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Squeezing Waste out of A Transit System

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Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Squeezing Waste out of A Transit System Reply with quote

To squeeze waste out of a transit system, one would do well to take a look at the overall route structure for such items as overlap, low usage bus stops, and the like. When Buffalo's bus system was operated by the old Niagara Frontier Transit System, Inc., and to a lesser extent, the mostly suburban Buffalo Transit Company, there was a great deal of overlap among routes, particularly those using Main Street. Between Downtown Buffalo and as far as Kensington Avenue, you had routes 7,8,9,10,12,and 13 all using Main Street for substantial distances, plus you had the 23-Fillmore-Hertel line using Main Street between Main and Fillmore and Main and Hertel. These are all Cold Spring Division routes. On Delaware Avenue, you have both 11-Colvin and 25-Delaware Avenue both operating on that street for a substantial distance and both serving the same stops. These examples of overlap in the Buffalo transit system have largely been dealt with by the Light Rail Line and the restructuring of routes intersecting with Main Street to connect with the Light Rail Line, which is supplemented by the 8-Main bus line, which serves st ops not served by the rail line. The 10-West Utica line has since been combined with the 12-East Utica, forming the 12-Utica line and the No.10 left vacant. It seems to me that the remaining overlap could be alleviated by designating which routes or pairs of routes use which stops and have certain routes skip some stops.
Add in Lockport Bus Lines interurban service (now Route NO.44), and you have even more overlap, except the Lockport buses on the outbound trips can only stop to pick up passengers and discharge on the inbound trips. By somehow squeezing some of the overlap out of the system, one can reduce the amount of waste in the system. The 8-Main route had a suburban portion called 8-Main Williamsville-North Bailey Meadows, which was an ex Buffalo Transit Company Route bearing a route letter rather than route number. More on this is in Volume 1 of my New York State Bus Lines book. Now that NFTA has since restructured much of the Buffalo system, it has taken a good deal of waste out of the system. Pittsburgh, however is another story and one that I don't know a heck of a lot about, so I won't go there. Suffice to say from what I have read on another forum, the PAT system is a mess.
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Joined: 01 Jun 2007
Posts: 13
Location: Montgomery County MD

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in S&P and it's easier said then done. There is alot of political crap that goes on that prevents you from doing such things as eliminating routes.
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overlap is good in many cases. It minimizes route branching and allows better tailoring of service to demand. The most efficient local bus service are designed to maximize on-off traffic and provide one seat rides.
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Squeezing Waste out of A Transit System Reply with quote

Dieseljim - All -

Well, keep in mind Buffalo is not all that difficult of an exercise. It is effectively hub and spoke radiating to and from a defined Downtown. The
presence of overlap is obvious, it is because there are but just so many trunk roads feeding Downtown. So, it is unavoidable that any number
of scheduled routes use the same trunk roadway...

Also, keep in mind the old time NCL maxim, wherein they were very much sold that riders very strongly preferred single seat, point to point
service, as much as it could be provided. It is naive, to say the least, to expect riders to remain with the system, if they need to endure an
enroute transfer (and change of vehicles), just to feed riders to the Celebrated Light Rail Whiz Bang. (Of course, the latter needs every rider
it can figure to capture, jusy to make that line look good.)

Compare, the Pennsylvania, particularly Pittsburgh issues. Recently, either the Governor, or the Commonwealth Legislature went into unease
with all of it. A grand White Paper issued. (Surely it will pop up on web esarch.) It tended to be hostile towards Pittsburgh, when compared with
Philadelphia. Classic case of whoever actually studied it didn't understand the problems.

Pittsburgh is just a mess! It always has been, and always will be. It is slave to the topography of the area, which dictates complex skeins of
scheduled lines. Standard, out of the box, modern transit planner think has some real difficulties in attempts at dealing with such a jumbled
mess. Collaterally, similar issues abound in Washington/ Baltimore Metro area. None of it is amenable to easy, convenient and affordable fixes.
Besides, I get the feeling from current news that we all can't afford any of it!...

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