was increased
    • Service hours were expanded

Slide 17:  Data Collection Activities

[Two photos appear: one of a train station, the other of a train in the train station.]

  • Parking utilization / circulation
    • Metra Rock Island line ridership figures (2002, 2006)
    • In/out counts from system
    • Parking utilization data from Villages of Mokena and Hickory Creek
  • Customer intercept surveys
  • Focus group
  • Interviews with project stakeholders involved in the implementation

Slide 18:  Chicago RTA/Metra Parking Management Guidance System

[A photo of a train pulled in at a station appears.]

Findings

Slide 19:  Impact of the System on Ridership, Parking Utilization, and Arrival Patterns

[A bar chart displays the focus group participants' level of agreement and disagreement with the statement: "The signs have not made any difference to me since I've never had trouble finding parking on the Rock Island Line." On average, 70% of the respondents agree or strongly agree with the statement.]

  • No focus group participants indicated that parking is a problem
  • 70% of respondents indicated that parking is not a problem
    • 20% of respondents at Tinley Park indicated problems in the past, but likely before additional spaces were added
  • Neither lot appears to be near capacity
    • 75-80% capacity

Slide 20:  Impact of the System on Ridership and Parking Utilization

  • Metra boarding-and-alighting data show increase
    • 7% increase in ridership from Fall 2002 to Fall 2006, but could be due to any number of factors
  • Parking use indicates slight increase in utilization from Aug 2006 to Aug 2007
    • 5.5% at Hickory Creek / 1% at Tinley Park

Slide 21:  Impact of the System on Arrival Patterns

  • Very few boardings during mid-day and no increase in mid-day arrivals
  • Slightly more late morning boardings at Tinley Park
    • Peak occurring about 1 hour later than previous year

Slide 22:  Impact of the System on Mode Choice

[The first bar chart on this slide displays the focus group participants' level of agreement and disagreement with the statement: "I've found myself riding Metra more now that the signs provide me with information about the availability of parking spaces." Fewer than 5% of the respondents agree with the questions.]

[The second bar chart on this slide displays the percentage of respondents who report parking availability information resulted in using Metra rather than driving. On average, nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that parking availability information had no impact on their mode choice. ]

  • Very few respondents indicated that the signs have affected how often they take transit
    • Fewer than 5% of respondents agreed with questions

Slide 23:  Impact of the System on Circulation within and between Lots

[The bar chart on this slide displays the focus group participants' level of agreement and disagreement with the statement: "The signs have reduced the amount of time I spend searching for an available parking space when riding the Rock Island Line." Less than one-fifth of the respondents agree or strongly agree wit this statement.]

  • Because finding parking is not a problem ...
    • No change in number of vehicles leaving lots during AM
    • Most respondents indicated that the signs have not influenced them because finding parking is not a problem
  • However ...
    • Some did indicate that the signs have saved them time in finding a parking space

Slide 24:  Customer Satisfaction with the Signs

[The bar chart on this slide displays the focus group participants' level of agreement and disagreement with the statement: "I would like to see similar signs installed at other Metra stations." On average, nearly 20% agree or strongly agree with the statement.]

  • Majority of respondents satisfied with sign locations and accuracy
  • Few feel that the signs have improved their overall commuting experience
    • However, as shown in graph, most said they would like to see similar signs at other stations
  • Focus group participants felt that system would be valuable in the future
    • With increases in population density

Slide 25:  Lessons Learned

[Two photos appear: one of a train pulled into a station and another of the Glenmont Station sign.]

Slide 26:  Deployment Lessons Learned

  • Important to conduct a field study of communications during the design engineering phase
    • Metra found that they needed repeater poles for uninterrupted communications
  • Plan time for permitting issues!

Slide 27:  Technology Lessons Learned

  • Carefully consider system requirements before deciding to go with commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) or custom software
    • COTS may not meet your needs
      • Montgomery County faced some limitations like being able to vary message sets by day of week
    • Consider customized software if the budget can accommodate it
  • Be aware of the inherent limitations of the software
    • Video detection has weather limitations
    • Loop detectors can't anticipate spaces occupied with snow

Slide 28:  Operations & Maintenance Lessons Learned

[A photo appears which is a combination of views of the Layhill Road Metro Garage.]

  • Staff should plan to monitor and manually update the system periodically
    • Identify who (what agency and what staff) are responsible for this
    • Require that the contractor provide training on the system
    • Build in a monitoring system
    • Clearly define a maintenance schedule

Slide 29:  Contracting Lessons Learned

  • Cost plus fixed fee contract may be more appropriate than lump sum for this type of work
    • Awarded to lowest bidder versus qualifications-based selection
    • No incentive to finish the project quickly when encountering problems — payment over time provides incentive to finish
  • Design-build model might be more appropriate for this type of technology than design-bid-build
    • No continuity between those designing it and those deploying it

Slide 30:  Institutional Issues Lessons Learned

  • Parking management systems often integrated into urban or neighborhood environments
    • Important to obtain formal endorsement from the leadership of all jurisdictions involved
    • Important to involve all appropriate stakeholders in a formal and collaborative manner throughout the planning, deployment, and operations phases
      • Late-breaking or unresolved stakeholder concerns can stall the effort indefinitely
      • Active coordination among the various levels of government can help stave off unnecessary future costs and potential relocation of systems

Slide 31:  Conclusions

[Two photos appear: one of a train pulled into a station and another of the Glenmont Station sign.]

Slide 32:  Conclusions

  • Parking management systems can positively impact customer perception of transit and transportation services
    • If there is a need and if the alternatives are feasible
  • Advertising and educating the public about the system is critical to success
  • Combining travel times with transit information will be key to true corridor management

Slide 33:  Final Evaluation Report

[Two photos appear: one of a train pulled into a station and another of the Glenmont Station sign.]

Evaluation of Transit Applications of Advanced Parking Management Systems

available online at http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/ParkingManagementEvaluationReport.pdf

Slide 34:  Contact Information

Charlene Wilder, FTA
202-366-1077
charlene.wilder@dot.gov

Jennifer Rephlo, SAIC
703-676-2407
jennifer.a.rephlo@saic.com

Gerry Tumbali, Chicago RTA
312-913-3251
TumbaliG@rtachicago.org

Mike Kinney, Montgomery County DPWT
240-777-8760
Michael.Kinney@montgomerycountymd.gov

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