Parking districts vs. transportation/urban management districts: Part three, jitneys/shuttles/delivery and the tertiary transit network
In my conceptualization of how to do multi-faceted and integrated transportation planning and service provision at the metropolitan and regional scales (past blog entry), service delivery is categorized at four scales:
- regional -- such as between Baltimore and DC
- metropolitan -- foundational services, usually heavy rail and in-area commuter rail services, serving as the backbone of metropolitan transit service, serving both the center city and the suburbs
- suburban primary, secondary, and tertiary transit subnetworks
- center city primary, secondary, and tertiary transit subnetworks.
Port Philip in Australia has a similar bus service. Their bus stop sign is a good illustration of the purpose of the service. Flickr photo by Daniel Bowen.
Conceptually, the neighborhood serving element of the tertiary network would provide a means for people to get from home to the neighborhood commercial district, transit stations, supermarkets, etc. without feeling compelled to drive. See the past blog entry, "DC transit network."
That form of intra-neighborhood transit is different from more typical shuttle services that we are familiar with. In DC most of these services travel between transit stations and a final destination.
There are two types of tertiary transit service, public and semi-public.
A fully public version of this type is the free community bus service provided by Tempe, Arizona and their Orbit bus service. (Scottsdale modeled a similar service after Tempe.) Most of the routes end Downtown at the main transportation center, which is also a stop on the Phoenix light rail rail.
Semi-public services are services that limit use to people with a relationship with the sponsor of the service, usually as workers or students or clients--e.g., federal government agencies, universities or the Washington Hospital Center all have shuttle services--linking multiple sites of the organization or connecting a building or campus to transit stations and other activity centers.
A variant would be hotel shuttles, which pick people up at airports and train stations and take them to the hotel, and will drop guests off at various places.
There are a couple of examples of intra-neighborhood focused public services like how I hypothesize, in the DC area, but both are fixed route with fixed stops. By comparison the Tempe Orbit service will let people off anywhere along a route.
The Town of Friendship Heights, just over the DC border in Montgomery County, Maryland does provide a neighborhood-based shuttle connecting the towns apartment and condominium buildings with the Friendship Heights Metro Station and the area's two supermarkets.
The City of Vienna, Virginia provides bus service, called CUE, between the local transit station, the town center, and the George Mason University campus. Falls Church had a similar service, but it shut down in the face of low ridership and loss of grant funding ("Falls Church to end George bus service amid grim budget," Washington Post).
DC TMDs could provide intra-neighborhood shuttle services. In the previous discussion which outlined the case for why the city ought to create more formal "transportation management districts" to manage and support sustainable mobility, providing this kind of shuttle service would be another way to support commercial districts served by TMDs without having to focus on the provision of private parking.
Jitneys. Jitneys or shared taxi service are a variant of this type of service. Usually they are provided when the number of riders is too small to support regular transit service, but there is still a demonstrated need, proximate transit stations, etc. (This will be discussed tomorrow in an entry that discusses, among other topics, Bridg.)